Newstalk
Newstalk

16.21 20 Dec 2018


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President Michael D Higgins has signed the legislation to allow for abortion services in Ireland into law.

It comes a week after the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018 completed its passage through the Dáil.

Health Minister Simon Harris said it's an 'historic day'.

It means the law now allows abortion services to be legally available in Ireland from January 1st.

The legislation will allow abortions for up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy, and in very limited circumstances - such as when there is a risk to the life of the pregnant woman - after that.

In May, the Irish people voted by 66.9% to 33.1% to repeal the Eighth Amendment and allow the Oireachtas to legislate for abortion services here.

Abortion services are not expected to be available in a full fashion throughout the country from January 1st, although are set to become more widely available as more medical professionals are trained.

GPs were yesterday issued with clinical guidelines for the services, with the Irish College of General Practitioners stressing that any doctor who does not wish to provide the service will not be asked to do so.


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