The much awaited abortion bill has been signed into law by President Michael D. Higgins today.
Áras an Uachtarain released a statement this evening stating: “Having considered the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018, the President has signed the Bill and it has accordingly become law.”
Having considered the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018, the President has signed the Bill and it has accordingly become law.
— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) December 20, 2018
The bill passed through the Dáil and the Seanad with occasionally heated debate.
Minister for Health, Simon Harris, tweeted to say that he will sign a number of necessary statutory instruments tomorrow so that the bill will come into effect on January 1st.
Tomorrow I will sign a number of legal instruments to enact our new abortion law from the 1st January
— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) December 20, 2018
While there were many proposed amendments lobbied throughout the debate regarding changes to the bill, only a few minor adjustments actually passed.
The base legislation will allow for unrestricted access to abortion up to the twelfth week of term. It will also create provisions for terminations after the twelfth week of pregnancy where there is a risk to life or of serious harm to the mother and in cases where a fatal foetal abnormality has been detected.
The act, titled the ‘Thirty-sixth Amendment of the Constitution Act 2018’ has been entered into the Irish Statute Book and can be viewed online here.