Legislation on the legalisation of abortion in Ireland has passed through the Dáil following a historic vote last night.
The Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill will proceed to the Seanad as the Government aims to introduce termination of pregnancy services to Ireland by January 2019.
The Bill was passed by 90 votes to 15, with 12 abstentions.
Some changes have been added to the Bill since it was first introduced in early October, including a commitment to review the legislation after three years rather than the five years originally planned.
Minister Simon Harris welcomed last night’s vote as a “significant step forward”. The vote comes six months after Ireland voted decisively to repeal the Eighth Amendment in May.
Seanad debates on the bill are scheduled to begin this afternoon.
Tonight Dáil Éireann has passed legislation to legalise abortion in Ireland. On to the Seanad now. I think of all the women who have had to travel to receive care – we say, no more. The people have spoken. Care and compassion in our own country
— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) December 6, 2018
In a statement this morning, the Abortion Rights Campaign said: “The Government has a duty to ensure that legislation is passed as soon as possible to ensure the timely provision of abortion services and stop even more pregnant people having to travel.”
Linda Kavanagh, ARC spokesperson said “This legislation has been a long time coming. The people of Ireland have been fighting for over 35 years to access abortion at home.
“Since Ireland’s decisive yes vote on May 25th, more than 1,650 people have travelled overseas for an abortion and over 550 have imported safe, but illegal, abortion pills. The cruel reality of the 8th Amendment continues.”