Yesterday was described as a historic day after Ireland’s abortion legislation was passed by the Seanad.

Last night’s vote clears the way for the law to be introduced in January 2019 after the bill is signed by President Michael D Higgins.

Senators passed the bill by 27 votes to 5, with almost 50 amendments in total put forward for the final report stage. The amendments were rejected by Health Minister Simon Harris.

The new law will allow for abortion up to 12 weeks, or after that time if there is a fatal foetal abnormality or danger to the woman’s health.

“The law, at last, is changing. We will have a service. It will be legal. It will be safe. It will be free,” said Minister Harris.

Ireland voted decisively to change the Constitution to repeal the Eighth Amendment in May, with 66.4% voting in favour of new legislation to allow for the termination of pregnancies.