Europe

Irish president signs bill legalising abortion

Woman at clinic Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Republic of Ireland voted to overturn its abortion ban in a referendum in May

Irish President Michael D Higgins has signed the bill that legalises abortion in the Republic of Ireland.

The new law allows for abortion services to be provided "on demand" up to the 12th week of a pregnancy.

It also applies in the case of a fatal foetal abnormality or where the physical or mental health of the mother is in danger.

The country overturned its abortion ban in a referendum in May.

The Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill completed its passage through the Irish parliament last Thursday with a nine-hour debate in the senate.

Since the bill's introduction to the Irish parliament in October, there have been some minor changes, including a decision to review the legislation after three years, rather than five years as was originally planned.

Two different doctors will be allowed to assess a woman in early pregnancy and the offences section has been moved from the front of the bill.

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