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TDs vote to legalise abortion up to 12 weeks in historic vote last night

A historic vote took place in the Dáil late last night to legalise  abortion up to twelve weeks.

The Bill passed by by 90 votes to 15, while 12 TDs abstained and it will now go to the Seanad before being signed into law.

The house agreed around 9pm that they would continue to around midnight to vote on dozens of amendments.

In a surprising move, Carol Nolan TD did not press any of her final amendments to a vote, allowing the Dáil to vote on the Bill at midnight.

It is on track to be signed into law in January 2019, when abortion will be legal for the first time in Ireland.

The vote has been welcomed by pro-choice groups and the majority of TDs.

Abortion Rights Campaign welcomed the vote and said that the legislation must be passed in time for January.

Linda Kavanagh, spokesperson for the Abortion Rights Campaign 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.”

After the historic vote in the Dáil, many pro-choice activists in the Republic are now firmly focused on the campaigning for a change to the law in the North.

Outside of ultra-Catholic Malta and the Vatican City, the North will soon have the strictest abortion laws in Western Europe.

Opinion polls show that an overwhelming majority of people north of the border want to see a change to the law in the jurisdiction, but the anti-abortion DUP will oppose any attempts to bring the law into line with the rest of Ireland and most of Europe.

Michael Malone
Email me at editor@galwaydaily.com

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