After more than 200 years of criminalization and forbiddance, abortion is officially legalized in Ireland after the country’s president, Michael D. Higgins, signed into law on Thursday, December 20, after its passage through both chambers of the national parliament. All or any abortion services will be provided “on demand” up to the 12th week of a woman’s pregnancy and will be free under the country’s universal healthcare system starting on New Year’s Day, January 1st, 2019.
This law is in accordance with the national referendum result that repealed the country’s 8th Amendment, which criminalized abortion, in May of 2018 by more than 60% of voters. Also, before official legalization, the referendum’s results were signed into law in September.
While southern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland is becoming progressive when it comes to legalizing abortion, same-sex marriage equality, and abolishing blasphemy laws, Northern Ireland, a constituent country of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, remains a divided conservative region as abortion remains criminalized and LGBTQIA+ rights are stagnated.
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