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Cabinet set to approve new abortion laws

Laws to make abortion legal will be approved by the Cabinet this morning.

The Health Minister Simon Harris will also set out a timeline to have the new laws in place by January 1.

More than four months after the Irish people voted overwhelmingly to repeal the Eighth Amendment the laws allowing abortion to take place will be approved by Ministers today.

The proposals will allow for abortion without restriction for up to 12 weeks into pregnancy and in limited circumstances after that.

Minister Harris will say the Government is committed to providing abortions for free when the service comes in.

He also wants to bring in safe access zones around areas where women access terminations to prevent them from being harassed or intimidated when going for an abortion.

Despite concerns from doctors, Mr Harris believes the new service can be in place by January 1, 2019.

The legislation will be introduced into the Oireachtas next week.