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SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Simon Harris secures Cabinet approval for new abortion laws

It will cost a significant amount to bring in abortion in Ireland but that money will be provided in the budget, according to Minister Simon Harris who got Cabinet approval for the new laws this morning.

They will be introduced into the Oireachtas next week and may face serious opposition from pro-life TDs.

Ministers have called on those TDs not to delay the legislation and to respect the overwhelming vote of the people to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said: "There is a duty on all of us who are honoured enough to sit in the Dáil and the Seanad to scrutinise the legislation - absolutely - and ask the questions on the legislation.

"But also [we must] do that in the knowledge that women today are still having to travel, and women today are still at risk because of the pill online."

More than four months after the Irish people voted overwhelmingly to repeal the Eighth Amendment, the laws allowing abortion to take place have been signed off by ministers.

The Thirty-Sixth Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2018 was signed into law by President Michael D Higgins last week.

The proposed legislation, if approved by the Dáil, will allow for abortion without restriction for up to 12 weeks into pregnancy and in limited circumstances after that.

Minister Harris has said 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, Minister Harris believes the new service can be in place by January 1.