Cost-Free Abortions Should Begin In January As Ireland’s Eighth Amendment Is Removed

The law banning abortion was repealed in May.

Pro-Choice Abortion Campaigners Hold Demonstration Outside Parliamen
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The law banning abortion was repealed in May.

The abortion ban in Ireland was repealed in June and authorities are hopeful that cost-free abortions will be available in the country in January. The constitutional ban goes back to 1971 and after a vote, the Irish people demanded change.

The Daily Beast says that there will be no cost to women seeking an abortion in Ireland, as it will be available through the Irish health care system. Ireland’s Health Minister, Simon Harris, said that he hoped that cost-free abortions through the state would stop the creation of private clinics. He is also hopeful that by offering the procedure at no cost, women would stop going out of the country to have an abortion, which was the only alternative for nearly five decades.

Irish President Michael Higgins approved the bill this week, signing into law the removal of Ireland’s Eighth Amendment.

NPR is reporting that foremost, Higgins didn’t want cost to be the deciding factor on whether or not a woman would choose to terminate a pregnancy.

“I’ve said from the start that I don’t want cost to be a barrier, because if cost is a barrier, you get into a situation where one of two things could happen: you see private clinics develop – we don’t want that to happen in Ireland, we want this to be part of an integrated public health service — and secondly, you can see people having to continue to travel.”

The remaining step is the law from Harris which would govern abortions in Ireland. The law, which would allow abortion up to 24 weeks and in certain other cases, should go to a vote next month with the hope that it will be in place for the new year.

“The proposal is to allow elective abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, and limited access to the 23rd week.”

The restriction on abortion is still in place in Northern Ireland, and that is reportedly the next hurdle for protestors. Breaking News is reporting that a Westminster inquiry will take place to examine and reform the abortion laws in Northern Ireland

Committee chairman Maria Miller said that the inquiry was raised after multiple complaints about human rights violations.

“The Women and Equalities Select Committee has decided to hold a formal inquiry into abortion law in Northern Ireland following renewed concerns raised by CEDAW committee about restricted access and the UK Supreme Court ruling in June.”

Miller said that the next step would be validation, likely through a vote, that this is what the people of Northern Ireland want.