President Michael D Higgins has signed the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill which legalises abortion in Ireland.
Having considered the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018, the President has signed the Bill and it has accordingly become law.— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) December 20, 2018
Ireland voted decisively to change the Constitution to repeal the Eighth Amendment in May, with 66.4% voting in favour of the new legislation to allow for the termination of pregnancies.
Yesterday, the Irish College of General Practitioners issued family doctors with interim clinical guidelines, for doctors who wish to provide termination of pregnancy services.
It said that GPs must have access to an ultrasound facility, if a query about the gestation period, or complications arise.
The College said it had written to the Minister for Health, Simon Harris to express concerns over the lack of clarity around referral pathways to hospital care when required throughout the country.
One year to the day since the Oireachtas Committee reported, President Higgins has signed the Termination of Pregnancy Bill into law. Historic day. https://t.co/I3IlmrjCKw— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) December 20, 2018
It said it had trained an initial group of GPs who will be in a position to provide termination of pregnancy services under the Health (Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018.
The clinical guidelines set out the steps under which GPs can carry out a medical termination of pregnancy, which will be via medication for women with a pregnancy of under nine weeks' gestation.
The passing of the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill followed more than two months of consideration by TDs and Senators.
The report and final stages of the bill passed in the Seanad last week following nine hours of debate.