The Government has approved the text of the Health Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill.

It is the legislation that will give effect to the result of the Referendum on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution held earlier this year.

The bill will be introduced and debated in the Dáil next week.

Minister for Health Simon Harris has described today as a very important one for the women of Ireland.

He said the Government was acting on the instruction of the Irish people.

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This legislation that goes before the Dáil next week will provide for access to abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy.

It will also provide for access to terminations when a mother's life or health is at risk and when there is a diagnosis of a potentially fatal foetal abnormality.

There will be a 72-hour pause period between the first meeting with a doctor and the termination.

Mr Harris will meet medical representative groups over the coming weeks to discuss how this will operate.

The Government is aiming to have this service in place and available on a universal basis by the beginning of next year.

There will also be a separate piece of legislation to introduce safe access zones to prevent women being intimidated or harassed when seeking these services.