Ireland officially repeals amendment that banned abortion

Ireland officially repeals amendment that banned abortion
© Getty Images

The president of Ireland has officially repealed a constitutional amendment that enforced a restrictive abortion ban, a move that comes just months after the country voted overwhelmingly to get rid of the provision. 

President Michael Higgins signed the referendum into law Tuesday, according to CNN.

ADVERTISEMENT

"The Constitution is now officially changed and the 8th is repealed," Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar tweeted. "[Government] to pilot through the Dail and Seanad next. We’re ready."

In May, Ireland citizens voted in favor of repealing the amendment that had imposed one of the world's most restrictive bans on abortions. 

Sixty-seven percent of the nation voted to reject the amendment, while just 33 percent voted to preserve it.  

CNN noted that Higgins's signature on the 36th Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2018 officially means that the law has been reversed. 

But the existing laws will exist until the government passes new legislation that is expected to give women the ability to have an abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

"This is a very important day and I know so many people worked so hard to get to this day," Health Minister Simon Harris said in a video posted to Twitter. "We now need to bring in the legislation so we can add services to look after women with care and compassion in our own country."

The move from the Irish government comes just three years after the nation voted to legalize same-sex marriage.