Ireland to offer free abortions after ban's repeal

Ireland to offer free abortions after ban's repeal
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Ireland plans to provide women with free legal abortions, Health Minister Simon Harris confirmed this week.

Just months after the country voted overwhelmingly to repeal a restrictive abortion ban from its constitution, Harris is said to be drafting a new law to allow free legal abortions to be provided to women in the country, NPR reports.

According to the publication, the law is expected to be submitted to the legislature as soon as next month and could be enacted by January 2019. 

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When talking about the move earlier this week, Harris confirmed that it is his “intention that the services will be free," the Irish Examiner reported on Wednesday.

"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 happen, you get abortion clinics to develop or you can see people having to continue to travel,” Harris told the local outlet.

"I want this [abortion services] to be provided as part of our health care system, our public health care system and part of our primary health care system,” he said.

"That now allows us as legislatures to do our job," he added. 

Harris remarks came a day after Ireland’s president, Michael Higgins, officially signed the repeal of a constitutional amendment that enforced the restrictive abortion ban.

The country’s move to legalize abortion comes just three years after Ireland voted to legalize same-sex marriage.