The Republic of Ireland’s president has signed a bill which legalizes abortion on the Emerald Isle.
President Michael D Higgins signed the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill into law today (21 December).
The Irish people voted to legalize abortion in a referendum earlier this year. But the bill didn’t pass into law without some hurdles.
Following a nine hour debate in the senate, some minor changes were made to the bill.
Lawmakers agreed to allow a review of the legislation after three years as opposed to the originally proposed five years.
Two doctors will assess a woman seeking abortion in early pregnancy and ‘the offences section has been moved from the front of the bill’, according to the BBC.
From today pregnant people will be able to get an ‘on demand’ abortion up to the 12th week of a pregnancy. Abortions will also be legal in the case of fatal foetal abnormality or where the physical or mental health of the mother is in danger.
LGBTI people and abortion
Abortion is also an important issue for LGBTI people who can get pregnant (lesbians, bisexual, trans men and intersex people).
A 2015 study found that LBTI women were twice as likely as straight-identifying women to get pregnant before the age of 20.
More recent a study conducted at multiple US universities found: ‘young women who are sexual minorities may try to avoid or cope with the stigma related to their sexual orientation’ by having sex with men. This then puts themselves at risk for pregnancy.