It's expected that medical abortions will be available to Irish women from 1 January. 

A landmark Bill which will see women in the Republic of Ireland given access to medical abortions for the first time in the history of the State has been signed into law by President Michael D Higgins on Thursday afternoon. 

A statement released by Áras an Uachtaráin on Thursday, just after 4 pm, said: “Having considered the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018, the President has signed the Bill and it has accordingly become law.”

The Bill finished its final stage in the Seanad earlier this month after weeks of heated political debate in both the Dáil and Seanad.

This follows months of tense campaigning by a grassroots movement of activists in Ireland, followed by a landslide victory of 66.4% by the pro-choice side back in May. 

Minister for Health Simon Harris, took to Twitter to share the news on what he refers to as a "historic day".

"One year to the day since the Oireachtas Committee reported, President Higgins has signed the Termination of Pregnancy Bill into law," he wrote. "Historic day."

The legislation to provide medical abortions began back in October, where Harris sought to provide for access to terminations without restrictions until the twelfth week of pregnancy.

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

The Health Minister must now give effect to the Bill now that is it signed into law by President Higgins. 

It's hoped that medical abortions will be available to women in the Republic of Ireland from 1 January

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