Bill to remove three-day wait for abortion in Ireland passes vote - but there is ‘still work to be done’

Bill to remove three-day wait for abortion in Ireland passes vote - but there is ‘still work to be done’

A BILL to amend Ireland’s existing abortion laws by removing the three-day wait for a termination has moved to the second stage after an historic vote in the Dáil last night.

The Private Members Bill, tabled by People Before Profit (PBP) TD Bríd Smith, seeks to amend the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 by abolishing the current three-day waiting period and removing the 12-week limit on when abortions can be performed.

It will also allow for abortion on the grounds of fatal foetal abnormality and decriminalise abortions in all circumstances.

Last night it passed to the second stage in the Dáil after Coalition parties gave members a free vote.

The first vote of the evening saw an amendment tabled by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly fail.

Mr Donnelly had proposed a motion to delay the reading of the Bill for 12 months.

His motion was defeated by 74 votes to 61 with three abstentions.

A second vote on the draft legislation then passed, with 67 votes for, 64 against and eight abstentions.

Today PBP claimed the “historic vote”, was just the beginning, confirming that their work to amend the current abortion legislation is about “respecting Repeal”.

The Repeal referendum campaign of 2018 saw the eighth amendment in Ireland’s constitution - which effectively banned abortions under any circumstance - overturned.

“Repeal was about saying trust women to make the right decision for them and their own bodies,” PBP said today.

“The laws that came in afterwards, such a three day wait, didn’t match up to that.

“Last night’s historic vote was about respecting Repeal.”

They added: “[We are] one step close to full bodily autonomy, but there is still work to do.

“We won’t rest until we have full reproductive justice.”