Cabinet to sign off on abortion legislation today

The Cabinet is expected to sign off on the legislation to allow for abortions this morning.

However, the law will not be introduced into the Oireachtas until after the summer recess.

The Minister for Health Simon Harris will bring the legislation to permit abortion before his Cabinet colleagues today.

It is understood to be in line with the General Scheme published before the referendum in May.

That will allow terminations without needing a reason for up to 12 weeks into pregnancy, and in more limited circumstances after that.

There are a few small additions to the legislation.

One is to allow safe zones around areas where abortions are carried out.

This would mean protesters could hang posters or demonstrate close to those areas, in what is seen as a direct response to the graphic abortion posters seen outside some maternity hospitals during the referendum campaign.

It is understood Minister Harris will also stress that cost should not be a barrier to accessing a termination

The legislation cannot be introduced before the summer break because of a number of legal challenges to the referendum result, but government sources remain confident the new laws can be in place before the start of next year.

Digital Desk

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