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Simon Harris: 'This is the beginning of a new era for women’s health'

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SIX MONTHS AGO, 1.42 million people voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment and to care for women in crisis pregnancies in this country.

Many of them had waited 35 years to cast their vote. Many others voted with the weight of their own personal experiences upon them.

It took three decades to build the revolution. For that brave minority of campaigners, it may have seemed a tireless and fruitless exercise.

However, every time those men and women stood up against this injustice, the walls of oppression and resistance began to fall.

Their perseverance resulted in the galvanisation of a generation eager to break free from the shackles of the past and shape the society it wanted to live in.

As Minister for Health, it is my responsibility to act on the mandate given to me by the Irish people and today, we move one step closer to achieving that aim.

The Dáil has now passed the Termination of Pregnancy Bill by and the Seanad will now consider the legislation.

As outlined prior to the referendum, the Bill allows for access to abortion within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy with no restriction to reason.

Beyond that terminations will only be permitted when a woman’s life or health is at risk. Abortions will also be accessible when there is a diagnosis of a fatal foetal abnormality.

As legislators, it is our job to scrutinise the Bill before us, but we must remind ourselves of the realities still facing women in crisis pregnancies daily.

Since the people voted, over 2,300 women have found themselves in crisis and despite the overwhelming referendum result, the State has been unable to offer them the care they need.

I have listened to hours of debate in the........

© TheJournal