It was approved during a late night sitting of the Dáil and now goes to the Seanad for final sign off before it becomes law.
Just before midnight TDs gathered in the Dáil chamber for a final vote to approve the proposed abortion legislation.
It followed a mammoth 8-hour sitting yesterday to get through the final amendments to the bill.
TDs approved the legislation by 90 votes to 15 with 12 abstentions. It will now go to the Seanad today for final approval – which the government is hopeful can happen next week.
After that the bill will become law, allowing abortions to take place in Ireland from the 1st of January.
Health Minister Simon Harris has described it as a significant step towards bringing in abortion services and said he looks forward to a time in the near future when women with a crisis pregnancy can get treatment at home.
Speaking as the debate in the Dáil concluded, the Minister said: “We pass this Bill today just six months after the people had their say.
“I would particularly like to thank all those people who recognised the need for our discourse to be respectful of differing views, and of the sensitivities involved, particularly for those who have experienced termination of pregnancy.
“I look forward to a time – not far away now – when we will be able to assure women experiencing crisis pregnancies that they will be looked after here at home, where they need not fear that they will be stigmatised for their choices or lack the support they and their families need from our health service.
“I now look forward to working closely with my colleagues in the Seanad to discuss the legislation and move closer to making that new Ireland a reality.”
There are still some questions about what scale of a service will be in place in January with a very short time between the passing of the legislation and doctors being asked to implement it.
Clinical guidelines are being prepared behind the scenes and some doctors willing to provide the service will be trained in the coming weeks.
However it is likely whatever service is in place in January will be somewhat limited at first as the medical system catches up with the legislation.
The Abortion Rights Campaign has welcomed last night’s vote calling it “a momentous step towards achieving abortion rights in Ireland” but say it remains troubled at numerous provisions contained within the Bill.
“We, as activists, have spent years fighting for accessible, accountable and evidence-based legislation to provide abortion care,” said Linda Kavanagh, spokesperson for the Abortion Rights Campaign.
“We will continue to fight for access to free, safe, legal and local abortion services for all those who need it on the island of Ireland.2