Dublin, Ireland, Sep 24, 2018 / 14:03 pm
Irish Health Minister Simon Harris has announced that he intends to make it possible for women in the Republic of Ireland to have abortions free of charge, following the recent legalization of abortion in the country.
Harris said he didn't want "cost to be a barrier" to women wanting to obtain abortions, and that it would become part of Ireland's public health system. Funds to pay for the procedures will be included in this year's budget, according to local media reports.
Harris stated in a speech in January that an estimated 170,000 Irish women have traveled to other countries for abortions since 1980.
Irish president Michael Higgins signed the repeal of the Eighth Amendment, which was voted on in a country-wide referendum in May, into law Sept. 18. The law had previously provided for equal protection of the lives of both the mother and the unborn child.