The Irish Government has passed legislation for the first time allowing for abortion in limited circumstances.
The landmark laws enshrine a woman’s right to a termination if her life is at risk, including from suicide.
Despite fears that some backbenchers would revolt, the most high profile of a small number to break ranks and vote against the divisive legislation was a junior minister.
Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton was one of only five to break Government ranks and is set to be exiled by her Fine Gael party as the vote passed with a comfortable majority, with 127 voting in favour and 31 against.
Protests by pro-life groups, hate mail, death threats and intimidation to politicians and campaigners worsened already-bitter disputes over the reforms in the predominantly Catholic country.
The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 was drawn up following the death of Savita Halappanavar, an Indian dentist who died in an Irish hospital in October last year after being denied an abortion as she miscarried 17 weeks into her pregnancy.
Her widower Praveen claimed the couple had been told a termination was not allowed because “Ireland is a Catholic country”.
As new figures on Thursday revealed 11 women travelled from Ireland to Britain every day for an abortion last year, Prime Minister Enda Kenny said it was time the women of Ireland have the rights they deserve enshrined in law.
“We had 21 years of inaction, 21 years of inaction,” Mr Kenny said.
“What’s going on here is medical clarity and legal certainty for the women of our country who have had a constitutional right conferred upon them.”
Source Sky News