Ireland Repeals Parts of Long-Standing Abortion Ban, Defying Catholic Church

(UPDATED) Irish president signs first-ever exception to the country's abortion ban.

Update (July 30): For the first time ever, abortions now are legal in some cases in Ireland. The Assocated Press reports that Irish president Michael Higgins has signed the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill approved by Parliament earlier this month.

"The law permits abortions to alleviate life-threatening conditions, including a woman's own threat to commit suicide if refused a termination," AP states.

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Update (July 15, 2013): Members of the Irish Parliament have voted 127-31 to amend Ireland's ban on abortions, allowing doctors to perform the procedure only in the case of a threat to the mother's life. In spite of the significant margin by which it passed, the bill still faces an uphill battle: It must be approved by the Senate, signed into law by President Michael D. Higgins, and potentially reviewed by the Supreme Court to determine its constitutionality.

Irish news station RTE News reports that "the landmark legislation enshrines a woman's ...

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