A statement from his office said that in accordance with Article 31 of the Constitution, President Higgins convened a meeting of the Council of State to discuss the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 yesterday.

Law

President Higgins has now signed the Bill into law, meaning it does not have to be forwarded to the Supreme Court to determine whether it is “repugnant to the Constitution” – or unconstitutional, in layman’s terms.

Now that the bill has been signed into law, it becomes the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act. A copy of the new act will be sent to the registrar of the Supreme Court to hold on file, while the bill will also be placed on the Irish Statute Book.

The act legally gives a woman access to an abortion where there is a real and substantial risk to her life, including risk of suicide.