Irish Health Minister Working on Proposed New Abortion Law

LONDON (AP) — Ireland’s health minister says abortion is a reality for Irish women regardless of whether the country repeals a constitutional ban on most terminations.

Simon Harris told RTE television Tuesday he can’t ignore the fact that more than 3,200 citizens traveled from Ireland to Britain in 2016 to have abortions they couldn’t get at home.

He says he is working on proposed new legislation and will update the public next month.

The government has announced plans to hold a public referendum in late May on whether to repeal the eighth amendment to Ireland’s constitution. Voters will be asked if they want to keep the anti-abortion amendment or repeal it so parliament can enact new legislation.

Ireland, a predominantly Roman Catholic country, has the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe.

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