07.30.1311:40 AM ET

Irish President Signs First Abortion Bill

The law would allow abortion in cases where a woman’s life is at risk.

In devoutly Catholic Ireland, where a woman recently died because of what a jury deemed “poor care” when she was denied an abortion, there is now a law that makes abortion legal in cases where a doctor deems the mother is at risk. The country’s president, Michael D. Higgins, surprised analysts by signing the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill instead of deferring it to the Supreme Court to see if it is constitutional. The law, however, does not amend the Constitution of the country, which bans abortion. According to ABC News, it's likely that abortion activists will follow through with a Supreme Court challenge. The bill aims to prevent death of pregnant mothers and to “alleviate life-threatening conditions, including a woman’s own threat to commit suicide if refused a termination.”