(CNN)Ireland's President formally repealed a constitutional amendment that banned abortion in the country, following a resounding referendum vote in favor of changing the law.
Ireland repeals amendment banning abortion following landmark referendum
President Michael D. Higgins signed the abortion referendum bill into law on Tuesday, less than four months after the nation voted by 66.4% to 33.6% to enable legislation that would allow women to have an abortion.
The Eighth Amendment, which was added to the constitution following a referendum in 1983, placed the rights of the fetus and those of its mother on equal footing, effectively banning abortion barring a "real and substantial risk" to the mother's life.
Higgins' signature of the 36th Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2018 means the constitution is now officially changed.
However, the existing laws will remain in place until lawmakers pass new legislation that is expected to allow for terminations in the first 12 weeks of