Ireland's parliament voted on Friday (July 12) to allow abortion under certain conditions for the first time, following months of polarising debate in the Catholic country including letters to the premier written in blood.
Prime Minister Enda Kenny has provoked protest from both sides of the debate by pushing through a compromise that will allow abortion, but only when a woman's life is in danger. His governing party has faced down more rebels over the issue than it did over its harsh austerity measures.
After a marathon debate that ran past midnight for the second night in row, lawmakers passed the bill by 127-31. The vote was greeted with applause.
The two-decade debate over how Ireland should deal with a Supreme Court ruling that abortion be permitted when a woman's life is in danger was reopened last year after the death of a woman who was denied an abortion of her dying foetus.
In a sign of how contentious the abortion issue is, five of 76 members of parliament from Kenny's conservative Fine Gael party voted against the bill. The five have been expelled from its parliamentary grouping.
The refusal to vote for the bill by long-time Kenny ally Lucinda Creighton, once tipped as a possible leader of the party, ends her role as Europe minister.
Presented by Adam Justice