In a historic referendum, San Marino votes to legalise abortion.

Official results showed that the tiny republic of San Marino voted overwhelmingly in favour of legalising abortion in a referendum on Sunday, overturning a law dating back to 1865.

Some 77.30 percent of voters supported the proposal to allow abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy and then only if the mother’s life was in danger or the foetus had a severe malformation.

Turnout was low, with only 41 percent of eligible voters voting.

The vote in the northern Italian enclave of 33,000 people comes as authorities in countries like Poland and the U.S. state of Texas have tightened abortion laws. Earlier this month, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that penalising abortion is unconstitutional.

Up to now in San Marino, women who ended their pregnancies risked three years’ imprisonment. The term is twice as long for anyone who carries out an abortion.

San Marino women wanting an abortion normally went to Italy, where they could only get one privately, at a cost of about 1,500 euros ($1,765).

Elsewhere in Europe, the Mediterranean island of Malta, and the micro-states of Andorra and Vatican City, another Italian enclave, still ban abortion.

In Europe’s last referendum on abortion, the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar voted in June to ease what remain extremely strict curbs. Ireland legalised abortion in a far higher-profile referendum in 2018.

Social progress has tended to be slow in San Marino.

Women did not get the right to vote until 1960, 14 years after surrounding Italy, and have only been allowed to hold political office since 1974. Divorce was legalised in 1986, some 16 years after Italy.

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