Ireland votes to repeal anti-abortion law

28 May, 2018, 01:05 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Irish Students Offered Grants to Fly Home and Vote 'Yes' to Abortion

In the end, it wasn't even close.

Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, speaking Saturday before official results were announced, said it appeared that voters chose to liberalise Ireland's strict laws on abortion - only allowed when a woman's life is at risk - by a more than two-to-one margin.

Others also offered to help people travelling home by offering free taxis and lifts to anyone landing in Ireland.

The Grand Lodge statement concluded: "We would suggest all those voting on this sensitive issue reflect on what abortion is and read what God says about the sanctity of human life".

"Abortion is a reality in Ireland today: 3 women a day take the abortion pill (which they get illegally online), without medical advice and support, while another 9 women travel overseas every day to terminate their pregnancy".

"The people have said that we want a modern constitution for a modern country, that we trust women and we respect them to make the right decision and the right choices about their health care".

Labour said it was now "looking at legislative options" to see how that could be achieved by Westminster. To identify with the pro-abortion side shouldn't mean you must turn your back on your faith, and the broader population of Ireland won't decease being Catholic overnight as a result of new healthcare legislation.

The Government has characterised it as a modernising and compassionate reform, bringing Ireland into step with its neighbours who all have more liberal regimes.

"We've got justice for Savita", he told the Hindustan Times.

Since then, tens of thousands of Irish women have traveled to various parts of the United Kingdom, such as London and Liverpool, as well as Europe to obtain abortions.

"What Irish voters did yesterday is a tragedy of historic proportions", the Save The 8th group said.

Some Irish activists have called abortion "murder", but many campaigners have tried a softer tone, saying Ireland should "love both" the pregnant woman and her unborn baby.

Ireland abortion referendum result
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Repealing the Eighth Amendment was a decades-long goal of the abortion movement.

But despite the "Repeal" campaign's landslide victory - with all but one constituency in Ireland voting "Yes" - the day after the referendum result was revealed, Irish women are still unable to access terminations in their own country.

The support for lifting the ban highlights the liberalization of traditionally Catholic Ireland, marking the diminishing influence of the Church hierarchy and a desire to align Irish secular laws with the other countries of Europe. A quiet revolution has taken place, and a great act of democracy.

Since 1983, around 170,000 Irish women have gone overseas for terminations.

At Dublin's Intercontinental Hotel, supporters of the Together for Yes group spent hours watching the vote tally come in from the country's 40 balloting districts. Almost every county in the country, with the exception of Donegal County to the north, voted for the amendment's repeal. Cheers broke out every time partial results were shown on two big screens transmitting the latest television news.

Outside the count, it was a carnival atmosphere as hundreds gathered at Dublin Castle to share in the delights of victory.

They cheered when leaders of the "yes" campaign surfaced and they cheered for the prime minister when he arrived.

The amendment requires authorities to equally protect the right to life of a mother and that of a fetus, from the moment of conception.

When doctors felt a woman's life was at risk due to complications from the pregnancy, or from suicide, they were permitted to carry out an abortion. Donegal, in the northwest of the country, is the only county in Ireland where Tally men and women think the "no" vote might narrowly prevail.

"I'm especially grateful to the women of Ireland who came forward to provide their personal testimony about the hard times that they endured, the stress and the trauma that they experienced because of the Eighth Amendment", she said.

"The people have spoken", said Varadkar, a medical doctor who campaigned for repeal in Friday's historic referendum.


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