Ireland Votes Overwhelmingly to Repeal Abortion Ban
28 May, 2018, 17:10 | Author: Charlene Valdez
Voters in the once deeply Catholic nation were estimated to have backed the change by more than two to one, according to two exit polls released on Friday evening, and the government plans to bring in legislation by the end of the year.
Attention is turning to Ireland's parliament now that the country's citizens have voted in landslide numbers to remove the abortion ban from its constitution.
"What we've seen is the culmination of a quiet revolution that's been taking place in Ireland over the past 20 years", said Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, a center-right politician who supported repealing the abortion ban. A turnout of 64 % was one of the highest for a referendum. Northern Ireland is in danger of becoming a place apart; we don't have equal marriage, we don't have a single equality act and now it looks like we'll have a restricted law on abortion.
"It is a criminal offence in Northern Ireland and we have absolutely had enough of it".
Anti-abortion activists conceded defeat early on Saturday as their opponents expressed astonishment at the scale of their victory.
The vote removes a 1983 amendment that required Irish authorities to defend the lives of a woman and a foetus equally on nearly all abortions.
With the vote making newspaper frontpages across the world, French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter that "Ireland has once again made history".
At Dublin's RDS count centre, 40-year-old nurse Ruth Bowie wept at the results. As a result, Irish women would wished to terminate their pregnancies had to seek illegal options within the country - at the risk of being thrown in jail for 14 years - or travel overseas.
Mr Wells called on Northern Ireland's anti-abortion movement to "redouble its efforts" to prevent any change of the law there.
Pointing to the church sex abuse scandals, he said, Ireland's changing fortunes also meant that "instead of people bowing their heads whenever a priest passed by, they could actually stand up and say, 'Hang on, Father, what happened back then?'"
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Campaigners left flowers and candles at a large mural of the woman, Savita Halappanavar, in central Dublin. "If it didn't go through, I actually couldn't live with myself and I knew that we wouldn't get the chance to do it for another 35 years". "But those who voted No should take heart".
Ireland's Health Minister Simon Harris will seek the cabinet's approval for the draft legislation, allowing abortion on request up to the 12th week of pregnancy and under limited circumstances, up to the 23rd week, the MSN report further added.
Save The 8th spokesman McGuirk appealed for tolerance and respect from "those who find themselves in the majority now".
Dr Martin said that following Friday's referendum the Irish Church must renew its commitment to support life but that it is called to be pro-life not just in words, statements and manifestoes but in deeds that reflect Jesus' loving care for human life at any stage.
Women outside of Ireland's medical card system will have to pay for the doctor visits and clinic and hospital bills for the procedures, unlike in Great Britain's socialized National Health System.
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Ireland abortion referendum: What you need to know
The result is expected to be close after a polarising campaign, but the latest polls suggest voters are ready to overturn the ban. The vote pitted conservative backers of strict abortion restrictions against those supporting a woman's right to choose.
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