Ireland Votes To Overturn Abortion Ban by a Landslide - Lauretta Brown

28 May, 2018, 17:13 | Author: Carlos George
  • How Tragic Death Of An Indian Woman Sparked History Making Vote In Ireland

The Irish electorate voted 1,429,981 to 723,632 in favor of repealing the Eighth Amendment of the country's constitution.

Theresa May has been challenged to demonstrate her feminist credentials by relaxing Northern Ireland's abortion laws after Irish voters supported liberalisation in a landslide referendum result. Several voters supported the change by two-to-one, a margin considered far higher than any opinion poll in the run up to the vote had predicted, in the once deeply Catholic nation.

Yes campaigners hold posters calling for British-ruled Northern Ireland to liberalize its strict abortion laws, as campaigners wait for the official result in the Irish abortion referendum vote at Dublin Castle, Dublin on May 26, 2018.

Each year, thousands of women - including those who were raped, victims of incest, suffered from fatal fetal abnormality or had other health-related abortions - are believed to have traveled to Britain to seek abortions that were banned at home.

Despite the resounding victory of the yes vote, the No campaign's chief spokesman John McGuirk said they will continue to protest "if and when abortion clinics are opened in Ireland". The government has proposed allowing abortions in the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy, with exceptions for later terminations in some cases.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who has ushered in an era of social liberalism in the Catholic majority country, had campaigned heavily for the "yes" side. A quiet revolution has taken place, and today is a great act of democracy.

A supreme court judgment on whether abortion law in Northern Ireland is incompatible with worldwide human rights is expected this year.

By the time her life was at risk, it was too late to save her with a termination.

Friday's vote followed a number of scandals over women's healthcare in Ireland, most notably the death of Savita Halappanavar. It would also likely end the need for thousands of Irish women to travel overseas - mostly to neighboring Britain - for abortions they can't get at home.

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But any hope for quick change in Northern Ireland, the only part of the United Kingdom where terminations are nearly always illegal, appears improbable.

One poll by national broadcaster RTE suggested around 70 per cent of the electorate have voted to end the country's all but blanket ban on terminations, with another, by The Irish Times, recording 68 per cent in favour of ditching the prohibition.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said Ireland's vote was a "hopeful" day for Northern Ireland.

Irish Health Minister Simon Harris said: "Under the Eighth Amendment women in crisis pregnancy have been told: 'Take the plane or take the boat.' Today we tell them: 'Take our hand'".

Some supporters had tears of joy running down their cheeks, and many women hugged each other.

Mr Wells called on Northern Ireland's anti-abortion movement to "redouble its efforts" to prevent any change of the law there.

Exit polls from the Irish Times and broadcaster RTE had suggested the Irish people have voted by almost 70 percent to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

He said Savita's death had devastated the family. We have one last request, that the new law, that it is called "Savita's Law".


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