Ireland moves forward with abortion law reform after historic vote

27 May, 2018, 14:15 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Irish anti-abortion campaign concedes it has lost referendum

A huge 66.4 per cent chose to repeal the controversial Eighth Amendment on Friday, after months of campaigning gripped the country. Irish people voted overwhelmingly in favor of abolishing the total abortion ban in the constitution.

If the partial results hold up, the referendum would likely end the need for thousands of Irish women to travel overseas - mostly to neighboring Britain - for abortions they can't get at home.

"I'd like to thank the people of Limerick, they've showed great compassion".

"A vote for the freedom to choose, a vote for women's rights, a vote for women's control over their bodies, a vote for women's health & safety, a vote towards equality", she proudly said. But I believe we have voted today for the next generation.

"The people have spoken", said Varadkar, who campaigned for repealing Ireland's constitutional ban on abortions.

" He described the vote as "the culmination of a quiet revolution in Ireland".

Echoing an often violent and militant sentiment espoused by many in the USA, abortion-foe spokesman John McGuirk vowed that No campaigners would continue to protest, "if and when abortion clinics are opened in Ireland".

A spokeswoman for May said changing the rules on abortion is a decision that should be taken by a devolved assembly and the government is working to revive the power-sharing agreement. The vote illustrates the monumental shift in attitudes towards women's rights in Ireland.

Citizens had been asked to decide whether to retain or repeal the Amendment, which prohibits terminations unless a mother's life is in danger, but not in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality.


Northern Ireland's elected assembly has the right to bring its abortion laws in line with the rest of the United Kingdom, but voted against doing so in February 2016 and the assembly has not sat since the devolved government collapsed in January 2017.

The final results confirmed what many suspected the result would be.

Ireland's prime minister noted that Saturday's win for legalizing abortion could not right past wrongs, but could prevent future ones. "And they are going to change now", a tearful Mellet said at the Royal Dublin Society, where the count took place throughout the day.

Under current law, the practice of abortion in Ireland is illegal, unless the mother's life is deemed to be endangered. "And we say that we trust women and we respect women and their decisions".

Mrs Morgan and three other former holders of the women and equalities role - Amber Rudd, Justine Greening and Maria Miller - all back Ms Mordaunt in support for reform in Northern Ireland, the Sunday Times reported.

Varadkar said on Saturday that he planned to implement a new abortion law by the end of the year.

Ireland's Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone said Saturday she expects new abortion legislation to be in place before the end of the year.

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.

Sinn Fein's party leaders from both sides of the border held up a placard at Dublin Castle reading: "The North is next".

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