Ireland votes overwhelmingly to repeal anti-abortion law

People celebrate the official result of the Irish abortion referendum at Dublin Castle in Dublin on May 26, 2018, which showed a landslide decision in favor of repealing the constitutional ban on abortions. And after the sensational vote for gay marriage in the referendum three years ago, they have now finally liberated Irish women from centuries of misogyny.

"They are saying this is a country where we trust women and respect their choices". As a result, thousands of Irish women make the trip overseas, often to England, to have an abortion.

The Irish Times and RTE television exit polls suggest the Irish people have voted to repeal a 1983 constitutional amendment that effectively bans abortions.

The vote signifies a resounding victory for the government of Leo Varadkar, the Prime Minister, or Taoiseach as the office is called in Ireland.

A socially conservative province where the Catholic and Protestant faiths exert strong influence, Northern Ireland allows abortion only when a mother's life is in danger.

Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Law Commission is due to report back to him by the end of this year and, providing the Government can agree on the recommendations, he says it's possible there could be legislation before Parliament next year.

Ireland has voted to repeal its ban on abortion.

In Ireland, 66 percent of the electorate voted to change the country's strict abortion laws, with thousands of Irish citizens living in Europe returning home to take part in the historic vote.

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

His government proposes allowing abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and between 12 and 24 weeks in exceptional circumstances.

Ailbhe Smyth, 71, co-director of the official Together for Yes campaign, said real-life testimonies from women affected by the law had helped swing the vote.

As votes were being counted and polls started to show the majority in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment, celebrities, politicians and well-known faces began tweeting about the life-changing vote.

The "Save The 8th" campaign's spokesman John McGuirk said the people of Ireland had "weighed it in the balance and it came down on one side", the Independent reported.

The amendment was approved in 1983 and pro-repeal campaigners say that since then nearly 170,000 pregnant women travelled overseas to have terminations.

"To see an overwhelming "yes" vote is incredible", Coogan told CTV News Channel on Saturday from Ireland.

"I said in recent days that this was a once in a generation vote". "Today, the AUL legal team is saddened that the people of Ireland have paved the way for abortion on demand in their country". But I believe we have voted today for the next generation.

Constituents gathered at Dublin Castle in the nation's capital, taking a moment to honor Savita Halappanavar, a dentist who died of sepsis in 2012 during a miscarriage, during which she'd asked several times for an abortion (doctors wouldn't administer one as they could still hear a fetal heartbeat).

  • Joey Payne