Published: Sun, May 27, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Ireland votes overwhelmingly to repeal anti-abortion law

Ireland votes overwhelmingly to repeal anti-abortion law

"The wrenching pain of decades of mistreatment of Irish women can not be unlived", said Varadkar, who backed repeal. "And we say that we trust women and respect women to make their own decisions and their own choices".

Women celebrate the result of yesterday's referendum on liberalizing abortion law, in Dublin, Ireland, May 26, 2018.

While the Irish Government plans to bring in legislation by the end of the year, the referendum result will not affect Northern Ireland, where cases of rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormality are not considered grounds for a legal termination.

Although Irish women have been unhappy with the amendment since it was first introduced, it would take almost 25 years for it to be overturned. "It's an Ireland that is more tolerant, more inclusive and where he can be whatever he wants without fear of recrimination", said Colm O'Riain, a 44-year-old teacher with his son Ruarai, who was born 14 weeks premature in November.

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.

But opponents of the repeal movement have conceded they have no chance of victory.

"I obviously would have preferred if they had come down on the other", John McGuirk, communications director for the "Save the 8th" campaign, said on Saturday.

Campaigning ahead of Friday's referendum was often divisive and there was concern over foreign influence on Ireland's vote after revelations of meddling in the us election.

The final result was declared by the Referendum Returning Officer Barry Ryan after 6pm this evening. "That would be wrong". The clause inserted into our constitution in 1983 that bestowed on the "unborn" a right to life equal to that of a pregnant woman can at last be removed.

If the projected numbers hold up, the referendum would be a landmark in Irish women's fight for abortion rights. As a result, thousands of Irish women make the trip overseas, often to England, to have an abortion.

Savita's family have been campaigning for the repeal, and her father Andanappa Yalagi said last week, "I strongly feel that the younger daughters of Ireland should not have the fate of Savita".

Ireland has voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution by a decisive margin in a referendum that marks a significant moment in the country's history.

Ireland's vote will likely put pressure on Northern Ireland to change its abortion laws, too. "Today, the AUL legal team is saddened that the people of Ireland have paved the way for abortion on demand in their country". The government has proposed allowing abortions during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, with later terminations allowed in some cases.

The magnitude of the predicted victory exceeded the expectations of abortion rights activists.

The eighth amendment of the Irish constitution imposed one of the world's most restrictive bans on the procedure.

Counting is under way in the Irish referendum with exit polls suggesting voters backed a law change.

Results from the first four of 40 constituencies to declare showed 66.36 percent voted "Yes" and 33.64 percent voted "No", on a 62 percent turnout, the central count centre in Dublin announced.

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