Ireland Votes Overwhelmingly to Legalize Abortion

Ireland Votes Overwhelmingly to Legalize Abortion

Ireland Votes Overwhelmingly to Legalize Abortion

"For decades, Irish women have been forced to travel hundreds of miles to our clinics in England, often alone, at a huge personal and emotional cost", said Clare Murphy of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service.

Dr Peter Boylan, the former master of Ireland's National Maternity Hospital, added that under Irish law an abortion would have been illegal because there was "not a real and substantial risk to her life at that stage".

The specific question people were asked was whether they wanted to see the Eighth Amendment replaced with wording in the constitution that would hand politicians the responsibility to set future laws on abortion, unhindered by constitutional strictures.

The vote is being seen as a big political boost for prime minister Leo Varadkar (or Taoiseach as the office is referred to in Ireland).

The first vote I ever cast was in one of the six referendaums that Ireland has had on abortion.

"I want to thank you so much", he said. The referendum states that abortions should only be performed when the mother's life is in immediate danger, as fetuses have an "equal" right to life.

In 2012, 31-year-old dentist Savita Halappanavar died from a septic miscarriage after being denied an abortion in Ireland - an tragic, cruel incident that helped spur the campaign to repeal the country's ultra-restrictive stance on abortion, codified in the Eighth Amendment. "This is about women taking their rightful place in Irish society, finally".

She congratulated the Irish people and the successful "Yes" campaign. A subsequent amendment was added allowing Irish women and girls to seek abortions overseas, and about 170,000 of them done so since 1980, The Journal reported.

A pure pup to celebrate a wonderful victory.

Campaigners for change, wearing "Repeal" jumpers and "Yes" badges, gathered at count centres, many in tears and hugging each other.

One of dozens of messages left at a memorial to Savita Halappanava in Dublin after Ireland voted to liberalise abortion laws in a referendum
Ireland Votes To Lift Its Abortion Ban, Exit Polls Show

Opponents of the repeal movement conceded defeat earlier.

John McGuirk, spokesman for the Save the 8th group, told Irish television Saturday that many Irish citizens will not recognize the country they are waking up in.

Many people left floral tributes and handwritten notes saying that her death had influenced their decision to vote.

The RTE poll indicated that about 72 percent of women voted "yes" along with about 66 percent of men.

Younger voters showed more support for overturning the amendment than older voters, according to RTÉ exit poll projections. Perhaps as a result of the stress and anticipation of the huge, important vote, people went absolutely mad when a gorgeous hound was hoisted into the air, like Simba from The Lion King.

The prime minister is facing calls from within her cabinet and from opposition parties to scrap the strict rules on abortion in Northern Ireland, bringing the law in the province in line with the rest of the United Kingdom.

The proposed legislation that will be introduced by the Government will allow abortions within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

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

He said Saturday would be remembered as the day that historically deeply socially conservative Ireland "stepped out from under the last of our shadows and into the light".

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