Thursday, 21 June, 2018

Niall Horan, Hozier, Bastille & More Encourage Votes on Irish Abortion Referendum

Ireland has voted to repeal the country's constitutional ban on abortion Ireland has voted to repeal the country's constitutional ban on abortion
| 26 May, 2018, 16:39

The abortion campaign had gathered steam after an Indian-origin woman died in 2012 after her requests to terminate a 17-week pregnancy were denied by the Catholic country.

Ireland's Minister for Children and Youth Affairs says she is grateful and emotional over with the apparent decision of voters to repeal the constitutional ban on abortions in Friday's landmark referendum.

Marie O'Donnell votes in the historic referendum (Picture: PA) Lorraine Curtin and Petrina Conmee travelled all the way from Portugal to vote in the referendum.

A "no" vote would preserve the 1983 amendment that recognizes the "right to life of the unborn", effectively equating the life of a fetus with the life of a mother.

"Women and girls should not be made into healthcare refugees when they are in a time of crisis", said Niamh Kelly, 27, who paid 800 euros and traveled 20 hours to return home from Hanoi where she works as an English teacher.

If the Eighth Amendment is overturned, it would be a huge "tragedy", said Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life of America.

If the yes vote succeeds, the Irish Government will be able draft legislation on abortions, and is expected to allow unrestricted terminations for up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy.

A prominent pro-life advocate in the country, Cora Sherlock Tweeted in response to news of the surveys: "Exit polls, if accurate, paint a very sad state of affairs tonight".


People pass a mural as Ireland goes to the polls to vote in the referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution.

After the "Yes" vote is confirmed in official results, the eighth amendment of Ireland's constitution will be repealed. "Women living in counties with highly restrictive abortion laws would have cause for hope that significant change can be achieved". A shrine dedicated to her sprang up on Friday, adorned by flowers and messages from those who voted Yes to the proposed repeal of the Eighth Amendment.

The Together For Yes organisation said: "This is a vote for dignity and decency".

Thousands of Irish women every year cross the channel to have an abortion in the UK.

Voting has already taken place on Ireland's remote islands so that paper ballots can be taken to the mainland and counted in time.

The country's largest newspaper, the Irish Independent described the result as "a massive moment in Ireland's social history".

Happalanavar's face has become the symbol of the "Yes" campaign to end the abortion ban. "I've a family myself and I think it's really important", said John Devlin, a marketing worker in his 50s voting "No" near Dublin's city center.

Legal abortion will likely continue to be a contentious topic in Ireland, as it is in the US. The poll says that 68 percent voted yes, and 32 percent voted against. The consequent prohibition on abortion was partly lifted in 2013 for cases where the mother's life is in danger. It would also likely end the need for thousands of Irish women to travel overseas - mostly to neighbouring Britain - for abortions.

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