Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

Irish antiabortion campaign promises to 'regroup' as ban is overturned

Women celebrate the result of yesterday's referendum on liberalizing abortion law in Dublin How Tragic Death Of An Indian Woman Sparked History-Making Vote In Ireland
| 28 May, 2018, 17:10

A traditionally Catholic country, Ireland voted by a landslide to ditch its strict abortion laws in a referendum that Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said lifted decades of stigma and shame.

Varadkar said he wanted the law in force by the end of the year and Health Minister Simon Harris told AFP that the cabinet would meet on Tuesday to approve the drafting of legislation.

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

If the Yes vote is confirmed, the Irish Government intends to legislate by the end of the year to make it relatively easy for a woman to obtain the procedure in early pregnancy.

Since 2013, abortions have been allowed in Ireland only in cases of life-threatening conditions.

And in the wake of their successful campaign, the Together for Yes coalition said naming the law after her would recognise the "great debt" the people of Ireland owe Mrs Halappanvar.

"Wonderful, wonderful, today is wonderful!" said 65-year-old Eileen Shields, who had been ostracised for falling pregnant outside of marriage when she was 18.

The plan is to allow abortions during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and in special cases after the first trimester, likely ending the trail of Irish women who go elsewhere - mostly to neighboring Britain - by the thousands each year for abortions they can't get at home.

"I would be surprised if New Zealand wasn't like Ireland, in the sense that views and attitudes to this issue. are changing". Many traveled overseas to undergo the procedure, and others bought pills online.

He told BBC's Sunday Politics the United Kingdom government was acting as a "caretaker" administration in the absence of Stormont, and "that must not be used to make fundamental constitutional, ethical changes on behalf of the people in Northern Ireland".

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar votes as Ireland holds a referendum on liberalizing its law on abortion in Dublin
Ireland Votes To Lift Its Abortion Ban, Exit Polls Show

In the lead-up to the Irish Referendum, thousands of Irish people living overseas flew home so they could cast their ballot, sharing their stories using the hashtag #HomeToVote.

"I said in recent days that this was a once-in-a-generation vote". "The people will not take direction from the church any more".

Since 1983, around 170,000 Irish women have gone overseas for terminations.

"Pro-life means radically rediscovering in all our lives a special love for the poor that is the mark of the followers of Jesus", Dr Martin said, adding that reshaping the Church of tomorrow must be marked by a radical rediscovery of its roots.

Reform in Ireland also raised the prospect that women in Northern Ireland, where abortion is still illegal, may start travelling south of the border.

Sinn Fein and the SDLP, the two major parties representing Northern Ireland's Irish Catholics, and the cross-community Alliance Party, back overturning the ban.

Andrew Little said the result of the Irish referendum indicated that attitudes and values towards abortion were changing. Her name has become a cry of protest and several women took to the streets, chanting her name.

"It is a criminal offence in Northern Ireland and we have absolutely had enough of it".

"Ireland had a culture of silence and that's broken now", Mr. Tyrrell said.


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