Theresa May Under Pressure Amid Ireland Abortion Referendum

Hugh Fox
May 28, 2018

But a referendum vote Friday, with a record-breaking 65 percent turnout, resulted in a landslide overturning of the amendment, which was considered one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the developed world.

Speaking ahead of the official result on Saturday afternoon, Varadkar said the success of the campaign was down to a number of "very courageous women and men" who told their stories and their experiences of how this "hard law created so many hard cases".

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.

Since 1983, the Eighth Amendment had forced women seeking to terminate pregnancies to go overseas for abortions, bear children conceived through rape or incest, or take risky illegal measures at home.

Ireland's parliament will be charged with coming up with new abortion laws in the coming months.

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

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Prime Minister Leo Varadkar hailed the result, calling it a "quiet revolution" in Ireland. Remarkable day. A quiet revolution has taken place, a great act of democracy.

Varadkar said he'd like to pass legislation for a new abortion law by the end of the year, according to The Guardian. "I'm especially grateful to the women of Ireland who came forward to provide their personal testimony about the hard times that they endured, the stress and the trauma that they experienced because of the eighth amendment".

By the time her life was at risk, it was too late to save her with a termination.

"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.

The opposition Labour party called on the government to support legislation to extend abortion rights in Northern Ireland because women are being denied fundamental rights.

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.

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"A vote for the freedom to choose, a vote for women's rights, a vote for women's control over their bodies, a vote for women's health & safety, a vote towards equality", she proudly said.

In a tweet following yesterday's referendum result, which showed a two-to-one Yes vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment, Dr Martin said he will pay tribute to those who "made such a huge effort to remind us that in pregnancy we are dealing with two lives - both in need of love, respect and protection".

He said the government will now move quickly to legalize abortion.

The situation in Ireland will continue to change, and it's possible that the now proposed procedures will shift as politicians finalize the details.

Once passed, women in Ireland will be able to obtain first-trimester abortions in Irish hospitals. She died on October 28 and her dead resulted in a massive uproar - nationally as well as internationally and it led to a movement to repeal the eighth amendment which prohibited abortion.

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

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