Wednesday, 23 October, 2019

Ireland's landslide victory to legalize abortion called "quiet revolution"

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May
Patty Aguilar | 28 May, 2018, 13:27

If the current ban is repealed, the number of places in Europe that outlaw abortions in most circumstances will dwindle down to only a handful of regions including Northern Ireland, likely pushing lawmakers there to weigh reversing course as well. Exit polls also showed that nearly every age group backed repeal with the highest percentage of support coming from voters aged 18 to 24 who voted 88 per cent in favor of dropping the constitutional ban.

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.

Ms O'Connor said the people of Ireland had spoken, and progress needs to happen on the legislation as soon as possible.

She said members of online communities such as "Abroad for Yes" set up "amazing support systems", with people quickly chipping in to buy tickets for would-be voters who couldn't afford the trip home.

Since the collapse of a power sharing administration in Northern Ireland, British officials have been taking major decisions in the region and this means the government could legislate directly despite health being a devolved issue. It "indicates an Ireland that is not the Catholic state for a Catholic people that it was for so long".

Moderator Dr Noble McNeely, former Moderator Dr Trevor Morrow, and Clerk of the General Assembly Rev Trevor Gribben called on the Irish government and politicians in the Republic to keep their promise to make abortion "rare", and to ensure that the unborn with disabilities like Down's Syndrome will not have their lives terminated.

The repeal of the abortion ban is not automatic. 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.

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The issue is considered a devolved matter in the United Kingdom which means the Northern Ireland assembly is responsible for enacting any law on abortion. In 2012, the death of 31-year-old dentist Savita Halappanavar - who died from miscarriage complications after being denied an abortion in the country - became a catalyst for the Irish abortion rights movement. Two years later, the country finally voted to allow divorce. "If I had, I'd wish her to have courage like yours".

O'Brien said she banded together with other Irish citizens who have spent too much time overseas to be eligible to vote to donate money to pay the cost of plane tickets for others.

Like many Irish expatriates who returned home to vote, Coogan says she was motivated by a desire to, in her words, "create a better Ireland for our generation should we want to return, but (also) for the generations that are going to follow us".

It has also said that doctors will not be forced to perform abortions under the new laws, and will be allowed to conscientiously object to offering the procedure at their clinics.

"It is a new time and a change of culture, but it is not something that is out of the blue".

Many people left floral tributes and handwritten notes saying that her death had influenced their decision to vote. However, few expect her to force through any change given the political reality she faces. Ms.

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