Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Northern Ireland under pressure after historic abortion vote

Northern Ireland under pressure after historic abortion vote

ABORTION rights activists proclaimed victory for social justice Saturday as exit polls and early results indicated Ireland had voted overwhelmingly to repeal a 1983 constitutional ban on abortions. The guidance came after some priests had threatened their congregations that they would not be able to receive Communion if they voted "yes", according to people who attended the Masses.

Ireland's prime minister on Saturday hailed the culmination of "a quiet revolution" in what was once one of Europe's most socially conservative countries after a landslide referendum vote to liberalize highly restrictive laws on abortion.

If the ban is scrapped, the government plans to vote on a new law that was proposed by the Citizen's Assembly, a public body established to address moral and ethical issues in Ireland.

"Friday's referendum has no impact upon the law in Northern Ireland, but we obviously take note of issues impacting upon our nearest neighbour", DUP leader Arlene Foster said in a statement.

"We will have a modern constitution for a modern country", said Varadkar, who in 2014 said, "I consider myself to be pro-life in that I accept that the unborn child is a human life with rights".

"While the government can say that abortion is a devolved issue, human rights are not, and the collapse of the [Northern Ireland] assembly means that the power to right this wrong lies exclusively in Westminster", added Clare Murphy, director of external affairs at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, a national charity that provides abortion services. "All of us have underestimated our country", she said before breaking down in tears.

Chants of "Yes we did" rose from the crowd as the Referendum Commission's Returning Officer Barry Ryan announced the final results. This is a question I've asked quite a few times over the last months while canvasing for the local elections in London. That number has fallen dramatically in recent years as women turned to online websites to illegally import drugs that end pregnancies.

Still, many who voted in favor of same-sex marriage and laws easing rules around abortion - such as allowing women to travel overseas to get it - found the latest measure a step too far. "This has been a great exercise in democracy and the people have spoken".

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While repealing the Eighth amendment of the constitution enshrining the equal right to life of mother and baby would not immediately introduce abortion, it would pave the way for the Government to do just that.

The country once known for its strong Catholic heritage and identity voted in 2015 to amend its constitution to permit same-sex "marriage".

"The irony that the referendum on abortion is being held on International Missing Children's Day will not be lost on many Irish people", he tweeted.

If you are an Irish citizen living overseas you can not be added to the Register of Electors.The only exception to this is the case of Irish officials on duty overseas (and their spouses) who may register on the Postal Voters List.

Steve Wilson said he'd travelled for a total of 27.5 hours to make it back in time to cast his yes vote in the hope of repealing the 8th amendment.

For many supporters of legalising abortion, the result was an affirmation of their respect and acceptance by society. "However, a wrong does not become right simply because a majority support it". If and when abortion clinics are opened in Ireland, because of the inability of the Government to keep their promise about a GP led service, we will oppose that as well. He gave his word on this, now he must deliver on it.

Twitter user Lauryn Canny wrote that she was travelling more than 5,000 miles from Los Angeles to Dublin in order to vote on 25 May. Almost 66.4 percent of voters supported the repeal, in contrast to the 33.6 percent who voted against the repeal.

"What happened in the referendum vote was seismic, but more seismic still was the realisation that this vote was reflecting change, not just instigating it".

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