Irish abortion vote reflects a new Ireland (that isn't so new)
May 28 2018
Dublin Central posted 76.5 percent for repeal, while two constituencies in the southern capital of Cork City polled 64 percent and nearly 69 percent.
Despite the country's growing diversity and liberalism - voters legalised gay marriage in a 2015 referendum - the result is expected to be close. Her parents in India were quoted by the Irish Times newspaper as thanking their "brothers and sisters" in Ireland and requesting the new law be called "Savita's law".
Frank Gaynor, a 75-year-old retiree, said after the Mass that he never imagined the vote in favor of abortion rights would be so lopsided.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has praised the apparent victory in the abortionreferendum as "the culmination of a quiet revolution" that has been unfolding in the past 10 to 20 years. "They are saying that this is a country in which we trust women and respect their choices".
Independent TD Mattie McGrath, who advocated for a No vote, said the support for repeal was not evident to him on the doorsteps during the campaign.
"It is an opportunity for us to change our country".
In 1992, women were officially given the right to travel overseas, mostly to the United Kingdom, to obtain terminations.
Ireland has been traditionally considered the most Catholic country in the world, where the lion's share of the population attend church services, and where divorce, contraception and abortion have been strictly forbidden. A leading anti-abortion group admitted defeat Saturday.
Halappanavar's father Andanappa Yalagi said, "I hope the people of Ireland remember my daughter Savita on the day of the referendum, and that what happened to her won't happen to any other family".
The vote is a "rejection of an Ireland that treated women as second-class citizens", she said, adding: "This is about women's equality and this day brings massive change, monumental change for women in Ireland, and there is no going back".
Prime Minister Leo Varadkar called the result the culmination of a “quiet revolution.”
Irish Catholics attending Sunday Mass were disappointed with the result of a referendum in which voters opted to legalize abortion and think it reflects the weakening of the church - a situation that was unthinkable in Ireland a generation ago.
Katherine Zappone, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, said she is confident new abortion legislation can be approved by parliament and put in place before the end of the year. "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". She didn't get the medical treatment she needed because of the eighth amendment. Exit polls indicated that the repeal was endorsed in urban and rural areas alike, with strong support from both men and women.
"I always get a little buzz from voting, it just feels like it is democracy in action", Mr Varadkar said after emerging from the polling station at Castleknock. Her death was considered a catalyst for the movement to repeal the eighth amendment, her image becoming a part of the campaign for a "yes" vote.
There have been five previous votes on repealing the Eighth Amendment, all of which failed.
More than two thirds of voters backed the decision to change the law in every constituency in the Republic of Ireland, with the exception of Donegal.
The Government's proposed legislation does not permit abortion on the grounds of pregnancies with diagnosis of disability.
Abortions would be accessible to women who are in their first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
The result in Ireland's historic referendum on relaxing abortion laws has been a "resounding" yes.
"The cost of my travel home from Toronto to vote for a woman's right to choose is less than what I paid for when I was forced to travel to the U.K.to access an abortion", she said in a blog post on Amnesty's website.