Largely Roman Catholic Ireland votes 2-to-1 to repeal abortion ban

Largely Roman Catholic Ireland votes 2-to-1 to repeal abortion ban

Largely Roman Catholic Ireland votes 2-to-1 to repeal abortion ban

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O'Neill, leader of Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland, hold up a placard as they celebrate the result of yesterday's referendum on liberalizing abortion law, in Dublin, Ireland, May 26, 2018.

Varadkar claimed Ireland was united - with men and women, almost every age group and every social class opting for reform in Friday's referendum. As a result, hundreds of women travel to England every year for the procedure or buy drugs illegally online.

Sarah Wollaston, the chair of the health select committee and a lawmaker in May's party, said she would support the proposed amendment and said Northern Ireland should at least be given a vote to decide.

Now, nearly six years on from her unexpected death, voters have agreed to remove the Republic of Ireland's constitutional ban on abortion and there have been calls to name the new legislation Savita's Law. More than 66 per cent of voters wanted an end to the ban. "The people have said that we want a modern constitution for a modern country, that we trust women and we respect them to make the right decision and the right choices about their health care". Its repeal will mark a significant victory for women's rights in Ireland.

The 31-year-old woman's death had triggered a massive debate in that country over the issue of life-saving abortions. But in a landslide, Irish voters rejected the amendment.

Murals of Savita began to appear around Dublin as Friday's referendum approached, and activists carried placards with her face and name as they urged people to vote in favour of repealing the 8th amendment.

Earlier, the No campaigners conceded defeat.

Ailbhe Smyth, co-ordinator of the campaign group, said this was a historic moment for the country that made women feel equal again. Sources said there would not be a free vote or referendum.

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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. He now expects new abortion legislation to come into effect by the end of the year.

"I think that Theresa May, really as a self-identifying feminist, needs to say "yes, I unveil statues of suffragists in Parliament Square, but the test of my feminism will be whether I guarantee fundamental human rights for women".

He also wanted to thank the people of Ireland for going out and voting. Many Irish voters returned home to cast their votes, captured in the hashtag #HomeToVote.

Halappanavar, who moved to Ireland with her husband Praveen, died of sepsis in Galway in 2012 after being denied an abortion during a protracted miscarriage.

In the past polls reveals that there is a strong support in Northern Ireland to relax abortion laws in some circumstances, but not to the extend as the rest of the UK.

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.

A woman seeking a termination from a medical practitioner will have to undergo a three-day waiting period.

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