Ireland votes in support of repealing anti-abortion law
Irish people on Saturday voted in favor of repealing their country’s constitutional ban on abortions, APA reports citing local media.
Over 66.40 percent of the people on a record turnout of 64.51 percent voted in favor of repealing the 8th Amendment of the Irish constitution in which abortion had been made illegal, the RTE News reported citing final results.
The group campaigning in favor of the amendment gained only 33.60%.
“What we have seen today is a culmination of a quiet revolution that’s beentaking place in Ireland,” Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said to RTE News regarding the high profile referendum.
“This has been a great exercise of democracy and the people have spoken,” Varadkar said, adding that “The people have said that we want a modern constitution for a modern country”.
The Irish Prime Minister spoke as constituencies began declaring their results.
The Catholic Church, traditionally has held an influential sway over Irish society and as a result has been one of the most conservative societies in Europe.
However, due to recurring scandals and Ireland becoming increasingly multicultural, the Church’s influence has been significantly weakened.
The 8th Amendment of the Irish constitution, introduced in1983, recognized the equal right of the mother and the unborn child, made it illegal for an individual to undergo an abortion and would be subject to a criminal penalty.
The amendment has long been criticized for denying pregnant women the choice to abort their child and had forced many to travel abroad to undertake the procedure.
However, with this latest result, the Irish health minister will seek cabinet approval to turn the government’s draft abortion law into a formal legislative text and the government will work to legalize abortion by the end of the year.
“That says to me that we are a nation that’s not divided, we’re actually a nation that is united and that we want to make this change,” Varadkar said one last time before leaving.
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