Irish travel from around world, including Boston, to overturn abortion ban

Geneva Stokes
May 28, 2018

Varadkar said on Saturday that he planned to implement a new abortion law by the end of the year.

The Irish people voted Friday to repeal a 1983 constitutional amendment banning abortion rights for women with 66.4% in favor, a almost 2-1 victory for the nation's "yes" campaign, BBC reports.

The decision would seek to take some of the pressure off families between now and new legislation overturning the ban, which is expected to pass by the end of the year.

French President Emmanuel Macron says that Ireland has made history with its abortion referendum in which voters chose to abolish a ban on terminations.

Its repeal will mark a significant victory for women's rights in Ireland.

More than 130 members of Britain's parliament, including lawmakers in the ruling Conservative party, are prepared to back an amendment to a new domestic violence bill to allow abortions in Northern Ireland, the Sunday Times newspaper reported.

The first vote I ever cast was in one of the six referendaums that Ireland has had on abortion.

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.

"We have always opposed "abortion on demand" but have recognised that exceptional cases such as rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormalities may give rise to termination, and we would wish to see these provided for in the new legislation".

The current situation "does feel anomalous", she told ITV's Peston on Sunday. "Yes" campaigners had argued that with pills now being bought illegally online abortion was already a reality in Ireland. It "indicates an Ireland that is not the Catholic state for a Catholic people that it was for so long".

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The Together For Yes organisation said: "This is a vote for dignity and decency".

The Church's influence has crumbled in recent years due to a series of child sex abuse scandals.

Diarmuid Martin, the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, said the Church could not compromise its position on abortion.

"It's incredible how the Irish at home and overseas came together to make this happen", she said. "Pro-life means radically rediscovering in all our lives a special love for the poor", he reportedly said.

No social issue has divided Ireland's 4.8 million people as sharply as abortion, which was pushed up the political agenda by the death in 2012 of a 31-year-old Indian immigrant from a septic miscarriage after she was refused a termination.

Mrs Halappanvar's death in 2012 helped to spark passionate calls to reform abortion law in Ireland.

Following the announcement at Dublin Castle, the taoiseach (prime minister) Leo Varadkar, who campaigned in favour of repealing, said it was "a historic day for Ireland". "It should be named for her".

"For him (his son), it's a different Ireland that we're moving onto".

Another demonstrator from Belfast said the Republic of Ireland was "giving a voice to women". "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".

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