Irish abortion vote: 'propagandistic' use of children with Down's syndrome condemned

Three referendums were held in 1992, resulting in the adoption of the 13th and 14th amendments.

After many recent years of concerns over women dying or traveling out of the country to access such services, between 2017 and 2018, the center-right government under Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, the country's first multi-racial and openly gay head of government, have chose to allow the referendum on the constitutional amendment's repeal to be set for May. Unsurprisingly, the relationship between the landslide Yes vote and Ireland's traditionally Catholic identity was a major hook for many covering the story.

But that compromise was dismissed by Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, a medical doctor who favours repealing the constitutional ban.

"A quiet revolution has taken place", Varadkar, who became Ireland's first openly gay prime minister previous year, said in a speech after the vote.

It is frustrating to watch other men tell female canvassers that "my vote is none of your business"; part of the problem is that continued inaction has meant that an alphabet of women, from Ms ABC to X, have had their intimate business dragged across courts and papers, while governments fail to spell "justice". "We are not a divided country", he said.

Emma Gallagher, 22, began crying as she heard the final results.

"We call on the Government to support legislation to extend abortion rights to Northern Ireland", she said. It was the first time I had done that.

Thousands of people packed the square in front of Dublin Castle as abortion rights politicians, including Varadkar, also joined the celebration.

Irish deputy premier Simon Coveney described it as a vote to put a "more compassionate and appropriate" policy in place, one that helped and respected women in vulnerable circumstances. Today, we as a people have spoken.


Anti-abortion campaigners have claimed in poster ads that repealing the 8th amendment would lead to widespread aborting of foetuses diagnosed with Down's syndrome.

Thousands of Irish citizens living overseas have travelled home in droves to exercise their democratic right on the emotive issue. For many, the victory was vindication after years of opposing the abortion ban, which required Irish authorities to defend the lives of a woman and a fetus as equals under the law from the moment of conception.

Pro-life leader John McGuirk said he was "heartbroken" at the apparent result, and warned the implications of the vote will go beyond abortion.

"We're really a tiny place, there's not that many of us and we can only shout loud now". "However, a wrong does not become right simply because a majority support it". 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". Anti-abortion campaigners actively discouraged its participation, preferring to emphasize moral values and human rights rather than religion, possibly to avoid being tarnished by the church-related scandals. Savita Halappanavar, 31, died in 2012 because of complications from a natural miscarriage after abortion was denied to her.

Voters over 65 were the only age group overall not supporting the repeal of the amendment.

The issue is considered a devolved matter in the United Kingdom which means the Northern Ireland assembly is responsible for enacting any law on abortion.

Ireland's overwhelming vote to ease restrictions on abortion has sent shockwaves across the island and in Britain where it has prompted calls for Northern Ireland to follow suit.


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