Ireland’s fresh abortion law could be named after Savita Halappanavar

28 May, 2018, 17:15 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Quiet revolution’ Ireland votes to legalize abortion

In Ireland, it's being called a quiet revolution and a victory for women.

The vote is being seen as a big political boost for prime minister Leo Varadkar (or Taoiseach as the office is referred to in Ireland). The turnout was 64 percent.

Ireland voted to repeal the eighth amendment to their constitution by a landslide Friday opening the path to legalizing abortion.

Ireland's Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone said Saturday she is confident new abortion legislation can be approved by parliament and put in place before the end of the year.

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

Ailbhe Smyth, 71, co-director of the official Together for Yes campaign, said real-life testimonies from women affected by the ban had helped swing the vote.

Friday's referendum follows months of bitter debate between "Yes" and "No" campaigners on whether or not the country's Eighth Amendment - which acknowledges the embryo's right to life "with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother" - should be scrapped.

Citizens had been asked to decide whether to retain or repeal the Amendment, which prohibits terminations unless a mother's life is in danger, but not in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality.

With the vote making newspaper frontpages across the world, French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter that "Ireland has once again made history". "It's more of a relief", said Lynda Cosgrave, a 35-year-old legal associate, wearing the black sweatshirt with "Repeal" in white that become the symbol of the youthful "Yes" campaign.

The large crowd cheered Varadkar as he took to the stage to thank them for "trusting women and respecting their choices".

Mural of Savita Halappanavar in Dublin Ireland
Mural of Savita Halappanavar in Dublin Ireland

Since 1983, the now-repealed Eighth Amendment had forced women seeking to terminate pregnancies to go overseas for abortions, bear children conceived through rape or incest, or take illegal measures at home.

Mr Wells called on Northern Ireland's anti-abortion movement to "redouble its efforts" to prevent any change of the law there.

Sinn Fein's party leaders from both sides of the border held up a placard at Dublin Castle reading: "The North is next".

"I knew people on Facebook who changed their photo to hers, or who shared her photo".

Earlier this week a mural popped up of her outside The Bernard Shaw, and people have been leaving flowers and heartbreaking messages on its wall.

A leading Irish obstetrician told the inquest that Savita would probably have survived if she had got a termination in the first three days of her stay in the hospital.

Ireland's Health Minister Simon Harris will seek the cabinet's approval for the draft legislation, allowing abortion on request up to the 12th week of pregnancy and under limited circumstances, up to the 23rd week, the MSN report further added.

Save The 8th spokesman McGuirk appealed for tolerance and respect from "those who find themselves in the majority now".

In Ireland though, the once all-powerful Catholic Church, which has seen its public influence collapse since the 1980s after a string of child sex abuse scandals, took a back seat throughout the referendum campaign.

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