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m3n4.net December 12, 2018


Britain's May faces calls to relax Northern Ireland abortion rules

27 May 2018, 02:14 | Tara Lloyd

Britain's May faces calls to relax Northern Ireland abortion rules

People from the

VOTERS in Limerick have been thanked for their support as the referendum on removing the eighth amendment looks set to pass.

The first to declare was Galway East, a traditionally conservative constituency in the west that nonetheless returned a large majority for repealing the abortion ban by a?60.2 percent to 39.8 percent vote.

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar pledged to introduce new legislation by the end of the year, labelling the change "the culmination of a quiet revolution".

"I said in recent days that this was a once in a generation vote". But I believe we have voted today for the next generation.

"The people have spoken", Mr. Varadkar said following Friday's vote.

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.

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Researchers estimate that approximately 3,500 Irish citizens travel to England every year to have abortions, while another 2,000 order abortion pills from the internet.

A spokesman for an anti-abortion umbrella group, Save The 8th, conceded there was "no prospect" the country's abortion ban, imposed in a 1983 referendum, would be retained.

The vote divided political parties, saw the once-mighty Catholic Church take a back seat, with the campaign defined by women on both sides publicly describing their personal experiences of terminations. Current law prohibits all abortions in Ireland, except when the life of the mother is at risk.

FILE PHOTO: People celebrate the result of yesterday's referendum on liberalizing abortion law, in Dublin, Ireland, May 26, 2018. More than 1,000 people gathered outside the castle, singing, chanting, and toasting one another with champagne as they waited for the official announcement.

Ministers have promised to allow terminations within the first 12 weeks, subject to medical advice and a cooling-off period, and between 12 and 24 weeks in exceptional circumstances.

Northern Ireland's assembly can bring its abortion laws in line with the rest of the United Kingdom.

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One of Ireland's leading anti-abortion groups says the abortion referendum result is a "tragedy of historic proportions" in a statement that all but admits defeat in the historic vote. The constitutional amendment completely banning abortion, even risking the life of the mother, was their last bastion.

Surprisingly, the poll also suggests that supporters of more liberal abortion laws may have triumphed throughout the country, not just in the cosmopolitan capital, Dublin, where a strong youth vote had been anticipated.

"Wonderful, wonderful, today is wonderful!" said Eileen Shields, wearing a sticker reading "We made history". And it has finally shown compassion and granted the right to self-determination to Irish women.

According to the Sunday Times, four former holders of the role - Amber Rudd, Justine Greening, Nicky Morgan and Maria Miller - all support Ms Mordaunt in her backing for change in Northern Ireland.

At Dublin Castle, Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald and deputy leader Michelle O'Neill held up a banner with the words: "The North is next".

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