Early Irish referendum results show 66% voted to end abortion ban
June 23 2018, 04:41 | Irvin Gilbert
Abortion referendum in Ireland: prime minister hails 'quiet revolution'
Final results from a referendum show that Irish voters have overwhelmingly supported repealing their country's constitutional ban on abortions and having parliament enact laws that reflect the popular vote.
All but one of Ireland's 40 constituencies voted "Yes" and contributed to the 66 percent that carried the proposal, nearly an exact reversal of the 1983 referendum result that inserted the ban into the constitution.
As Ireland now prepares to legislate for abortion in certain circumstances, The Irish Times would like to hear your reaction to the outcome of the referendum, wherever you are in the world.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has praised the apparent victory in the abortion referendum as "the culmination of a quiet revolution" that has been unfolding in the past 10 to 20 years.
A United Nations inquiry into Northern Ireland's abortion laws recently found them to be a grave and systematic violation of women's rights. In practical terms, the amendment outlawed all abortions until 2014, when terminations in rare cases when a woman's life was at risk started being allowed.
The results of the vote led to an outpouring of emotion from the crowd of protestors, with many chanting the "Savita, Savita", in reference to dentist Savita Halappanavar, 31, whose tragic death in 2012 sparked global outrage.
John McGuirk, spokesman for the Save the 8th group, told Irish television Saturday that many Irish citizens will not recognize the country they are waking up in.
Ireland has voted by 66.4% to 33.6% in favour of changing its strict abortion laws.
Ireland's pro-life "Save The 8th" campaign has conceded defeat in the country's historic abortion referendum after exit polls reported a landslide win for those advocating liberalisation.
But Cannon also said he respected the results of the referendum and would "vote to implement the will of our people, as expressed today". Lawmakers are now expected to debate proposed legislation allowing abortions within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and after that in cases of fetal abnormalities or serious risks to the mother's health.
Education minister Anne Milton suggested she would back liberalisation if there was free vote, telling ITV's Peston on Sunday that the current situation "does feel anomalous".
With 66pc of voters backing the Government's proposal to allow abortions in Ireland, Mr Varadkar said: "We have voted to look reality in the eye and we did not blink".
Ailbhe Smyth, a veteran campaigner and co-director of Together4Yes, the national pro-repeal group, is one of those women.
The new legal framework to replace the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution will be drafted over the summer and is set to be tabled in the Dáil in the autumn. But I believe we have voted today for the next generation.
Following the Irish vote, Ms Mordaunt - who is responsible for the women and equalities brief in Government - said the referendum signalled a "historic and great day for Ireland" and a "hopeful one for Northern Ireland".
The poll also suggested that supporters of more liberal abortion laws triumphed throughout the country, not just in the cosmopolitan capital, Dublin, where a strong youth vote had been anticipated.