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Ireland Votes Overwhelmingly To Overturn 8th Amendment, Ending Abortion Ban

After a voter turnout of approximately 64.1%, the results are in for Ireland’s referendum to overturn the nation’s 8th Amendment, which bans abortion. 66.4% voted to overturn the 8th, while 33.6% voted against.

Ireland’s progressive Taoiseach (Prime Minister) sent out a tweet Saturday morning praising the "quiet revolution" that he sees occurring:

Prior to the referendum, self-induced abortion was already illegal in Ireland. However, in 1983, a referendum was held to vote on an 8th Amendment, which granted "equal" rights to the unborn:

The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.

There were challenges and mutations in Irish law in the years that followed, as reported by The Independent, however, the 8th Amendment essentially kept clinical abortions from taking place in Ireland. In 1983, the Amendment was passed by 66.9% of voters, while 33.1% dissented – almost the exact inverse of Saturday’s vote.

Ireland’s 13th and 14th Amendments, passed in 1992, allowed for travel outside of the country to receive abortions, and allowed for the distribution of information regarding abortion in other locales, respectively.

It’s expected that under the new law, which will be drafted as soon as possible, abortion within the first 12 weeks of gestation will be legalized.

The Guardian reports: "Between 12 and 24 weeks, abortion will be available only in cases of fatal foetal abnormality, a risk to a woman’s life or a risk of serious harm to the health of the mother. After 24 weeks, termination will be possible in cases of fatal foetal abnormality."

 
 
 

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