Ireland votes to overturn abortion ban in historic referendum

Ireland votes to overturn abortion ban in historic referendum

The country has had one of Europe's most restrictive abortion laws, which is enshrined in its constitution.

This creates a fresh headache for May who is already struggling to unite her top ministers over plans to leave the European Union and is facing the prospect of a series of rebellions in parliament over her Brexit plans.

'I was really glad to see her father say that yesterday they felt they had justice for their daughter'.

Diarmuid Martin, the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, said the Church could not compromise its position on abortion.

That change will soon leave Northern Ireland, already out of step with Great Britain, as the only part of either the United Kingdom or Ireland where abortion is illegal unless there is a serious risk to a woman's life or health.

"The people have spoken", said Varadkar, a medical doctor who campaigned for repeal in Friday's historic referendum.

"The outcome of the referendum is an extremely worrying development for the protection of the unborn child in Northern Ireland", said Jim Wells, a member of Northern Ireland's socially conservative Democratic Unionist Party.

The Together for Yes coalition said calling the new legislation "Savita's Law" would recognise the "great debt" the Irish people owed to her.

Newspapers reflected on the historic vote.

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"The power of women", was the headline on The Sunday Independent, while The Sunday Business Post ran with "Generation Yes" saying Ireland had wrestled with its past and voted to redefine its future. "Today, the AUL legal team is saddened that the people of Ireland have paved the way for abortion on demand in their country". Many Irish voters returned home to cast their votes, captured in the hashtag #HomeToVote. As a result of the Eighth Amendment to the document, which voters overwhelmingly backed in 1983, the state "acknowledges the right to life of the unborn" and gives the unborn "equal right to life as the mother".

In an address to mass-goers in Maynooth, west of Dublin, Martin said the Church needed to renew its pro-life stance not just in words but in deeds also, Irish media reported.

The nationwide rejection of the amendment represented a growing tolerance on social issues in the traditionally Roman Catholic country.

"What we've seen is the culmination of a quiet revolution that's been taking place in Ireland over the past 20 years", said Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, a center-right politician who supported repealing the abortion ban.

"For him, it's a different Ireland that we're moving onto", said Colm O'Riain, a 44-year-old teacher referring to his son Ruarai, born 14 weeks premature in November who was in his arms.

Belfast priest and Belfast Telegraph commentator Fr Patrick McCafferty said: "It is a dark and sad day for our country".

"We're really a tiny place, there's not that many of us and we can only shout loud now".

His government will propose that abortions be permissible in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Some opposition figures have indicated they won't block legislation because they must respect the public will.

Exit polls showed repeal voters, known as "Yes voters", winning by a margin of over two to one. Voters over the age of 65 were the only ones to come out against the repeal according to projections, with 58.7 percent voting "No". As a result, Irish women would wished to terminate their pregnancies had to seek illegal options within the country - at the risk of being thrown in jail for 14 years - or travel overseas.

Tyronn Lue: LeBron James Will Be Great in Game 6
But, the Cavs struck back with a 34-18 advantage in the second quarter, including a 20-4 run, to take a 54-43 lead into halftime. Terry Rozier scored 28 points to lead the Celtics, who are trying to return to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.

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