Ireland votes overwhelmingly to repeal anti-abortion law

Ireland votes overwhelmingly to repeal anti-abortion law

"There is no prospect of the (abortion rights) legislation not being passed", McGuirk added.

British Prime Minister Theresa May faces a showdown with ministers and lawmakers in her Conservative party after refusing to back reform of Northern Ireland's highly restrictive abortion rules after neighbouring Ireland's vote to liberalise its laws.

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

Women celebrate the result of yesterday's referendum on liberalizing abortion law, in Dublin, Ireland, May 26, 2018.

In what Prime Minister Leo Varadkar called the "culmination of a quiet revolution" over the past few decades, the "Yes" (on repeal) campaign won a landslide victory in a nationwide referendum.

Varadkar claimed Ireland was united - with men and women, almost every age group and every social class opting for reform in Friday's referendum.

About 170,000 Irish women have travelled to the United Kingdom and other places for the procedure since 1980.

On Friday, Irish voters overturned the 8th Amendment to Ireland's Constitution, which made it illegal for women to have abortions in the country barring extremely extenuating circumstances. But he said the vote must be respected. "I have no words to express my gratitude to the people of Ireland at this historic moment", he said.

"The final result of the Referendum is the will of the majority of the people, though not all the people". "That would be wrong".

Voters were asked whether they wanted to keep or repeal the Eighth Amendment to Ireland's Constitution, which requires authorities to treat a fetus and its mother as equals under the law.

More news: Ireland referendum: Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, abortion rights groups claim win

Meanwhile, the anti-abortion organization American Life League joined the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children to criticize Irish voters for the decision.

The ban has led to thousands of women travelling each year to neighbouring Britain, where terminations are legal, or increasingly turning to abortion pills sold online.

Ireland's Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone said she was grateful to the voters for repealing the eighth amendment.

"I said in recent days that this was a once in a generation vote", he says.

Donohue stressed that the fight for abortion rights isn't over, as it's now up to Parliament to determine the legislation governing abortion in Ireland. "We will have a modern constitution for a modern country".

The government proposes that women be allowed to terminate pregnancies in the first 12 weeks.

One poll by national broadcaster RTE suggested around 70 per cent of the electorate have voted to end the country's all but blanket ban on terminations, with another, by The Irish Times, recording 68 per cent in favour of ditching the prohibition.

It indicated that about 72 percent of women voted "yes" along with about 66 percent of men.

Exit polls showed repeal voters, known as "Yes voters", winning by a margin of over two to one.

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