Republic of Ireland votes Yes to reformation of abortion legislation

People from the

Ireland introduced a constitutional ban on abortion following a 1983 referendum.

After 66.4% of the country voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment, there were jubilant scenes at Dublin Castle as the Taoiseach and number of Irish politicians were joined by members of the public.

Ireland's parliament will now be tasked with coming up with new abortion laws, and that's where opponents of repeal said they would take their fight following the referendum result.

"I'd like to thank the people of Limerick, they've showed great compassion".

Abortion will not immediately be available to women within Ireland.

Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who campaigned to repeal the laws, had called the vote a once-in-a-generation chance and voters responded by turning out in droves. "Having shared our stories and shared our experiences, if people had voted "no" what would that have meant for us?" Some said it seemed as if almost everyone on their flights was headed home to vote yes on the repeal.

"This is a huge step forward for Ireland", Mr Coveney said.

Ailbhe Smyth, a veteran campaigner and co-director of Together4Yes, the national pro-repeal group, is one of those women.

"The truth is not established by popular consensus", said Mark Hickey, who voted no, while observing the official ballot count. There, approximately 1,000 women travel to England each year to have an abortion or buy abortion pills online. Amnesty International Ireland and the Abortion Rights Campaign, for instance, were required to return political grants of $150,000 and $25,000, respectively, to George Soros's Open Society Foundations.

The decisive outcome of the landmark referendum held Friday exceeded expectations and was cast as a historic victory for women's rights.

Northern Ireland's elected assembly has the right to bring its abortion laws in line with the rest of the United Kingdom, but voted against doing so in February 2016 and the assembly has not sat since the devolved government collapsed in January 2017.

The next battleground is likely to be Ireland's parliament, where the government led by Varadkar hopes to capitalize on the fresh momentum and enact legislation spelling out the conditions under which abortions will be legal for the first time by the end of this year.

"The Irish referendum, if it shows anything that relevant to us, it's that attitudes are changing and people aren't tied down by more moralistic consideration of this issue", he said. 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.

Under current law, the practice of abortion in Ireland is illegal, unless the mother's life is deemed to be endangered. He said that majority reigned among both men and women, nearly all age groups and social classes, and perhaps every constituency in the country.

Varadkar said on Saturday that he planned to implement a new abortion law by the end of the year.

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald, centre, celebrates with people from the "Yes" campaign.

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