Ireland's landslide abortion result is putting Theresa May's DUP deal at risk

Posted May 28, 2018

Some worshippers said the overwhelming victory of abortion rights activists seeking the repeal of the Eighth Amendment of the constitution reflects a weakening of the Catholic Church's historic influence and fills them with dread for Ireland's future.

Savita's husband, Praveen Halappanavar had said that he and his wife had repeatedly asked for the pregnancy to be terminated after her admission to hospital, but they had been told: "This is a Catholic country".

"I am religious but the church has definitely lost influence here because of the scandals", she said.

Northern Ireland only allows terminations if a woman's life is at risk. Other MPs from all parties have begun pushing for a vote in parliament on the issue and on Saturday the leader of Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland, Michelle O'Neill, held up a sign after the vote count that said: "The North is next". "Our daughter's soul is now consoled", Savita's parents said.

Another politician from the party, Jim Wells, a former Northern Ireland health minister, said that the result in Ireland was "an extremely worrying development for the protection of the unborn child in Northern Ireland".

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As the UK's 1967 Abortion Act was not extended to Northern Ireland, abortion is effectively outlawed there.

Mr Trudeau urged Mr Varadkar to liberalise Ireland's abortion laws when he visited Dublin previous year, saying choice was a "fundamental human right".

Yes voters celebrate as the result of the Irish referendum on the 8th amendment concerning the country's abortion laws is declared.

The Government has said the time is not right to call a poll on uniting Ireland.

The Spectator writer appears to be equating the majority vote result of the Eighth Referendum to the result of Brexit vote, which is still a bone of contention for many within the UK.

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Ireland's Indian-origin Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who campaigned in favour of liberalisation, said it was "a historic day for Ireland", and that a "quiet revolution" had taken place. All but one of the country's 40 constituencies voted in favor of repeal including traditionally conservative rural counties where support came close to 60 per cent. Varadkar wants to remove the current language on abortion, paving the way for terminations up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy and only in very limited circumstances - such as a fatal abnormality - after that.

On Saturday, the worldwide development secretary, Penny Mordaunt, said Ireland's vote was a "hopeful" day for the north. Amnesty International calls the victory a "momentous win for women's rights" that "marks the beginning of a new Ireland". Exit polls also showed that nearly every age group backed repeal with the highest percentage of support coming from voters aged 18 to 24 who voted 88 per cent in favor of dropping the constitutional ban.

Since 1983, the Eighth Amendment had forced women seeking to terminate pregnancies to go overseas for abortions, bear children conceived through rape or incest, or take risky illegal measures at home.

Backing for repeal was highest among young voters, including many who returned from jobs or universities in continental Europe to vote, but was also high among every age group except those 65 or older.

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