Ireland voted decisively to repeal one of the world’s more restrictive abortion bans, sweeping aside generations of conservative patriarchy and the vast influence of the Roman Catholic Church.
The long awaited results, reflected in the numbers announced on Saturday, May 26th, cemented the nation’s liberal shift at a time when right-wing populism is on the rise in Europe and the Trump administration is imposing curbs on abortion rights in the United States. In the past three years alone, Ireland has installed a gay man as prime minister and has voted in another referendum to allow same-sex marriage.
The “yes” camp of the #Repealthe8th referendum took more than 66 percent of the vote, according to the official tally, and turnout was about 64 percent. This was preceded by years of advocacy on national, regional and international level by Irish women’s groups, human rights activists and international organisations.
Minister for Health Simon Harris said that he would introduce legislation allowing for abortion on request up to the 12th week of pregnancy, and thereafter in specific circumstances and seek to have it passed by the end of the year.
The positive result of the referendum and repealing of the 8th amendment to the Irish constitution will have vast consequences for the entire Europe and women across the globe.