No campaigners ‘disingenuous’ in run-up to abortion referendum

by Abel Hampton May 28, 2018, 1:01
No campaigners ‘disingenuous’ in run-up to abortion referendum

It was a battle for the very soul of a traditionally conservative Roman Catholic nation that has seen a wave of liberalization in recent years.

As news of the referendum circulated, Irish citizens living overseas have taken to Twitter to announce that they will be returning to Ireland to take part in the vote, using the hashtag #HomeToVote.

The landslide in favour of liberalising abortion laws in the Irish Republic has now prompted fresh calls for similar action north of the border.

Theresa May said that Friday's referendum "was an impressive show of democracy which delivered a clear and unambiguous result".

The RTE exit poll of 3,779 voters predicts support for the "yes" vote in urban areas to be about 72 per cent, with rural support at about 63 per cent. For opponents, it would be a betrayal of Ireland's commitment to protect the unborn.

The vote also is a key indicator of Ireland's trajectory, three years after the country voted to allow same-sex marriages and a year after its first openly gay prime minister took office.

The church lost much of its credibility in the wake of scandals involving pedophile priests and thousands of unwed mothers who were placed into servitude in Magdalene laundries or mental asylums as recently as the mid-1990s.

Some Irish activists have called abortion "murder", but many campaigners have tried a softer tone, saying Ireland should "love both" the pregnant woman and her unborn baby.

"At no stage has the government held out its hand to these women and said, 'How can I help you?" In the end, 39 voted for repeal.

"I feel safe now, I feel comfortable", she told CNN.

"I believe in life".

With the vote decided, attention is turning to parliament, which will make new laws to govern abortions.

The text says: "The state acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right". That effectively bans all abortions in Ireland, except in cases when the woman's life is at risk. Will be traveling 5,169 miles from LA to Dublin and will be thinking of every Irish woman who has had to travel to access healthcare that should be available in their own country.

If citizens vote in favor of repeal, new abortion laws will then be discussed in parliament.

Varadkar's government now plans to quickly draw up legislation allowing abortions in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Kaposy, however, said the proposed reforms would not allow a Down's syndrome diagnosis to be a reason for an abortion.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has praised the apparent victory in the abortion referendum as "the culmination of a quiet revolution" that has been unfolding in the past 10 to 20 years.

He said he was troubled by the way the "yes" campaign used the case of Savita Halappanavar, a 31-year-old dentist who died of sepsis during a prolonged miscarriage after being denied an abortion in Galway in 2012, to drum up support for repeal.

She said her vote would be one for solidarity and compassion, "a vote to say, I don't send you away anymore".

President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina cast their votes in Dublin on Friday morning.

The vote is a "rejection of an Ireland that treated women as second-class citizens", she said, adding: "This is about women's equality and this day brings massive change, monumental change for women in Ireland, and there is no going back".

Letters to the editor published Friday in the Irish Independent newspaper contained several emotional arguments urging voters to reject the repeal movement. One concern that I heard several people express was that abortion would be used as contraception, an idea that seems to come from the misogynistic myth that the No campaign has helped to conjure, one where women can not be trusted and abortion is "on demand", as if it were a Netflix series.


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