Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Irish Catholics interpret support for abortion as ‘anti-church vote’

Irish Catholics interpret support for abortion as ‘anti-church vote’

Labour has said it is committed to extending abortion rights to Northern Ireland and that it would be "looking at legislative options" to try to orchestrate a vote in the Commons.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said Ireland's vote was a "hopeful" day for Northern Ireland.

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

With exit polls showing a win for abortion rights campaigners, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar called the apparent victory the "culmination of a quiet revolution".

The Irish people voted Friday to repeal a 1983 constitutional amendment banning abortion rights for women with 66.4% in favor, a almost 2-1 victory for the nation's "yes" campaign, BBC reports.

A woman breaks down in tears as the results in the Irish referendum on the 8th amendment concerning the country's abortion laws. "This is about women taking their rightful place in Irish society, finally".

But Mrs May faces a political headache over calls to act because her fragile administration depends on the support of the 10 Democratic Unionist Party MPs, who provide her working majority in the Commons but who strongly oppose any reform to Northern Ireland's strict laws.

Official counting for Friday's referendum on whether or not to liberalize Ireland's abortion laws was still under way, and final results are not expected until Saturday afternoon.

Anti-abortion activists conceded defeat early on Saturday as their opponents expressed astonishment at the scale of their victory.

Adopted in 1983, the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland gives an unborn child the same right to life as their mother, effectively outlawing abortions except in instances where pregnancy would pose "a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother".

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Mr Yalagi, 72, said he and his wife had waited eagerly to learn how the vote turned out and professed himself to be "very happy" with the result.

"I think this is only the beginning of a really, really strong grass-roots movement with the pro-life campaign and their supporting groups", she said.

He said it will be remembered as "the day Ireland stepped out from under the last of our shadows and into the light. That would be wrong".

On Friday, Irish voters overturned the 8th Amendment to Ireland's Constitution, which made it illegal for women to have abortions in the country.

The 31-year-old woman's death had triggered a massive debate in that country over the issue of life-saving abortions.

The referendum will likely end the need for thousands of Irish women to travel overseas - mostly to neighboring Britain - for abortions they can't get at home.

"A quiet revolution has taken place", Varadkar said in a speech at Dublin Castle.

"The people have spoken, and they've spoken very loudly", she said. "Now more than ever it is time for the United Kingdom government to show the same respect for the women of Northern Ireland". The once conservative nation voted "yes" to repeal a constitutional ban on abortion.

Labour's Stella Creasy claimed more than 140 parliamentarians had already signalled support for an effort to change the law in Northern Ireland.

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