Final results from yesterday’s Irish national referendum on abortion are in, and the eighth amendment of the Irish Constitution has been repealed. Overall national turnout was 64.1%. 1,429,981 people voted for Yes, with 723,632 votes for No – almost exactly two-to-one in favor of repeal.
Ireland has had strict laws prohibiting the practice of abortion since 1983 when an amendment (8th) was made to the constitution which effectively outlawed abortion in all cases without exception.
Yesterday voters were being asked if they wished to scrap this amendment to the constitution and allow provision to be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy.
Until today, the eighth amendment of the Irish constitution protected the life of the unborn child and prevented lawmakers from changing legislation on matters of abortion.
The eighth amendment will now be removed and abortion will be allowed to become a common practice in the land of Ireland.
Yesterday as polling stations were still open, John Roane, a No voter, commented, “70 million baby’s lives snuffed out in America since barbaric abortion came in, 85 million in England, untold millions worldwide – don’t bring this medieval savage practice into Ireland. Even barbarians didn’t kill their own children.”
“Yes” campaigners argue that abortion is already a reality in Ireland since many women buy pills illegally on the Internet anyway, and for those who want to do it legally, they just travel to mainland Britain for abortions.
The push for a Yes vote came from many individuals and organizations with influence, including the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, the first openly gay PM of Ireland.
In 2016 the Independent, an Irish newspaper, reported that George Soros, one of the world’s richest people, was providing financial backing to organizations seeking to repeal the constitutional prohibition of abortion in Ireland. These organizations included Amnesty International Ireland, the Abortion Rights Campaign and the Irish Family Planning Association.
Unconfirmed local reports yesterday suggested that older voters in the Dun Laoghaire constituency were turning up at polling stations to find they had been unexpectedly taken off the register or had been reclassified as British citizens, and therefore unable to vote in the referendum.
The vote has caused widespread debate on the moral issues surrounding abortion.