Ireland Votes Overwhelmingly to Legalize Abortion

Women in Northern Ireland have to travel to England Scotland or Wales to have an abortion and

Women celebrate the result of yesterday's referendum on liberalizing abortion law, in Dublin, Ireland, May 26, 2018. Women and men wearing "Repeal" tops and "Yes" badges waved Irish flags and placards reading "Thank you", with love hearts on.

"It shows one of the important reasons we need a functioning executive back up and running", a source said.

At Dublin's RDS count centre, 40-year-old nurse Ruth Bowie wept at the results.

'In terms of Savita and her family I think our country owes them a great debt and we were so honoured and so touched by the support that they lent to the campaign over the course of it, ' Yes co-director Grainne Griffin said.

Irish voters overwhelmingly supported repealing their country's constitutional ban on abortions. A turnout of 64 percent was one of the highest for a referendum.

"What we have seen today is a culmination of a quiet revolution that's been taking place in Ireland for the past 10 or 20 years", the premier told national broadcaster RTE on Saturday afternoon.

Savita's death was a catalyst for the movement to repeal the eighth amendment, paving the way for new legislation to allow for the termination of pregnancies in the predominantly Catholic country.

"No more stigma. The veil of secrecy is lifted".

It will also make it easier for the government to claim a mandate for more liberal laws when the divisive issue goes to parliament later this year.

"Pushing the country forward in any way we could was a worthwhile cause", said Stephen Purcell, an Ireland native who now lives in Boston.

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"The day we came of age as a country".

The proposed legislation that will be introduced by the Government will allow abortions within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

The referendum comes three months before Pope Francis visits Ireland for the World Meeting of Families.

Irish residents voted in favor of legalizing abortions in the country on May 25.

People over 65 voted 60 percent against.

The shadow attorney general, Shami Chakrabarti, said abortion reforms that brought the rights of women in Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the United Kingdom were "a test" of the prime minister's feminism.

The referendum results "paint a very sad state of affairs", tweeted Cora Sherlock, a prominent Irish pro-life campaigner.

He felt alienated by the campaign: "It's extraordinary the way the campaign focused so much on 'me, me, me, ' the rights of the mother, and very little mention of the unborn child".

About 160 MPs have backed a letter, championed by the Labour MP Stella Creasy, saying the government should legislate as Northern Ireland will now be the only place in Britain and Ireland where abortion is illegal in most circumstances. In Europe, only Malta and Poland have similar bans. Also planned to be allowed are special-case abortions, for health of the mother and other exceptions. As a result, Irish women would wished to terminate their pregnancies had to seek illegal options within the country - at the risk of being thrown in jail for 14 years - or travel overseas.

He said being pro-life means being alongside those whose lives are threatened by violence, and who can not live life to the full because of economic deprivation, homelessness and marginalisation.

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