Behind the Push to Name Ireland’s Abortion Legislation ‘Savita’s Law’

How Tragic Death Of An Indian Woman Sparked History-Making Vote In Ireland

How Tragic Death Of An Indian Woman Sparked History-Making Vote In Ireland

As he left Dublin Castle, he stopped for selfies and chatted with the handful of Yes-supporters still in the forecourt.

"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. Women and men wearing "Repeal" tops and "Yes" badges waved Irish flags and placards reading "Thank you", with love hearts on. He said it was their "one last request". Others sang songs in the sunshine outside the main Dublin results centre as they awaited the official result.

"We're still seeing results coming in, but it seems that it's going to be a greater than two-to-one majority in favor of amending our constitution. and that says to me we're a nation that's not divided, we're actually a nation that is united", he added.

Irish voters overwhelmingly came out to repeal a 35-year-old constitutional ban on abortions Friday, with 66.4 per cent casting "yes" ballots in the historic referendum.

As momentum grew, the Irish government was forced to put a vote on legalizing abortion to the people. A turnout of 64 % was one of the highest for a referendum. "Today I believe we have voted for the next generation", said Varadkar, who is Ireland's first openly gay leader as well as its first prime minister from an ethnic minority group.

"No more stigma. The veil of secrecy is lifted. No more isolation. The burden of shame is gone".

He said the result means that "we are living in a new time and a changed culture for Ireland".

Belfast priest and Belfast Telegraph commentator Fr Patrick McCafferty said: "It is a dark and sad day for our country".

"We have always opposed "abortion on demand" but have recognised that exceptional cases such as rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormalities may give rise to termination, and we would wish to see these provided for in the new legislation".

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

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Earlier, an internal police report said that one of the dead men had a suspected bomb strapped to his body. Following the 2002 Bali bombings, it had been widely praised for its sustained anti-terrorism crackdown.

The vote pitted conservative backers of strict abortion laws against those supporting a woman's right to choose.

People over 65 voted 60 percent against.

Among people aged 18 to 24, 87.6 percent supported the repeal, compared to 63.7 percent of people aged 50 to 64.

The landmark vote saw thousands of Irish citizens working overseas fly home to cast their vote, as well as a massive social media campaign and support from Irish celebrities like Saoirse Ronan, Maria Doyle Kennedy, and Liam Neeson speaking out to repeal the amendment.

Yes campaigner and ROSA activist Keishia Taylor celebrates.

"Our campaign does not end with the referendum, but when the government properly supports the mother and child", it said.

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 the European Union, predominantly Catholic Malta is the only country with a total ban. Terminating a pregnancy carries a 14-year maximum jail term. It outlawed all abortions until 2014, when the procedure started being allowed in rare cases when a woman's life was in danger.

Until now, women in Ireland seeking abortion have had to travel overseas to England, Scotland or Wales, where termination has been a legal right since the Abortion Act was passed in 1967.

"It's incredible how the Irish at home and overseas came together to make this happen", she said.

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