Ireland Votes Overwhelmingly to Legalize Abortion

A Yes voter on Saturday in Dublin. Early

Irish anti-abortion campaign concedes it has lost referendum

Ireland has voted in favour of overturning the country's strict abortion ban, following a historic referendum yesterday.

The outcome was a historic victory for women's rights in a traditionally Catholic country. Polls had given the pro-repeal "yes" side a small lead, but suggested the contest would be close.

Clare Comran was at the count, where she watched as all Dublin constituencies were declared overwhelmingly in favor of repealing the amendment, including one area that voted yes at 78.5%.

"The result of today's referendum is a profound tragedy for the Irish people and the entire world", said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, in a May 26 press release.

Not far from the polling station, a more somber atmosphere was felt at the mural of Savita Halappanavar, a 31-year-old woman who died in 2012 from a septic miscarriage in Galway after being denied an abortion.

"A vote for the freedom to choose, a vote for women's rights, a vote for women's control over their bodies, a vote for women's health & safety, a vote towards equality", she proudly said.

"What we've seen is the culmination of a quiet revolution that's been taking place in Ireland over the past 20 years", Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said of the vote.

Justice Minister Andrew Little says Ireland will be ahead of New Zealand on abortion law reform if it implements its planned changes following the weekend's referendum. Her parents in India were quoted by the Irish Times newspaper as thanking their " brothers and sisters" in Ireland and requesting the new law be called "Savita's law". This is Ireland's second chance to treat everyone equally and with compassion and respect.

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I'll have to sit down in the summer and discuss it with my agent and take it from there". Speaking after the final whistle, Bale said: "Obviously I need to play".

The leader of the Alliance Party in Northern Ireland, Naomi Long, responded to Ms Mordaunt by saying she could "effect change" in Northern Ireland and should use her "influence with others to ensure this happens".

John McGuirk, spokesman for the Save the 8th group, told Irish television that many Irish citizens will not recognize the country they are waking up in.

"The role of women in society so much within a single life span, people are much more willing to trust women and pregnant people with their own decisions about their own bodies", she said. The results included with 70 per cent of women and 65 per cent of men voting Yes.

Surprisingly, they also suggest that supporters of more liberal abortion laws may have triumphed throughout the country, not just in the cosmopolitan capital, Dublin, where a strong youth vote had been anticipated.

Abortion had been illegal in Ireland since at least 1861 when the British authorities instated a ban on the procedure.

"It's incredible. For all the years and years and years we've been trying to look after women and not been able to look after women, this means everything", said Mary Higgins, obstetrician and Together For Yes campaigner.

"I feel enormous relief and great pride in the people of Ireland who didn't maybe know what they thought until they were finally asked the questions", Ailbhe Smyth, a longtime women's rights activist, told CNN. However, a wrong does not become right simply because a majority support it...

1,429,981 people voted to repeal the amendment.

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