Ireland votes to repeal abortion ban in landslide victory for ‘Yes’ campaign
The Eighth Amendment, which grants an equal right to life to the mother and unborn will be replaced.Updated: May 26, 2018 23:45 IST
Ireland on voted overwhelmingly to overturn the abortion ban by 66.4 per cent to 33.6 per cent, according to a media report.
A referendum held resulted in a landslide win for the repeal side. Currently, abortion is only allowed when a woman’s life is at risk, but not in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality, BBC reported.
The Eighth Amendment, which grants an equal right to life to the mother and unborn will be replaced.
One of the key cases influencing the debate on abortion in Ireland was that of Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar, who died of sepsis in a hospital in Galway after being denied an abortion during a protracted miscarriage in 2012.
Her husband Praveen had told her inquest she requested a termination but was refused because the baby’s heart was still beating. A midwife manager at Galway University Hospital confirmed that she told Halappanavar that a termination could not be carried out because Ireland was a “Catholic country”. The inquest into her death returned a verdict of medical misadventure.
Her death had triggered a massive debate in the country over the issue of life-saving abortions and resulted in a new law that allows abortions under extreme circumstances. The Irish Parliament voted to legalise abortion in cases of medical emergencies as well as the risk of suicide in July, 2013.
With a win for the Yes vote, the existing article of the Constitution which was inserted in 1983 - and the 1992 additions - will be replaced with this text: “Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy”, the report said.
The Catholic church had strongly opposed repealing the amendment and Irish bishops warned in a joint statement, “We believe that the deletion or amendment of this article can have no other effect than to expose unborn children to greater risk and that it would not bring about any benefit for the life or health of women in Ireland.
First Published: May 26, 2018 23:44 IST