Final campaign push before bitter Irish abortion vote

Ireland's Indian Origin PM Campaigns to Lift Abortion Ban

A mural of Savita Halappanavar, who died in Ireland in 2012 after being refused an abortion, is seen in Dublin on May 26, 2018.

Some Dublin residents said Friday's vote has nothing to do with a woman's right to decide about her body, with religion or with Ireland's past cruel treatment of women; it is about protecting the rights of the most vulnerable.

Ireland's referendum on abortion is being watched closely by Irish expatriates in Australia, many who are frustrated at their inability to vote.

Abortion has always been banned in Ireland.

The "right to life of the unborn" was enshrined in the Irish Constitution when the Eighth Amendment was added after a referendum in 1983. But the truth is the change is not really so sudden.

In Ireland, people are especially happy about the victory. "If there is a "Yes" vote, Ireland will still be the same place, just a place that is a little bit more compassionate, a little kinder and a little more understanding that it has been".

The vote also is a key indicator of Ireland's trajectory, three years after the country voted to allow same-sex marriages and a year after its first openly gay prime minister took office. And while the church is active in the Irish school system, its influence is a shadow of what it once was. "A quiet revolution has taken place, and today is a great act of democracy".

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"A lot of American tech firms such as Facebook and Google have their European headquarters in Ireland".

"The position in Northern Ireland is now highly anomalous and I think, probably, action will now have to be taken", Cable said.

And it's a much-needed reminder for activists and politicians in the US that it's possible to campaign for and win on progressive causes. He vowed to appoint enough Supreme Court justices who oppose abortion to help overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion rights decision from 1973.

"I understand there was a survey past year that showed a majority for a change in the law in Northern Ireland", she said.

Doyle said the likely explanation was that a "political logjam" had built up on the topic because it was considered "too toxic to handle". Numerous anti-abortion signs showed photographs of fetuses.

Many Irish women seeking an abortion are forced to travel overseas, often to the UK.

"While the government can say that abortion is a devolved issue, human rights are not, and the collapse of the [Northern Ireland] assembly means that the power to right this wrong lies exclusively in Westminster", added Clare Murphy, director of external affairs at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, a national charity that provides abortion services.

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The Iona Institute's David Quinn, a prominent No campaigner and religious commentator, said in the wake of the results that the Pro-Life movement gained hundreds more young members.

A less known case at the same hospital a month later involved Lupe Royan, 42, from Spain.

At 11 weeks, Royan had some bleeding, and tests determined the fetus had no heartbeat.

Majority Catholic Ireland is now in a heated debate over legalizing pregnancy termination, which is banned under current laws. "The Northern Ireland conflict dynamic means that every policy issue is seen through the prism of the two communities", she said adding that that makes political compromise and traditional governing hard. "It just doesn't suit them to have a baby at this time".

"I'm very surprised", said Theresa Reidy, a professor of politics at the University College Cork who researches referendums.

Following the result in Ireland, focus has now turned to north of the border. One concern that I heard several people express was that abortion would be used as contraception, an idea that seems to come from the misogynistic myth that the No campaign has helped to conjure, one where women can not be trusted and abortion is "on demand", as if it were a Netflix series.

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