Ireland Votes To Legalize Abortion In What PM Calls A ‘Quiet Revolution’

Henry Rodgers | Capitol Hill Reporter

Ireland voted to legalize abortion in a surprising landslide vote in what the prime minister is calling a “quiet revolution.”

The vote shows the country is turning more liberal and breaking away from its once deep Catholic beliefs. The decision will remove the ban that was added to its constitution in 1983 with the support of 67 percent of voters. According to Friday’s exit polls, around the same proportion backed the removal of the ban Saturday. (RELATED: Exit Polls Indicate Voters To Repeal Amendment Restricting Abortions)

Ireland’s Eighth Amendment punished those who attempt or successfully abort an unborn child. Over the past few years, abortion advocates have called for the amendment to be changed, calling it “archaic and dangerous.” (RELATED: Irish Citizens Are Turning Up In Droves To Vote On Abortion Referendum)

“What we have seen today is a culmination of a quiet revolution that has been taking place in Ireland for the past 10 or 20 years,” Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said after the vote. “The people have said they want a modern constitution for a modern country, and they trust women.”

Varadkar also called the vote “a great exercise in democracy” and seems optimistic about all of the lives that will be taken to abortion.

“This has been a great exercise in democracy,” Varadkar coninued, “and the people have spoken and the people have said: We want a modern constitution for a modern country, and that we trust women and that we respect them to make the right decisions and the rights choices about their own health care.”

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