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Landmark Referendum Marks The End Of Anti-Abortion Law In Ireland

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Back in 1983, Ireland made the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, which granted equal right to the mother and the foetus, banning abortion under all circumstances. In 2018, 35 years later, in what is being called a historic move, the amendment was repealed. So what does this really mean? On the surface, this would mean the introduction of abortion in Ireland’s health service up to 12 weeks into pregnancy. But for Ireland, there is a deeper significance to this referendum. In a country that is deeply religious, this result signifies a tectonic shift in the values of the population. 

“What we have seen today really is a culmination of a quiet revolution that’s been taking place in Ireland for the past 10 or 20 years,” Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said at a counting centre in Dublin before the results of Friday’s vote were released, giving an early indication of the final outcome.

On Saturday, the “yes” camp took more than 66 percent of the vote, according to the official tally, and turnout was about 64 percent.

In 2012, Savita Praveen Halappanavar, a dentist, died of sepsis in the Galway University hospital after being denied an abortion during a protracted miscarriage. That time, the country had a massive debate on the abortion law. “Our daughter’s soul is now consoled,” the parents of Savita said. Ireland’s abortion law might just be named after Savita.


Mansi Shah is the resident humour writer and random conversation starter. Tends to laugh manically at puns. Deeply enjoys the blunt force of sarcasm. Preys on chauvinists and people with incorrect grammar. Hoards makeup and beauty products. Attacks Nutella with vigour.

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