IRELAND: Abortion Law On Its Way Out
FROM the results of yesterdays referendum, Catholic Ireland looks set to “make history” by liberalising some of the strictest abortion laws in Europe.
The campaign to repeal a ban was predicted to win by a two-thirds majority, with an Irish Times poll of 4,000 saying the “Yes” camp was leading by 68 percent to 32 percent. Another poll by national broadcaster RTE suggested an even bigger victory, with 69 percent to 30 percent backing reforms.
“Thank you to everyone who voted today. Democracy in action. It’s looking like we will make history tomorrow,” Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who backs the reform, said in a tweet.
The Irish Times survey suggested that women voted by 70 percent in favour of the proposal and 30 percent against. Support among men was 65 percent pro-choice and 35 percent anti-abortion.
People over 65, however, voted mostly against overhauling the current legislation, which only allows terminations in cases where the mother’s life is in danger.
Among the youngest voters, 18 to 24-year-olds, the poll found that 87 percent of respondents voted to allow abortion.
The exit poll showed “an overwhelming desire for change that nobody has foreseen”, wrote Irish Times deputy political editor Fiach Kelly.
“The victory for the ‘Yes’ campaign looks set to be neither narrow nor based on a few segments of Irish society. Rather, it will be carried high on the shoulders of a majority across the entire country,” he said.