Abortion stigma is gone, says Irish PM after vote

The law said an abortion couldn’t be done on a woman until the foetus’ heart stops

Ireland has voted overwhelmingly to repeal a restrictive abortion ban from its constitution, the country's prime minister said on Saturday.

Leading Ireland-based campaigners said they will support a move to have the new law named after Savita, whose Karnataka-based father, Andanappa Yalagi, has called for it to be referred to as "Savita's Law".

His government proposes allowing abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and between 12 and 24 weeks in exceptional circumstances.

In what Prime Minister Leo Varadkar called the "culmination of a quiet revolution" over the past few decades, the "Yes" (on repeal) campaign won a landslide victory in a nationwide referendum.

Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill said she would like the decision to be taken in Northern Ireland but noted that in the absence of a Stormont executive "we have to find a way to deliver rights".

Varadkar said he'd like to pass legislation for a new abortion law by the end of the year, according to The Guardian.

Although she had requested an abortion after developing these complications, doctors by law were unable to perform the necessary termination that could have saved Savita her life.

An untold number of those votes were cast by young Irish women now living overseas, like Ciara Coogan, who travelled home from where she works in France to participate.

Researchers estimate that approximately 3,500 Irish citizens travel to England every year to have abortions, while another 2,000 order abortion pills from the internet.

No social issue has divided Ireland's 4.8 million people as sharply as abortion, which was pushed up the political agenda by the death in 2012 of a 31-year-old Indian immigrant from a septic miscarriage after she was refused a termination.

Cora Sherlock, a spokeswoman for LoveBoth, an antiabortion campaign, told Irish broadcaster RTE that it "is a very sad day for Ireland, that people have voted for abortion".

Sweeney was one of many Irish expatriates who made the journey home to vote in the landmark referendum.

Campaigners for change, wearing "Repeal" jumpers and "Yes" badges, gathered at count centres, many in tears and hugging each other. "I'm especially grateful to the women of Ireland who came forward to provide their personal testimony about the hard times that they endured, the stress and the trauma that they experienced because of the eighth amendment".

Reform in Ireland also raised the prospect that women in Northern Ireland, where abortion is still illegal, may start travelling south of the border.

People are calling for a permanent mural tribute to Savita Halappanavar following Saturday's news that Ireland had voted in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment.

Ms Bellamak said for the first time in a long time, the government had the will to address abortion law, but it needed to be kept on track.

"You can still passionately believe that the decision of the people is wrong, as I happen to do, and accept it", he said.

People celebrate the result of yesterday's referendum on liberalizing abortion law, in Dublin, Ireland, May 26, 2018.

Ireland voted "Yes" on Saturday to amend its constitution and enable legislation allowing women to have an abortion.

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