Irish voters have voted to overturn the nation’s legal protections for unborn children — setting up government-sponsored legislation to legalize abortions on babies as old as 6 months. After initial exit polling data showed an overwhelming defeat for pro-life campaigners hoping to keep the nation’s pro-life law in place the official tally of votes reveals Ireland has voted decisively to legalize abortions.
The projected result has yet confirmed by an official count, but initial reports of the partial count of votes already indicates the actual vote is lining up with exit polling data showing almost 70 percent of Irish voted supported ditching legal protections for women and unborn children.
For decades, the Eighth Amendment has protected unborn babies and mothers equally in Ireland by recognizing that both are valuable human beings who deserve a right to life. More than 100,000 Irish unborn babies and mothers have been spared from the pain and death of abortion, thanks to the constitutional protection. Ireland has become one of the safest places in the world for pregnant mothers and their babies, with one of the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world.
Ireland’s eighth amendment recognizes the “right to life of the unborn” with an “equal right to life of the mother.” Without the Eighth Amendment, there is nothing to prevent lawmakers from legalizing abortion for any reason up to birth.
Abortion activists cheered the results and the ability to legalize abortions that kill babies and injure women.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar pushed for legalizing abortion and applauded Irish voters.
“The public have spoken, the result appears to be resounding in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment, possibly to carry every constituency in the country,” Varadkar said on Saturday.
“This is a monumental day for women in Ireland,” said Orla O’Connor, co-director of the Together for Yes group. “This is about women taking their rightful place in Irish society, finally.”
The vote is a “rejection of an Ireland that treated women as second-class citizens,” she said. “This is about women’s equality and this day brings massive change, monumental change for women in Ireland, and there is no going back.”
Ireland’s Health Minister Simon Harris said Irish women “no longer have to take a plane or boat” to have abortions in the U.K. and will be able to ed their children’s lives locally in Ireland.
Under the eighth amendment, women in crisis pregnancy have been told take the plane or take the boat, today we tell them take our hand,” he said.
John McGuirk, spokesman for the Save the 8th group dedicated to defending the right to life, said many Irish people will wake up to a foreign nation that conflicts with their values.
Some pro-life advocates are not surprised by the results, especially after Facebook and Google banned advertising on the abortion referendum. That essentially obliterated the pro-life side’s ability to get out its message, as pro-life groups were preparing to spend heavily on social media ads to rally votes against legalizing abortion. The pro-abortion side had spent little and already pushed out its advertising campaign when the ban went into place.
Attention will now turn to the Irish Parliament, which is expected to approve the government’s bill to legalize abortions on babies up to 6 months old for specious “mental health” reasons. The proposal they are pushing already is very extreme. It would legalize abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks of pregnancy and up to six months in a wide range of circumstances.
The fear is Ireland’s abortion law will mirror Britain’s, where one in every five pregnancies there ends in abortion each year. In Britain, abortion is permitted until 24 weeks of gestation on five grounds. In 2016, 97% of abortions in England and Wales were performed on ‘mental health’ grounds. Two percent were for abnormalities.
Irish doctors were some of the most outspoken advocates against abortion, saying the repeal of the Eighth Amendment would do nothing whatsoever to help Irish women. People with disabilities and their families also expressed fears that legalized abortion could lead to wide-spread, deadly discrimination against unborn babies.
Irish celebrities also have weighed in on the debate. This week, Jim Corr of the Irish folk-rock band Corrs said he would vote no because the government proposal is “too extreme,” according to The Catholic Times.
“Many are being duped into believing this referendum is about healthcare and choice, when it’s really about bringing the lucrative abortion industry into Ireland,” Corr wrote on Twitter.
Pro-life advocates have been working hard against a biased media, politicians, celebrities and huge, illegal donations from rich American businessmen who are intent on pushing Ireland to adopt abortion on demand. Pro-life volunteers have been knocking on doors across Ireland to save the Eighth Amendment and thousands of unborn babies’ lives.