Irish voters have filed lawsuits against the results of the abortion referendum that resulted in the longtime pro-life nation repealing its Eighth Amendment protections for women and unborn children.
The lawsuits allege that a sizable number of pro-life No voters were prevented from voting because they had been taken off the voter rolls. The allegations include concerns that a number of elderly residents living at nursing homes had been deregistered from the voter rolls as well as groups of nuns living in convents. Both groups planned to vote against the repeal effort that has resulted in a push for legislation to officially legalize abortions up to 6 months.
A second lawsuit involves an Irish woman, Dublin resident Joanna Jordan, who says that the election result was fraudulent.
Jordan points to public pulling data in the days leading up to the vote showing the no side closing ground and coming within a few percentage points of those who favored repealing the 8th Amendment. She says that it is unrealistic to believe that voters supported repeal by a two-to-one margin after the polling and she worries that votes were not properly counted and that vote tabulations were not conducted publicly.
The lawsuit also contends that thousands of Irish voters were paid to return to Ireland from other nations, including pro-abortion students who didn’t have proper voter registration in the nation.
Here is more on the lawsuits from the Irish Times:
In an affidavit, Ms Jordan, St Kevin’s Villas, Glenageary Road Upper, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, claims “evidence is coming in of large numbers of potential no voters who were unable to vote due to de-registering”. These, she claims, consisted of groups such as convents of nuns and residents of nursing homes.
She also claims that “thousands of young Irish citizens who were paid to return to vote” were not questioned at polling stations about their time of residency abroad.
She also claims the tally of the number of votes cast per polling box was “not always given” when requested by the No side at the close of voting on May 25th.
She claims the tally of the number of votes cast per polling box was “not always given” when requested by the No side at the close of voting on May 25th. That, she said, “begs the question” whether the number of ballots counted from 9am on May 26th was the same as the number of ballots in the boxes at 10pm on May 25th.
“If not, it could account for the 20 per cent overnight swing.”
The news of the legal challenges to the vote follows on exit polling data showing just half of those who voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment actually favor wholesale legalized abortion.
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Repeal received the support of over 66 percent of Irish voters. The large margin of victory has supporters of legal abortion and their allies in the mainstream media swooning. Much of the media coverage has taken on a triumphalist tone, suggesting that the results indicate that Ireland is now a largely secular country where the Catholic Church has only marginal influence.
Friday’s referendum was doubtless a setback for pro-lifers in both Ireland and around the world. Prior to Friday, Ireland was one of only a small number of industrialized democracies that provided substantial legal protections for unborn children. However, a thorough exit poll of over 3,700 Irish voters conducted by RTÉ, the Irish national television and radio broadcaster, found that many Irish voters were conflicted. A close look at the results indicates that unique scenarios involving rape, fetal abnormalities, and health risks to women were salient in the minds of many Irish voters who voted in favor of repeal.
The most interesting survey question asked if abortion should be made available on request up to twelve weeks of pregnancy. Only 52 percent of voters said they either “strongly agreed” or “slightly agreed.” Given that this exit poll overestimated support for repeal by a few percentage points, there is a good chance that less than half of Irish voters were willing to express support for this position. This clearly shows that many people who voted in favor of repeal were conflicted and would be open to supporting some legal protections for the unborn.
Pro-life groups in Ireland vow to keep fighting abortion.