Ireland votes to repeal abortion ban

Irish voters have spoken.

According to USA TODAY, voters in a recent referendum have “overwhelmingly backed a repeal of Ireland’s constitutional ban on abortion in a sweeping cultural change representing a move away from the nation’s conservative Catholic roots.”

After all the votes were counted, USA TODAY reports that “66.4% supported the repeal out of 2.1 million votes cast,” with only one county — Donegal — giving a ‘no’ majority vote.

Calling it a “quiet revolution,” USA TODAY says Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has acknowledged the people’s will, as well as their hope to build a modern Ireland.

“The people have spoken,” he said. “The people have said that we want a modern constitution for a modern country, that we trust women and we respect them to make the right decision and the right choices about their health care.”

The majority vote now means that the country’s government will attempt to draft and pass legislation that allows abortions in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, reports USA TODAY, a complete reversal of the current law that prohibits all abortions in the country, save for those needed in life-threatening circumstances.

Supporter and co-director of the country’s Together We Yes group Orla O’Connor called the vote “monumental.”

“The vote is a ‘rejection of an Ireland that treated women as second-class citizens,’ she said, according to USA TODAY. “This is about women’s equality and this day brings massive change, monumental change for women in Ireland, and there is no going back.”

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