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Ireland abortion referendum: Repeal the Eighth facts

26 May, 2018, 17:28 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • Irish Students Offered Grants to Fly Home and Vote ‘Yes’ to Abortion			PAUL FAITH  AFP  Getty		23 May 2018

But founder Mara Clarke, says they can not always help.

"It's very emotional reading through [the hashtag] on Twitter", Downey said.

Nothing would change. The constitution, in conjunction with the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013, only allows for abortion where there is real and substantial risk to the life - as distinct from the health - of the pregnant woman. They have also cursed and called her "slut", and one tore up a poster.

Still stinging from charges that it was exploited in the last USA presidential election by shadowy Russian groups that spread propaganda and promoted false, divisive stories, Facebook on May 8 announced that it would no longer accept referendum-related ads from outside Ireland.

Many expatriate Irish have travelled home to vote in one of the few European Union countries that does not allow those overseas to vote via post or in embassies. This treats an unborn fetus with a right to life that is equal to a mother's, effectively eliminating all abortions-even in cases of rape and incest. "It is a vote for hope and for an end to the exile of women in need of safe health care".

Polls a week before the vote showed the "yes" side ahead, but its lead had narrowed from earlier surveys - and a significant group remained undecided.

Ireland has been changing fast. The country has legalized easier access to contraception, divorce, homosexuality and same-sex marriage. "I'm part of this progressive generation, a lecturer in university and I'm surrounded by university students every day".

"What we wanted to do, initially, was to come over to Ireland and to have conversations with the Irish and try to appeal to them and help them to see what happened in our country, so that the same thing doesn't happen there", Nathan said. "We all have a right to life", Ms Maynes said. Outlawing it has never stopped it from happening, it's only made it more likely that women will suffer while trying to access one.

Abortion is illegal in Ireland but thousands of women leave the country to obtain the procedure, with most traveling to the nearby United Kingdom.

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Thousands of abortion-rights opponents demonstrate in Dublin on March 10.

Unlike in 1983, when religion was front and centre and abortion was a taboo subject for most people, the campaign was instead defined by women on both sides publicly describing their personal experiences of terminations.

Ireland's attorney general warned at the time that the wording of the amendment was too ambiguous and could have potentially negative consequences for women's healthcare. At the former Catholic-run Mother and Baby Home in Bessboro historian, Sandra McAvoy detailed the mistreatment of unmarried mothers and children. Their babies were often given up for adoption. "There's all that history of fear and stigma and shame and marginalization".

Also, it's hard to take seriously the claim that "men protect lives" in a country whose formally recognised religion has been responsible for covering up the widespread sexual abuse of children by - you guessed it! - the male clergy!

The restrictions are being introduced in one of the most hotly contested national votes in recent memory.

The referendum on the 8th Amendment to the Constitution of Ireland takes place on Friday, May 25th. The provision, known as the Eighth Amendment, has meant that Ireland's abortion law is amongst the most restrictive in the world.

"What I see now in the final days of this campaign is a tactic by the "No" campaign to try and make out that there is some sort of alternative amendment that we could put into our constitution", Varadkar, who is campaigning for a "Yes" vote, told parliament.

"I think what we are expected to vote on tomorrow is removing the rights of the unborn child, and that's what I don't want", she said. "My dad was a religion teacher for 40 years; my mum grew up in East Galway".


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