On 25th May 2018, Ireland voted to repeal the 8thAmendment, with 64.1% of the population voting Yes to legalise abortions up to 12 weeks.
The only countries in Europe where abortion is illegal remain: Northern Ireland, Liechtenstein, Malta, Poland and San Marino.
Unlike both Ireland and Great Britain, Northern Ireland is still maintaining their position, with politicians advocating the choice of the people.
Still, the Yes victory in Ireland is a wonderful achievement, finally recognising women’s rights.
Both sides have been campaigning until the end, with the Pro-Life side recurring to terrible advertising to convince people to vote No.
In one poster, showing a father and his daughter affected by Down Syndrome, they say: “In Britain, 90% of babies with Down Syndrome are aborted”, attracting criticism for the propagandistic use of children and families affected by the syndrome.
On the Pro-Choice side campaign, were the sharing of heartbreaking stories of women forced to illegally buy abortion pills online and spend money to travel abroad to terminate their pregnancies.
People from all over the world followed the campaigns and awaited the results, hoping for a change.
Another one following the same-sex marriage law passed on 22nd May 2015 with Ireland becoming the first country to legalise it, paving the way for many after them.
The turnout to repeal the 8th at 64.1% was even bigger than the one to legalise gay marriage at 60.5%. With statistic showing that the only group with more than 50% votes for No were people aged 65 and over.
Although, this is a massive change for both Ireland and the Catholic Church, being that the main religion in the country, there is still a lot to do to ensure gender equality. We need to make sure to erase the stigma around abortion, stopping women from feeling ashamed and wrong for choosing it.
A woman’s body is only her own, whether she wants to continue a pregnancy or not.
One of the next steps to take would be to ensure that women in Northern Ireland as well can benefit from this change.
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