Irish women are faced with a sturdy law against abortion. As we write, women in Ireland have taken to the street, to vote and voice their concern in the ongoing Irish Abortion referendum. In a recent report, the Taoiseach, Leo, who is the prime minister, chief executive and head of government of Ireland, has said: “law on abortion could be changed this year”. Leo Varadkar has said he hopes laws to allow abortions in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy would be in place in Ireland by the end of the year, with the expected referendum results giving the government “a clear mandate” to do so.
There has been expected massive endorsement for abortion reform in the Irish Republic for too long, to kick against the near total ban on termination of pregnancy in Northern Island. This campaign has been championed by Amnesty International, warning the British government in many ways.
While describing the projected victory for the Yes side as a “momentous win for women’s rights” the global human rights group said their counterparts in Northern Ireland “are still prosecuted by a Victorian-era abortion ban.”
Northern Ireland is now the only region in the UK where the 1967 Abortion Act does not apply, said Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland campaign manager:
It’s hypocritical, degrading and insulting to Northern Irish women that we are forced to travel for vital healthcare services but cannot access them at home. The UK Government can no longer turn a blind eye and deny us equality. We cannot be left behind in a corner of the UK and on the island of Ireland as second-class citizens.
The UK’s Supreme Court is soon expected to make a ruling on a case considering whether the regional abortion ban breaches Northern Irish women’s rights. And in September the court in London will also hear the case of a mother who is being prosecuted for buying abortion pills for her daughter.
Ireland’s Taoiseach, Vardkar told national broadcaster RTÉ the expected landslide for Yes was the “culmination of a quiet revolution”, adding that the expected two-to-one backing for constitutional reform to liberalize abortion laws showed the country was not divided.
“We are united,” he said, and the referendum “allows us as a nation to come of age”.
Health minister Simon Harris, who was at the vanguard of the government campaign, said he always knew Irish people were “decent and compassionate”.
The referendum voting procedure is expected to end soon, as votes are being counted. From all indications and reportage, Irish Women under the flagship of Yes campaign, are winning this one.
News sourced from Guardian UK.