Ireland allows birth control and abortion

66.4 percent say yes - Ireland's ban on abortion lifted by a two-thirds majority

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  • In Ireland, the eighth amendment to the constitution, which strictly prohibits abortion, is being deleted. The first results confirm the voter surveys.
  • 66.4 percent of Irish voted yes to lifting the ban.
  • The turnout is 64 percent.

In Ireland, voters by a clear majority said yes to the lifting of the strict abortion ban. The official final result is available after all 40 constituencies have been counted.

The clarity of the expected result comes as a surprise.
Author: Martin AliothSRF correspondent in Dublin

Such clear relationships were not to be expected. "The clarity of the expected result with a respectable participation of probably over 60 percent comes as a surprise," says Martin Alioth, SRF correspondent in Dublin.

Prime Minister welcomes the result

Tens of thousands of Irish living abroad had also traveled to Ireland to vote. In total, almost 3.5 million citizens were called to vote.

What we see today is the culmination of a silent revolution.
Author: Leo Varadkar Irish Prime Minister

Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar welcomes the emerging yes. "What we are seeing today is the culmination of a silent revolution that has taken place in Ireland over the past 10 to 20 years," Varadkar told Irish TV broadcaster RTÉ. "People have said that we want a modern constitution for a modern country." The vote shows that people in Ireland respect women.

Very tough abortion law

By the 1983 constitutional amendment, unborn children in Ireland have been protected in their right to life in the same way as their mothers. According to critics, this made abortion virtually impossible in the country. At that time, 66.9 percent of the Irish voted for the restrictive constitutional amendment.

The UN Human Rights Committee had criticized the abortion ban in Ireland in 2016 as a violation of international human rights agreements and asked the government in Ireland to revise it.

After the victory of the yes-camp, the eighth amendment should first be deleted from the constitution. The government would then have to regulate everything else by law.

Abortion rules in European countries

Abortion regulations in Europe vary from country to country. Time limits apply in many countries. The law is very restrictive not only in Ireland, but also in Poland, among others. (Source: dpa)
Switzerland: Since October 1st, 2002 the deadline regulation adopted by the people on June 2nd has been in effect in Switzerland. This means that the decision to terminate an unwanted pregnancy lies with the woman in the first 12 weeks. Abortion is permitted from the 13th week if, in the opinion of a doctor, it is necessary to avert the risk of serious physical damage or severe emotional distress from the woman. No second opinion is necessary.
Germany: Termination of pregnancy is not punishable under certain conditions in Germany. A woman can have an abortion within the first twelve weeks of pregnancy - in exceptional cases up to the 22nd week - if she has been advised and shows the doctor a consultation slip. The abortion remains unpunished during this time even if the pregnancy is based on a sexual offense. On the other hand, an abortion during the entire pregnancy is not illegal if the woman is threatened with serious physical or mental impairment.
Netherlands: They are among the most liberal Western European countries with a time limit of 24 weeks. After talking to a doctor, the woman only has to wait a five-day cooling-off period before being treated in a clinic.
Poland: The country has one of the strictest abortion laws in Europe. In the predominantly Catholic country, abortions are only permitted in three exceptional cases: if the woman has been raped, if her life is in danger - and so far also if the child will have a severe disability. Conservative pro-life activists are campaigning to ban the last point. They brought a corresponding draft law to the Warsaw Parliament. Many doctors, however, would refuse the operation because they fear investigations or anti-abortion opponents, criticize women's rights activists. That is why many women traveled to the neighboring countries of Germany and the Czech Republic to have an abortion.
Great Britain: For England, Wales and Scotland a period of 24 weeks applies. If two doctors certify the woman that the pregnancy could harm her physically or mentally, an operation is legal. In Northern Ireland, abortions are only allowed if the mother's life is in danger and if she is suicidal.
France: The country gives women until the end of the twelfth week of pregnancy. You can have an abortion if you do not want to continue the pregnancy. The restriction to women “in an emergency” was deleted in 2014 - the decision on this was up to the pregnant woman alone. Before an operation, those affected must seek advice from a doctor or midwife on two occasions.
Spain: In the Catholic country, abortions are allowed up to the 14th week of pregnancy, and up to the 22nd week they can be legal for medical reasons. In 2014, the Conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy withdrew plans to make abortions illegal again in principle. However, the rule was enforced that minors must provide parental or guardian consent before an abortion can be performed.

Because of too many violations of netiquette, the editorial team has deactivated the comment function in this article. We ask for your understanding.

SRF 4 News, 11:30 p.m.; agencies / kurn / arnf; barf

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  • Comment from SRF News (SRF)
    Because of too many violations of netiquette, the editorial team has deactivated the comment function in this article. We ask for your understanding.
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Comment from Sarah Horsch (Sarah Horsch)
    If I see that correctly, it is mainly men who take part in the discussion. As a woman, I clearly believe that a woman alone has to decide about her body. No man will ever face such a difficult decision. After all, 'woman' doesn't drive off for fun. I can therefore only take the comments of anti-abortion opponents seriously to a limited extent.
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Comment from SRF News (SRF)
    We are currently receiving a lot of comments that clearly violate netiquette. Even if this topic is emotional: Please maintain decency and discuss with respect. Otherwise we will be forced to deactivate the comment function.
    Agree agree to the comment

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