Ireland: divided by abortion | The Economist

Ireland is preparing for a vote that will divide the country. In this traditionally Catholic country, abortion is still illegal. The issue has bitterly divided
Irish society for 35 years. Abortion will be legalized
in this country very soon. Although later referendums eased the law slightly, a near total ban on
abortion remains in place. In 2012, Savita Halappanavar died of complications during pregnancy. She had requested an
abortion but was refused. Her death reignited the debate. A new referendum will
be held on May the 25th. Two polarized camps are
now competing for votes, pro-choice supporters who favor a more liberal, secular Ireland, This is a hugely
important time for Ireland to look at what we are
about really as a country, and how we value people’s lives. And pro-life supporters, who want to safeguard
conservative legislation. This is yet a very definitive referendum, it’s one with will decide
whether Ireland keeps its culture or will it have a massive shift in its culture on abortion. Ireland is voting on the eighth amendment to its Constitution, in which the state acknowledges the right to life of the unborn, and with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother. It’s one of Europe’s most
restrictive abortion laws, banning terminations in all circumstances, except when a mother’s life is at risk. The eighth amendment
was introduced in 1983, after 67% of Irish voters supported it in a referendum backed
by the Catholic church. Ailbhe Smyth is a veteran
pro-choice activist. She campaigned against the introduction of the eighth amendment in 1983, and has fought for the liberalization of Ireland’s
abortion laws ever since. 1983 was a much more brutal
and violent campaign. Ireland was truly a
different country then. The country I grew up in
was much more oppressive, it was much more judgmental. We were regularly called
baby killers, murderers. The eighth amendment was really the thorn in the flesh
of my own adult life. The Catholic Church opposes abortion, but its influence in Ireland
has waned in recent years. A series of sexual
abuse and other scandals has led many to question the
church’s moral authority. Since the early 1990’s, the number of church attending Catholics has fallen, and attitudes have liberalized. In 2015, almost two-thirds of Irish voters endorsed their referendum proposal to legalize same-sex marriage. Ireland has moved on. It’s just a different
country to what it was. But the issue of abortion
remains divisive. The referendum on May
the 25th will be close. Polls show the support to repeal the eighth amendment stands at around 50%. Niamh Ui Bhriain has campaigned to retain the eighth amendment and Ireland’s ban on abortion
since the early 1990’s. The eighth amendment protects the right to life of unborn children. If you take it away, if you take it away out
of the Constitution, the people will never get to vote on our abortion laws again. In this referendum campaign, the church has taken a backseat. Instead, pro-life groups, presenting themselves
as non-denominational, are leading the charge to
retain the current law. I think there are probably
three key points to the debate. The first one is that
abortion kills the baby, and the evidence for that, of course, is absolute and overwhelming. The second, I think, is the evidence that shows
that abortion hurts women. Is that very often women are
coerced into having abortions, and that it leaves them with
deep sadness and regret. And I think that the third point is that people understand that if we want to have a pro-life
culture in this country, we need to save the eighth amendment. Not the church, not the street. But pro-choice campaigners argue that the eighth amendment does not reduce the number of abortions. Each year, over 3,500 women travel from Ireland to Britain for a termination, and it’s estimated that up to 2,000 women purchase abortion pills online. Three and a half thousand women going to Britain for
an abortion every year makes me feel very wretched and deeply, at a very profound level,
ashamed that, you know, I’m part of a society which says, actually, we don’t really
care what happens to women. Ireland’s ruling party is allowing its politicians
a free vote on the issue. Prime Minister Leo
Varadkar is backing repeal, and has gone one step further, proposing the right to a termination up to the 12th week of pregnancy
if the referendum passes. We already have abortion in Ireland, but it’s unsafe,
unregulated, and unlawful, and, in my opinion, we cannot continue to export our problems. They’re saying that you can have abortion on demand for the first
three months of pregnancy, so that’s abortion for any
reason at all, or no reason. I think this is something, an extraordinary change for Irish culture, ’cause we’ve traditionally had a culture which protected mother and the baby. There’s this kind of myth out there that you wake up some morning and say, I’m going to have an abortion. Where does this come from? It comes from a fundamental
disrespect for women. It’s a denial of women’s right to be fully functioning citizens
and members of the state. I would never ever second guess the people of Ireland in a referendum. I hope we can win, I believe we can win. I’m confident that they’re going to vote, and in a progressive
and compassionate way, to save the eighth amendment. The vote to repeal the 35-year law will determine whether Ireland
continues on its journey to becoming a more secular society.

100 Replies to “Ireland: divided by abortion | The Economist”

  1. Yes correct.
    Abort all humans.
    We are like bacteria on this planet.
    I hope something from space or nuclear war wipes us all out.
    Humans don't deserve life….

  2. It will be a much better life for MEN from now onwards. young girls who are much into one night stands and become pregnant will not have to expect support or maintenance from their men folk as they will be told Have an abortion. the Yes vote was certainly in mens favour! the flood gates are open now for further horrors and we who voted No will have to suffer in a world that has become corrupt in a Satanic way.


  4. What a great day.. Another european country will be a minority in their own country in a few years. Not everything that Western countrys do is good. In germany every 7. child couldnt live because of abortion. We have very bad conditions to get a child if you arent rich or your child have the go in a very bad school. In a few years your country will be have rapings and all the other shit other people bring to your land when you dont have any workers for the Industrie. You fucked up the future of your own childs. Congrats from germany. Cheers

  5. Why can't people use contraception? Surely that's a lot easier than an having an abortion? I have no children, a very deep regret in my life, which is why I get particularly annoyed with people using phrases like 'abortion on demand' it's a horrible event an abortion, a helpless human life is being deliberately ended, and for reasons that often amount to nothing more than the 'inconvenience' of that child actually being here, abortion being carried out due to the woman being a victim of rape or incest  actually only account for a very small number of cases where abortion was sought. Children are not 'mistakes' and shouldn't be treated as such. Especially with it comes to deciding whether to kill them or not.

  6. Ireland was nearly divided by media not abortion. But we overcame it with an outstanding yes vote. A big pretend no vote lol. Over 77% in Dublin capital. No matter d propaganda our generation stood together. Fuck economics magazine.

  7. The woman said "it's incredibly exciting" – the man said "can you not see it's murder?" – As a woman, I stand with this man.

  8. One day again the Irish people who now voted in Abortion will see how wrong they were by voting Yes and will then choose this time ''Yes'' to re-introduce the 8th.. esp for the right to the unborn child. Most Yes voters were somehow spiritually blinded to the fact that they were giving the gun to a woman or girl for that matter to take the life of their unborn child , and this is at the moment a tragic mistake for the woman and esp her baby that she does not want to live with

  9. Only thing that annoys me with watching this video is saying the Catholic church disapproves of abortion and brought in the 8th .. Would far better saying The Christian Groups of leaders both RC and Anglican and Jewish brought in and approved of the 8th.. Irish society forget that there are other Religious faiths not just Catholics that are against Abortion too !!

  10. I just hope even more so now , that religious and help groups ( and more set up ) in Ireland backed by Pro-Life groups will show women that want to take the life of their unborn baby will be counseled and be shown that giving birth of their baby is the best option , and even giving their child up for adoption.. But not the horrific choice of killing their babies in abortion clinics. This is a wicked lie and not the answer.

  11. The commentary throughout this section for the most part, is from right wing neo-libs, who want to divide, to bring about a level of control over Women, who actually fucking hate Women.
    Well assholes, this 'Commentary is written after the results of the referendum have been counted, and guess what? You fascists, You fucking Lose. We are NOT a divided Nation, We are not a people that hate or disrespect Women, This is not even about 'abortion', but rather about a people that have chosen to give choice to Women, based on respect, intelligence and dignity. You can take your Austrian economic thinking along with your Reaganite ideology and – shove it up your pathetic little fascist mindset, True common sense has prevailed and there is fuck all you bastards can do about it, crawl back into the whole you came out of… When you reply with nothing but the vitriolic comments I expect you to make, be aware, it says more about you than any provocation I could ever make. but hey.. knock yourselves out…!!

  12. WE DID IT ❤️ Women in Ireland now have full bodily autonomy ❤️ by a whopping 66.4% ❤️

  13. Yes lets vote yes on abortion
    2018: 4.5 million in ireland
    2020 2.2 million in ireland
    Anyone get it?

  14. The Repeal campaign won! Great news! And with just over 66% of the vote, too. A resounding success! And don't bother telling me abortion kills babies, because I wouldn't be celebrating if I believed that.

  15. It was unnecessary to ban abortion, because everyone just does it abroad anyway. It just lowers the survival rate of the mother, which is really, really bad.

  16. “Abortion is murder, I’m pro life”

    is also pro-capital punishment
    is also pro-gun
    also eats meat
    doesn’t care about the child immigrants
    after child is born, mother is given no support and child has a terrible life and goes down routes no child should go

    “Abortion is murder”

    Blowjobs is cannibalism.

    Okay, you pro-lifers are ridiculous, all you do is rant about how it’s alive and nothing else, alive. ALIVE!!! and cannot see from any other perspective apart from your own…
    And the fetus which doesn’t even have a perspective.

    You look at pro-choicers and think of them as opposites. Rivals. Lava and ice. fire and water.
    But to show you I’m going to be very simple.

    Pro-life definition:
    “opposing abortion and euthanasia.”

    Basically not allowing a person to end their suffering or not allowing someone to abort a fetus. Right?

    You look at us as if we are ‘pro-abortion’ or ‘pro-euthanasia’
    No, we are pro-CHOICE.

    Pro-choice definition:
    “advocating the legal right of a woman to CHOOSE WHETHER or NOT she will have an abortion.
    (advocating the right for patients to be mercy killed to end their suffering)

    Euthanasia definition:
    “the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma.
    Synonyms: mercy killing”

    We think everyone as an INDIVIDUAL should choose what they should do with THEIR OWN body. Or what’s best for them/ourselves.

    However YOU think EVERYONE shouldn’t be able to CHOOSE WHETHER or NOT they can have an abortion or euthanasia.

    Saying “you can’t have an abortion because I believe that it’s wrong”
    Or voting so people can’t make the decision themselves, just because you don’t want them to is like saying.
    “You can’t eat that cake because I’m on a diet”

    Pro-choicers aren’t your opposite, or rival.
    We are in the middle.

    Your opposite is pro-death:
    Thinking that EVERY patient HAS TO BE euthanised WITHOUT a choice. No matter the situation.
    And EVERY pregnant women CANNOT not have an a abortion WITHOUT a choice. No matter the situation.

    Pro-death’s opposite: pro-life:
    thinking that EVERY patient HAS TO BE kept alive WITHOUT a choice. No matter the situation.
    And EVERY pregnant woman CANNOT have an abortion WITHOUT a choice. No matter the situation.

    Thinking that every patient has the right to CHOOSE WHETHER or NOT they want to be euthanised in extreme conditions. THEY get to CHOOSE. Not you. And not me.
    And that every pregnant woman has the right to CHOOSE WHETHER or NOT they want to have an abortion. THEY get to CHOOSE. Not you. And not me.

    we don’t care wether a person thinks that it’s wrong to have an abortion. Fine! That’s completely fine. Don’t have abortions! Simple
    But the moment you think that YOU get to choose what OTHER PEOPLE do.
    I have a problem.

    I’m a pro-choicer. Not because I’m against what you believe, but what you do.
    I vote that people SHOULD choose what they want to do with their body.
    You vote that people SHOULDN’T choose what they want to do with their body.

    Next time you have a tapeworm. Don’t kill it.
    It’s not your body.

  17. What about babies that will become women…do you care about them. Saying we don't care about women if we don't agree with abortion is just nonsense really. Both women and babies have the right to life as God gives it! And no one has the right to take another's life; baby or adult! Drs should fight to protect the lives of both women and babies!

  18. Abortion is murder! The only time abortion should be allowed is if a mothers life is in danger and if they are less than 10 weeks pregnant. Celebrating killing babies? Ughh, there are so many people out there who can't have kids, and your aborting an innocent soul they could have loved?! Selfish.

  19. Ailbhe Smyth, what terrible haggard ugly old woman. No wonder she's so bitter regarding the lives of the unborn. It is the jealousy of other women who are good mothers and great have families.

  20. Just wanted to say that Savita’s death was not due to her being denied an abortion (though it did play a part, it wasn’t major). She died because of the negligence of doctors and that lead to sepsis which is what killed her. Yes, an abortion probably would have saved her life but it was ultimately the doctors’ negligence which caused her death

  21. I just want people to be strict on it.
    16 and up should deal with pregnancy of they knowing have sex, there is a consequence to your actions aka a child.
    I hate the lies on both sides, disgusting signs of properly nearly ready to birth women and babies that can survive outside the womb(no side) .
    Emotional sob story's made to make people vote on emotion not facts(yes side) .
    Use facts not emotion or religion.

  22. I think there should still be heavy restrictions on reasons for abortion. After all only about 3% of abortions are for medical reasons. The other questionable reasons for abortions (such as its just not a great time for me to have a baby) should be denied for the pure fact that we have more readily available forms of contraception than we have had in the whole of history including the morning after pill and even after birth there are plenty of other families who would love to adopt a child. Women should be making more responsible choices that would prevent unwanted pregnancies instead of having to make the awful choice once its occured. Also being able to wait 22 weeks to make your mind up on ending a babies life is barbaric and IT IS A LIFE.

  23. Disgrace they should keep their pants up and dont get pregnant and take responsibility for their actions but whatever. Getting the head eaten from what we vote on. Congrats femimazis. Maybe abortions will do the world of good at the end so idiots wont or cant multiply. And i guess its over populated by idiots. But watch your mrs she could have got caught and get rid before you know it.

  24. Imagine your sister or your best friend or your daughter found out she was pregnant. Imagine her being so excited and planning her future for her and her baby. Imagine at her 12 week scan she finds out her baby has a fatal fetal abnormality and that her baby will die straight after birth or will be in an immense amount of pain for the few days it can stay alive after birth. Imagine having to carry that baby for nine months, people congratulating you asking how far along you are and having to tell them the baby’s going to die and you just weren’t able to have an abortion? Vote yes.

  25. >Ireland celebrates the right to abort, thus lowering their already low birthrates
    >Ireland plans to import 1 million Islamic migrants with high birth-rates by 2040
    Yeah good luck with that. Just don't come crying to V4 when you want them to save you from the Caliphate.

  26. The tenderness you've shown, your feelings out of view, as you'll never take a moment just to think of you, world full of memories, as to seem to pass by you, remembering the distance there is a real you 😔

  27. shame on Ireland thou shall not kill never thought I would see this day. and who owns the fertility clinic now in Dublin very strange going on`s here now in our country.

  28. Reading these negative comments is indicative of the lack of understanding and sheer religious bias.
    While I do not agree with the abortion of a normal fetus, I do believe that aborting an FFA is necessary not only for the mother (couple) but also for society.
    I DO NOT have the right to tell any couple, teen or indeed anyone how to make decisions regarding their relationship.

    In Ireland we were far to long under the Jackboot of the papacy and its ridiculous, controlling laws. Its about time that Ireland removed the papacy from mainstream politics.

  29. Trust a woman that doesn't have the ability to practice safe sex? Noo, that is the definition of a whore, and you can never trust a whore. Boycott all things irish. Never show these scumbags the respect of capitalizing ireland, or irish.

  30. It's not "your body." It's your baby's body that you're killing. Separate heartbeat, separate DNA, separate everything. It's not merely an extension of your body. Not to mention that a fetid can feel pain as the doctor rips it apart. You can tell yourself that it's "your body" all you want, but science says otherwise. Religion is not necessary in proving that abortion is murder. Science tells us that. A premature baby is considered a life, but a foetus of the same gestation time is not. This doesn't make sense, not by any scientific standpoint. The truth is clear and simple. Abortion is murder, and Ireland has failed its next generation of unborn citizens. Pro-life people are not against women's rights. They just want to make sure the next generation of women have the right to be born.

  31. Good now we can focus on shit that actually matters like the terrible education system or the fact that there are still 4 county's belonging to britain

  32. There is literally no good argument to vote yes, all their arguments are straight up fallacies.

    "My body my choice" – fetus isn't your body. Massive double standard since they want people to have bodily autonomy but blindly ignore the fetuses bodily autonomy.

    "Abortions happen anyway may as well make them legal" – the 8th doesn't stop people from having an abortion in England but many people are not willing to make the journey so it effectively saves lives. People take drugs even though they're illegal should we make them legal too?

    "Women's issue men should stay out if it" – this is just ignorant sexism, we're all human and abortion kills millions of boys and girls. It's everyone's problem

    "Some people can't look after the child" – simply put it up for adoption. It may not be ideal but Its a hell of a lot better than death. Saying an abortion is for the sake of the child is disingenuous and ignorant.

    Then they always love to propel the propaganda that it's only for rape victims and mothers about to die. This referendum is for abortion ON DEMAND. That means if they don't want it, they can throw it out like a empty bottle. Fetuses with disabilities like downs syndrome will be slaughtered. There was something like 25 abortions last year to actually save the mother in Ireland. This change is completely unnecessary.

    If you have any moral compass at all then voting no is the obvious answer.

  33. This video is spinning and not allowing both sides to give real arguments, and express real emotions.

  34. There is a lot of misconceptions about abortion and the pro-choice side. No one wants to have an abortion. But some women are raped, others will die if they give birth. Since when did an unborn fetus have more rights than a woman. Personally, I believe that abortions should be very rare. We should be promoting birth control so that the fetus won’t form in the first place.

  35. They should get a right to abortion but if they decide to do it they should go to jail for murder for around 30 years.

  36. We are boycotting the Irish times and the independent which we bought every day and we won’t be voting FF or FG in the next election. The media and our politicians must know who we are and that they don’t represent us! Pass this message on!

  37. If it is true that we have a non-physical existence (like a Soul or spirit body), then it follows that Abortion is murder to a lesser or greater extent.
    Can you see why?

    <<Btw – I'm not saying others shouldn't be able to kill their baby, if they truly don't believe that. But my position is that at least ethical things should be done to lower the death rate.
    (Sorry to trigger people, but it's impossible not to). >>

  38. I think at least it should be a bed serious crime to encourage someone else to have an abortion. That is a really evil thing to do to someone.

  39. Lol at the truck that says "Join the Rebellion. Vote No"

    because supporting the status quo is TOTALLY rebellious

  40. In Argentina, the fight against feminazi were tough but they lost because they are intolerant, aggressive and stupid.So Planned Parenthood will have to wait to take out money from Argentina.Why Irishmen want to give money to this american company?

  41. It so sad to hear that. I have no words..Abortion it’s not the right to choose. It’s the right to live for both woman and baby. 8th Amendment doesn’t favor baby over mother and doesn’t restrict doctor’s ability to provide the best healthcare that women and their babies expect and deserve. There is a big misconception that under current law a woman has to be actually dying before doctors intervene to end a pregnancy. Actually it’s opposite and woman’s life isn’t in danger. Woman in Ireland have very good healthcare during their pregnancy. Human life begins from conception, the hearts starts to beat at 21 day and the body is perfectly formed at 8 weeks. No one is allowed to take the life of unborn, voiceless baby who cannot defend themselve. Human live is sacred, it’s created by God. Six commandment says:”You should not kill”. Instead of aborting innocent baby maybe woman in Ireland should respect their body more and keep the knickers on if they are not ready to be a parent while they are sexually active and assume responsibility for a baby’s life when they get pregnant. It’s all about self respect. That’s when it really starts, that’s the core root of the problem. If girl or woman get pregnant they just can’t take that out on baby and blame baby for their mistake. It’s about paying consequences for your actions, not killings baby. Woman can give up a baby for adoption when the pregnancy end and denounce parental rights. Then should be a choice not if she can abort baby or not. The whole issue should be attract from different angle, and no one should kill unborn baby up to 6th months because human life it’s not a choice and it should be never put in this category. Young generation it’s sadly brainwashed by media and television. They use feminist slogans like:”My body, my choice”; “Stop policing my body”to prompt people to vote yes and repeal The 8th Amendment which is far beyond the truth..

  42. The new feminazis made the whole world their Auschwitz by turning their wombs into real concentrationcamps. I sincerely hope these so called “mothers” will die the same way they killed their defenceless children. JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL!!!!!!!!

  43. It's the tremendous trap government can be caught to, cause if they proclaim abortion to be legal, not only mothers which life is in danger of pregnancy complications, but ordinary women will murder thousands of unborn babies. Europeans are so kind-hearted, don't want people anywhere to be massacred, but eagerly slay their self children!


  45. Worst most radical referendum in the history of the state. No protection for any innocent unborn. Media used case of Savita falsely. This woman died from negligence due to failure to recognise sepsis not because of her being refused an abortion. The hospital was understaffed and mainly all junior staff working.

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