Ireland's abortion referendum divides country

Friday, 25 May, 2018

The debate over whether Ireland should change its abortion laws, now some of the strictest in Europe, has played out with bitter intensity on the streets of Dublin, in ferocious television debates, controversial online ads, via church pulpits and hard family discussions.

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.

Still, David Quinn of the socially conservative Iona Institute says the "no" forces opposed to abortion rights still have "a fighting chance", and recalled other recent political upsets.

Former chairman of Ireland's Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Eamon McGuinness, says doctors should provide counselling and care; he's voting No.

On social media, #hometovote has started trending as the Irish come home to decide whether or not to repeal the Eighth Amendment and legalise abortion up to 12 weeks. "These are not mythological women [who have abortions], they are real women".

On May 24 voters will be asked if they want to repeal the 8th amendment of the Irish constitution - the article which gives the fetus the same right to life as a woman. Originally developed by a Hoechst AG unit about 40 years ago, mifepristone is typically used in combination with misoprostol to trigger a termination.

Other countries also allow abortions only in cases of rape or threat to the mother's or baby's health. Tracy Ryan highlighted the case of Michelle Harte as one that "stuck" with her "throughout this campaign.' In 2010, an unplanned pregnancy halted Harte's treatment for cancer". "On this occasion, should the amendment be repealed, I think you will probably see a great amount of sadness". I've had family members and friends impacted by the Eighth Amendment.

Those who can not raise the funds to travel often turn to the Abortion Support Network for financial assistance. She said she felt isolated, ashamed and excluded when she returned.

"A "yes" vote is a vote for equality, for dignity, for respect and compassion". "It is a vote to say, I don't send you away anymore".

He told me to leave work and spend time with her, so I did. Persons who violate the law can face up to 14 years behind bars.

How much prayer had to do in these purely secular contests, we do not know.

"It is remarkable that the State, which, under the Wildlife Act, has so many legal protections for non-human life, is trying to remove the most basic right of the child in the womb", said Bishop John Buckley of Cork and Ross in a May 19 statement. As the current debate over repealing the constitutional ban on abortion has gripped the country, I have revisited some of the leaflets from that first, seismic campaign. Her repeated requests for a termination were refused due to the presence of the foetal heartbeat. Irish doctor Siobhan Donohue made that journey in 2011.

Last September Chile ended its strict ban, which had been in force for decades, when then president Michelle Bachelet signed into law legislation to decriminalise abortion in certain cases, including on health issues.

A poster calling for a No vote in the referendum is seen in Dublin, Ireland.

An elderly Dublin man, John Byrne, wore a "no" button on his lapel.

"I believe in life".

The criminalization of abortion in South Korea negatively affects many human rights, Human Rights Watch said. God bailed me out. "It's high time I did something for him", he said. A helicopter landed Thursday with a ballot box that will be brought back to the mainland for counting after the roughly 70 residents have voted.