Ireland has done it. In a referendum held on Friday 66.4% of voters opted to repeal the 8th Amendment which effectively bans abortion in almost every instance.
It amounts to a landslide on a sensitive and divisive subject in a deeply Catholic country. Ireland was once viewed as among the most conservative nations in the world with good cause: it only legalised divorce in 1995.
Now, in 2018 the people of Ireland have cast their votes overwhelmingly in favour of overturning some of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws. As it stands in Ireland women are prohibited from aborting pregnancies unless their lives are at risk — even in the cases of incest, rape, and fatal fetal abnormality.
The Irish Government plans legislate by the end of the year which will mean, for the first time in history, the women of Ireland will not have to travel to access abortions.
People power cannot be underestimated. Here in Australia that same people power is needed for the very same reason. We may not have Ireland’s history but the women of Australia still face too many hurdles in accessing abortions.