The Repeal of Ireland’s Abortion Ban Is the Latest Sign of a Cultural Shift

A woman from the campaign supporting the repeal of the Eighth Amendment of Ireland’s Constitution reacts after the final result was announced, Dublin, May 26, 2018 (AP photo by Peter Morrison).
A woman from the campaign supporting the repeal of the Eighth Amendment of Ireland’s Constitution reacts after the final result was announced, Dublin, May 26, 2018 (AP photo by Peter Morrison).

The Republic of Ireland has historically remained out of step with the vast majority of Europe when it comes to abortion. Although more than 80 percent of the Council of Europe’s 47 member states permit abortion without restriction at the request of the woman, Ireland has been steadfastly committed to strict pro-life legislation, permitting legal abortion only under the most limited of circumstances, forcing many women to travel out of country to exercise their choice. But that is suddenly shifting, after the landslide result on May 25 of a referendum that will bring dramatic changes to abortion policy in Ireland. […]

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