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Catholic Ireland votes yes to abortion

May 25, 2018

The citizens of Ireland voted to Repeal the 8th Amendment and loosen the country’s draconian abortion law. Jon O’Brien, President of Catholics for Choice and Dublin native, said:

“The yes vote to repeal the 8th was a historic step for Ireland and women’s rights and dignity. As a Dubliner from Drimnagh, I came of age in an Ireland where the heavy hand of the Catholic hierarchy kept women from taking control over their bodies and their lives. This victory shows the Irish nation is at peace with its Catholic identity and its prochoice position.

In a country where 85 percent of people identify as Catholic, it is clear Irish Catholics voted yes, proving once again that Catholics can be prochoice and trust women with their religion. They said resoundingly— we believe in compassion and care for our citizens, our women. We know they can be stewards of their own decisions guided by their consciences towards what is right.

In a time when we can easily get swept up into being cynical about the power of the people in a democracy, this vote was profoundly inspiring. People of all ages knocked on doors and talked over the dinner table. The secrecy and stigma over abortion was lifted— Irish Catholics especially had unprecedented and honest debates and reconciled their faith and their values. The will of the people was affirmed. These are the essentials of a just and democratic society.

Now, it is simply up to the politicians to do their jobs and bring this vote into legislative reality.”