Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 18 September |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Daudi Okelo and Bl. Jildo Irwa
home iconNews
line break icon

Irish abortion referendum set for May 25

ANTI-ABORTION PROTEST

SZYMON BARYLSKI / NURPHOTO / AFP

John Burger - published on 03/29/18 - updated on 03/29/18

Latest polling shows slight drop in support for Yes vote

The government of Ireland has set May 25 as the date of the referendum on whether to repeal an amendment prohibiting abortion.

Voters will be asked if they wish to repeal an amendment to the constitution that was inserted in 1983 to protect the equal right to life of the mother and her unborn child, and to instead enable parliament to legalize abortion, Reuters explained. If the Yes vote prevails, the government plans to introduce legislation for abortion with no restrictions to be allowed up to 12 weeks gestation.

The government began in January the process of setting a date with the aim of holding the referendum before the end of May so that students can vote before many leave to spend the summer months traveling or working overseas, Reuters said.

Polls have shown a sharp generational divide, with younger voters far more like to back change and a clear majority over the age of 65 opposed.

The most recent poll on Sunday showed a slight drop in support for a ‘Yes’ vote to 56 percent from 60 percent two months ago, with 26 percent opposed and 18 percent undecided.

Both sides of the issue have been active in trying to sway voters. A pro-life march in Dublin drew an estimated 100,000 Irish from all over the country to express support to maintain legal protections for unborn children.

Meanwhile, the Yes campaign has call on expat Irish to return to the Emerald Isle for the vote, as Irish law does not allow overseas voting.

Parliament’s planned legislation for legalization includes a stipulation that a medical practitioner certify that a pregnancy has not exceeded 12 weeks. A waiting period of three days will be required between the certification and the abortion being performed.

Irish Health Minister Simon Harris has said that beyond the 12-week limit, abortions would only be available in exceptional circumstances, including where there is a risk of serious harm to the health or life of the mother, in emergency situations and in cases of fatal fetal abnormality, the Tablet explained. The bill will make late-term abortions unlawful on the grounds of health, where the viability of the unborn child is established.

But even if citizens vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment, there is no guarantee that the prime minster, Leo Varadkar, who heads a minority government, will be able to get the existing proposals through parliament, the Catholic newspaper said.

More to read: Ireland’s formerly pro-life politicians among those backing abortion rights

Tags:
AbortionIreland

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
2
communion
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
3
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
4
CROSS
Philip Kosloski
Why is the feast of the Holy Cross celebrated on September 14?
5
Mathilde De Robien
How a lost masterpiece of sacred art was discovered thanks to chi...
6
Kathleen N. Hattrup
On same-sex unions, Pope says Church doesn’t have power to change...
7
SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been known to f...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.