Free, safe and legal.” That was the slogan for the Abortion Rights Campaign launched by Irish women in 2012 that led to a historic, landslide vote Friday to liberalize the country’s highly restrictive abortion laws. Two-thirds of those who went to the polls voted yes on a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment of Ireland’s constitution, which was added in 1983 to give equal rights to a woman and an unborn child. By voting yes, supporters also backed legislation, which must still be introduced, to allow women to seek an abortion during the first 12 weeks of their pregnancy. The referendum was sparked, in part, by the high-profile death of Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar, who suffered a miscarriage in an Irish hospital in 2012. Doctors refused her repeated requests for an abortion, because they could detect a fetal heartbeat, and she contracted a fatal infection. DN! goes to Dublin, Ireland, where they speak with Grainne Griffin, co-director of the Together for Yes campaign and co-founder of the Abortion Rights Campaign. They also speak with Annie Hoey, the canvassing coordinator for Together for Yes and former Union of Students in Ireland president.
Human Rights and Equality
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