Last week Ireland, long a Roman Catholic country, held a vote to repeal a constitutional provision criminalizing abortion. Ex-pat Irish citizens from around the world flew home to cast their votes. It wasn’t even close. Ireland votes overwhelmingly to overturn abortion ban:
The Irish have swept aside one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the developed world in a landslide vote that reflects Ireland’s emergence as a socially liberal country no longer obedient to Catholic dictates.
With all ballots counted and turnout at a near-historic high, election officials reported Saturday that 66.4 percent voted to overturn Ireland’s abortion prohibition and 33.6 percent opposed the measure.
The outcome of the referendum Friday was a decisive win for the campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution. The 1983 amendment enshrined an “equal right to life” for mothers and “the unborn” and outlawed almost all abortions — even in cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal abnormality or non-life-threatening risk to maternal health.
“What we have seen today is a culmination of a quiet revolution that has been taking place in Ireland for the past 10 or 20 years,” Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said.
The United States, however, is now moving in the exact opposite direction. Religious Right extremists have taken Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale not as a dystopian vision of a totalitarian Christian theonomy that has overthrown the United States government, but as a handbook on how to actually make it a reality.
In March, GOP-run Mississippi enacted the strictest abortion law in the nation, for the intended purpose of a legal challenge that may get in front of the U.S. Supreme Court to directly challenge Roe v. Wade (which permits abortions in the first 24 weeks). Mississippi gov signs nation’s toughest abortion restrictions:
Mississippi’s governor signed a law Monday banning most abortions after 15 weeks’ gestation, the tightest restrictions in the nation.
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The bill was drafted with the assistance of conservative groups including the Mississippi Center for Public Policy and the Alliance Defending Freedom [based in Scottsdale, Arizona].