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Ireland has spoken: the time of oppressive Eighth amendment is over!

An end to 35-year struggle for Irish women’s right to self-determination and to safe, legal abortion is at last now in sight!

With the turnout being highest in country’s history and hitting the record with 64.51% Ireland has spoken and said goodbye to cruel and oppressive Eighth amendment! 

The historic abortion vote has changed Ireland into utterly more safe and just country for Irish women by recognising their right to autonomy, bodily integrity and freedom of choice. Women of Ireland came from all over the world to vote pro-choice and to reclaim control over their bodies by more than 66% of people voting to repeal the eighth amendment! Among the youngest voters, message couldn’t be more clear: the poll finds that 87 per cent of those aged 18-24 voted yes.

In recent years, threats to women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights have resurged in many parts of Europe. This is the change of course we have been longing for. Thank you Ireland! Says Katri Ylinen, Co-Spokesperson of FYEG.

For FYEG, we want to pay tribute to all those involved in pro-choice campaigning in Ireland. They, and their work on sexual health awareness are the ones to thank for this momentous decision, continues Zuzana Pavelkova, Co-Spokesperson of FYEG.

This feminist victory is only the beginning of the fight for women in Ireland. Now the fight should continue also to Northern Ireland, where abortion remains largely banned. Ireland needs to immediately proceed with amending the relevant legislation guarantee equal access for abortion and abortion pills to all women for free, and make sure all hospitals and medical personnel will comply with the new laws.

In the meantime, the fight for sexual and reproductive health and rights will have to continue in a number of places in Europe. Backlash against women’s rights in Poland, ban on abortion-related advertising in Germany, violence in obstetrics in Czech Republic or Slovakia are just a few examples of the fights we will continue fighting together in solidarity with our sisters all over Europe.

So what will happen next in Ireland?

Some people will have abortions and some will not.

But there won’t be anymore women dying of sepsis after being denied abortion during a protracted miscarriage. There won’t be anymore need for women to travel abroad to access safe abortions, or need to smuggle abortion pills illegally. There won’t be anymore women living in fear that they would end up doing jail time for much longer than their rapists. 

What will happen now is that the radical idea of woman’s right to choose will come reality in Ireland. And therefore Ireland’s Eighth amendment has been repealed.