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Ireland Votes to End Abortion Ban, in Rebuke to Catholic Conservatism

Una Mullally, a prominent campaigner for abortion rights, said the issue was more than just a medical procedure. It’s about how women have been oppressed.

“All of us have underestimated our country,” she said before breaking down in tears. “I dreamed for people to think like this, but didn’t believe it.”

Still, many who voted in favor of same-sex marriage and laws easing rules around abortion — such as allowing women to travel abroad to get it — found the latest measure a step too far. Abortion is still a highly personal issue for many voters, shaped by personal experiences such as miscarriages or fetal abnormalities.

Ireland Votes to End Abortion Ban, in Rebuke to Catholic Conservatism
Ireland Votes to End Abortion Ban, in Rebuke to Catholic Conservatism

“We’re a Roman Catholic nation. We don’t believe in taking a life,” said Michael Eustace, 55. “Go over to England and get it done there, not here.”

Still, just before slipping his vote into the ballot box, he said, he whispered a prayer for victims of rape and incest, who, had the “yes” vote been rejected, would be barred from having an abortion.

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