Ireland has held a referendum on liberalising its current laws on abortion. According to reports, the referendum is now predicted to be in favour of the ‘Yes’ camp, by two-thirds. The Irish Times said that the Yes camp led by 68 percent in a poll conducted on 4,000 people. Another poll predicts a victory margin of 69 percent.
The campaigns for abortion picked up following the death of an Indian origin woman in 2012. Her 17-week pregnancy was riddled with complications but her requests for abortion were overruled. The woman, Savita Halappanavar, became the face of the campaign.
Savita was 31-years-old when she requested for a pregnancy termination. She was informed that she was miscarrying but her request was turned down thanks to the abortion laws in Ireland. Savita died of blood poisoning just a few days following her miscarriage in October 2012. In a tweet, Irish PM Leo Varadkar said that the country would make history.
In a series of tweets shared on May 26, Leo said that West Dublin settled for 74 percent in favour of Yes. The rest of the results of the poll will arrive soon.
Savita had moved to Ireland following her marriage to Praveen Halappanavar. She passed when she was diagnosed with sepsis, which sparked off and outrage and a series of debates. Her parents are following the updates from the referendum closely and have constantly appealed to Irish citizens to repeal the Amendment. “If the law is passed in favour of abortion, then we would want it to be named after Savita. The 8th amendment was responsible for the death of my daughter,” said her father.
Anyone who terminates a pregnancy in Ireland can face a 14 year jail term. This forces many women to travel to Britain to get abortions or buy pills that are sold online.