The referendum votes are counted, and it is official, 66.40% of the electorate (1,429,981 people) voted in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution. 33.60% (723,632 people) opposed the move.
Twenty-five counties voted for repeal, while Donegal voted for retention, the only county to do so.
Passed in 1983, the Eighth Amendment gave equal constitutional recognition to life of the pregnant woman and the unborn. Today’s result will see that removed.
It has been confirmed to Donegal Now, Health Minister Simon Harris (Fine Gael) will begin the legal process of repealing the Eighth Amendment at Cabinet on Tuesday.
It will be replaced with the wording: “Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancies.”
If Minister Harris receives Cabinet approval and there is no doubt that he will, the Government will be able to draft the appropriate legislation over the summer. When that legislation is approved, it will be brought before the Oireachtas in the autumn. The legislation will then be “facilitated by the Government," Donegal Now has been told.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar described today’s Referendum result as people wanting to create “a modern constitution for a modern country.”
He said: “Ireland is a nation, which has come of age. The Referendum result is the culmination of a quiet revolution.”
Health Minister Simon Harris said: “The Referendum was about a compassionate Ireland. We (politicians) have bosses and our bosses are the people of Ireland who have told us to get on with the job of legislating.
“As a Government, we also need to have more of a focus towards making concrete efforts to reduce the number of crisis pregnancies.”
Following the Referendum result, no politician would be drawn on the reason why Donegal voted the way it did, against the prevailing trend.
51% of the Donegal electorate voted ‘No’ while 49% voted ‘Yes.’ However, those areas of south Donegal, which are in the Sligo / Leitrim constituency voted 63% ‘Yes.’
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