'Times are changing' as Ireland votes to legalise abortion

First@Five 28/05/2018
Photo: Getty

Ireland has voted by a landslide to liberalise its highly restrictive abortion laws in a referendum that its Prime Minister called the culmination of a "quiet revolution" in what was one of Europe's most socially conservative countries.

Voters in the once deeply Catholic nation were estimated to have backed the change by more than two to one, according to two exit polls released on Friday evening, and the government plans to bring in legislation by the end of the year.

66.4 percent of people who voted sad yes to legalise abortion.

Terry Bellamak, National President of the Abortion Law Reform Association of NZ joined James Coleman on First@Five.

Ms Bellamak says this result represents both democracy in action and momentum for change.

Times are changing and norms are changing.

"The majority [of people] accept that forcing a woman to stay pregnant is not right,” said Ms Bellamak.

The result of this vote has consequently overturned Ireland’s constitutional eighth amendment that dictated abortion to be prohibited to all but exceptional circumstances since 1983.

The vote has come just months before the Pope is set to visit Ireland for the first time since John Paull II in 1979.

Listen to the full interview with Terry Bellamak above.

First@Five with James Coleman, 5am - 6am Monday To Friday, on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.