Ahead of anti-abortion referendum, yes campaigners take lead in Ireland

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: May 21, 2018, 10:43 PM(IST)

Pedestrians pass a giant poster urging a 'yes' vote in the referendum to repeal the eighth amendment of the Irish constitution, a subsection that effectively outlaws abortion in most cases, in Dublin. Photograph:( AFP )

Ireland is getting ready for a historic referendum on Friday which will decide the decades old constitutional ban on abortion needs to be scrapped.

Currently divided into two as campaign yes -- in favour of the ban -- and campaign no -- against the ban -- the country has witnessed various anti-abortion rallies in past months in which thousands of people took part.

Local media also reported Irish citizens around the world travelling to Ireland ahead of the referendum.

Universities like Cambridge, Oxford, London and Nottingham also introduces bursaries to help students to fly to Ireland for the referendum.

The historic referendum will take place on Friday (May 25) to decide whether to revoke the constitutional ban on abortion. According to the current amendment, it states that a foetus also has an equal right to life just like its mother.

After seeing various protests, the Ireland government proposed an amendment which allows abortion for women up to 12 weeks of pregnancy only if the country voted yes.

Meanwhile, media reports said that there is high chance that the campaign yes will win as opinion polls have shown a significant lead for the yes campaign.

However, Yes campaigners are still concerned that the conservatism linked to Ireland's Catholic tradition still guides many voters' views which could affect the final decision.

The campaign to liberalise abortion laws got more impetus in 2012 when an Indian woman Savita Halappanavar died in a Galway hospital after she was refused an abortion during a miscarriage. Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar, stated she repeatedly asked for a termination but was refused because there was a foetal heartbeat, reported a news portal.

Reports say that her life could have been saved if the doctors have terminated her pregnancy.

Currently, women living in Ireland used to travel to London to terminate their unwanted pregnancy.

Also read: Ed Sheeran unhappy with campaigners for using 'Small Bump' for anti-abortion promotion in Ireland

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