Sinn Fein calls for united Ireland referendum following abortion poll

Irish anti-abortion campaign concedes it has lost referendum

Abortion referendum in Ireland: prime minister hails 'quiet revolution'

Northern Ireland's elected assembly has the right to bring its abortion laws in line with the rest of Britain, but voted against doing so in February 2016 and the assembly has not sat since the devolved government collapsed in January 2017. "The people will not take direction from the Church anymore".

But neither May nor the DUP can ignore the will of the people of Northern Ireland. Sources said there would not be a free vote or referendum.

He said Savita's death had devastated the family. "Not an Eighth Amendment issue".

Voters in Ireland, a once deeply Catholic nation, backed the change by two-to-one, a far higher margin than any opinion poll in the run up to the vote had predicted.

He felt alienated by the campaign: "It's extraordinary the way the campaign focused so much on 'me, me, me, ' the rights of the mother, and very little mention of the unborn child".

"While the government can say that abortion is a devolved issue, human rights are not, and the collapse of the [Northern Ireland] assembly means that the power to right this wrong lies exclusively in Westminster", added Clare Murphy, director of external affairs at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, a national charity that provides abortion services.

The still-grieving father of Savita Halappanavar, the 31-year-old Indian dentist who died of sepsis in 2012 after being denied an abortion during a miscarriage, has welcomed the result of Ireland's landmark referendum to overturn the abortion ban, saying "we have got justice for Savita".

The nationwide rejection of the amendment represented a growing tolerance on social issues in the traditionally Roman Catholic country. The Government has proposed legislating for access to terminations up to 12 weeks.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar supported the change, calling the vote to repeal the ban "the culmination of a quiet revolution that has been taking place in Ireland over the last couple of decades".

"This is a monumental day for women in Ireland", Orla O'Connor, co-director of the Together for Yes group, said.

"Friday's referendum has no impact upon the law in Northern Ireland, but we obviously take note of issues impacting upon our nearest neighbour", DUP leader Arlene Foster said in a statement.

It isn't yet clear what strategy abortion opponents will use in parliament in light of the unexpectedly large vote in favor of repeal. Amnesty International calls the victory a "momentous win for women's rights" that "marks the beginning of a new Ireland".

Since 1983, the Eighth Amendment had forced women seeking to terminate pregnancies to go overseas for abortions, bear children conceived through rape or incest, or take risky illegal measures at home.

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