Ireland Legalizes Abortion, Loosening its Catholic Roots

By Alexa Soroka, Staff Writer

With a 66% to 34% voting percentage, support was overwhelmingly positive for ridding the country of anti-abortion laws, making it officially a pro-choice nation. This vote came about after many women protested that the constitutional amendment was more of a punishment that did not fully stop abortions, as women still had the opportunity to travel overseas for such a procedure.

Over the past view decades, the country has made tremendous progress in terms of loosening their conservative views, introducing contraception on a wide scale in the 1990’s, legalizing divorce in 1995, and accepting same-sex marriage by law in 2015. Previously under their constitution, Ireland acknowledged “the right to life of the unborn” and left unborn children to have “equal rights to life as the mother.”

In other words, abortion had been banned in Ireland unless the pregnancy posed a major health risk to the mother. This, of course, coincides with the general principles of Catholicism, a religious form that is strongly against abortion. Catholics believe that there is no justification for taking an innocent life and that God’s gift of life should not be cut short by man’s murderous violence. They qualify a life in the moment of conception.

However, as voter Jerry Moynihan comments, “it’s not a Catholic thing anymore.” Students at Wayne Hills have expressed various opinions regarding the new policy as well. “I feel like abortion is really a choice that should be made by the female,” shares Sophomore, Melis Yazar. “It shouldn’t be affected by what other people say.” Nedeen Khashashina was in agreement, commenting, ” think people should have the choice to do what they want to do in any country.”

Others questioned the new laws implemented in Ireland. Sophomore Vullnet Sabani feels that “it doesn’t go with their Catholic values, but what’s better, a teenage mother or an abortion?”

“I disagree,” says Trevor Elliott. “I think that they should stick with their Catholic values.” Keith Carrafiello shares a mostly neutral viewpoint, commenting “if they can agree upon it, I don’t see a problem with it.”