Ireland repeals the prohibition against abortion!

It was a landslide, too — 68% to 32% to repeal the 8th amendment to their constitution.

You can throw out the repellent, archaic parts of your constitution? What a brilliant idea, America!


  1. geoffr says

    Steady on, that’s only an early exit poll, and not of a huge sample.
    Actual result won’t be counted until tomorrow.
    Here’s hoping the polling is accurate for once though.

  2. gijoel says

    Wow, that’s a stunning victory. The only group that didn’t overwhelmingly vote yes was the over 65s.

  3. EigenSprocketUK says

    Don’t count your chickens: the rural turnout was unexpectedly very high indeed – which was not a good sign for the Brexit Referendum and the US Presidential Election either.
    And shy voters who are unlikely to talk to exit pollsters may well be voting for the execrable status quo.
    Fingers tightly crossed it turns out well in less than 24 hrs (Saturday evening).

  4. says

    I have to hope for my Irish/German and whatever else blood I have that this will be a win in Ireland. Now the US is going backwards as we speak. The irony.

  5. anchor says

    So much for pop conservative wisdom. Look what happens when their assumptions are put to the test. No doubt they’re miffed and will denounce ‘allowing the people to decide an issue’ in favor of some form or other of ‘doing what’s best for them’…in other words, authoritarian dictatorship.

  6. cnocspeireag says

    Anchor, the US is used to that after the electoral college ignored the expressed vote of the American people for Clinton and installed Trump.
    Opinion polls in that election and in the UK ‘brexit’ vote were so wrong that I shan’t celebrate until the real result is announced.

  7. KG says


    No, opinion polls in the US election and the UK Brexit vote were not “so wrong”. In the US election, the average of the last polls gave Clinton a 4% lead in the popular vote, and the actual figure was 2%. FiveThirtyEight gave Trump around a 30% chance of winning. In the Brexit vote, polls showed a close contest throughout the campaign period – although admittedly, the exit polls gave “Remain” a narrow win, rather than the narrow “Leave” win that occurred. People were astonished at the result either because they completely ignored the pollsin the run-up to the vote, or because they assumed there would be a last-minute shift in favour of the status quo. I know of no precedent for properly conducted exit polls being as wrong as would be necessary to give the forced-birthers a win in the Irish referendum.

  8. rietpluim says

    (Mixed feelings because I find it disturbing that apparently the human rights of women is dependent on a popular vote.)

  9. says

    The exit polls overestimated the result a little bit, but in the end it was still pretty overwhelming, 66.4% to 33.6%.

  10. johnlee says

    Excellent news. Now it’s time for Northern Ireland to catch up with the Republic and do the same.

  11. KG says


    Do you have any evidence that Nugent and Atheist Ireland had the slightest effect on the result?

  12. KG says

    So, rietplum, what are you suggesting? In reality, constitutions are always the outcome of human decision-making, so the choices are to do it by popular vote, to have an elected body do it, to have an appointed body do it, to have a hereditary person or body do it, or some combination of these. Unless, of course, you have a direct line to the ultimate source of wisdom and goodness, unavailable to the rest of us.

  13. rietpluim says

    I am not suggesting anything. I was expressing my feelings.

    And yes, I do have the ultimate source of wisdom and goodness. It is called fucking human rights. What are you suggesting, that we can revoke people’s rights, if only we have enough votes?

  14. KG says


    So it’s you, Rietpluim the Wise, who tells everyone else what counts as a “human right”. Glad we got that sorted out.

  15. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    What are you suggesting, that we can revoke people’s rights, if only we have enough votes?

    People used to have the freedom to fire queers just for our sexual orientations. Now they don’t. Queers didn’t have a right to work free of discrimination based on sexual orientation. Now they do.

    I’m not saying that human rights should be up to a vote. But it’s manifestly clear that in the real world human rights are up for votes. Take a look at disaibility rights in particular. Other rights have gained protection through the courts, but discrimination against people with disabilities has been consistently blessed by the courts. We’ve relied almost entirely on legislation to expand and protect basic rights that should never have been subject to a vote.

    KG said, “In reality, constitutions blah blah blah…” so I think that’s what comment #22 is about as well: not what should be, but what is. Constitutions are negotiated, drafted, and enacted by people, almost always through votes. Amendments to the same are also generally the result of votes. Even UN conventions like CEDAW and UNCRC are enacted through ratification votes by individual member states, becoming active once a specified number of member states have ratified the convention.

    It is offensive that human rights can be put up for a vote, but it’s also been a huge source of moral and political progress over the last 100 years.

    Moreover, while some constitutions can be amended relatively easily, many (like the US constitution) cannot: once a right is embedded in a constitutional framework (either by court decision or amendment) it’s going to be difficult to change through any process other than slow erosion of the protections erected around the core right – exactly the way that the right is attacking reproductive rights and especially abortion rights in the US.

    Planned Parenthood v Casey may have retained Roe’s core, but in its details the protections of Roe had been eroded. And more erosion has occurred since. That’s scary, and I wish it weren’t happening, but it also tells us that whether you vote on a right or leave it up to the courts, rights are never truly secure unless the population wants them to be … and cares enough to take action when those rights are threatened.

    Anyway. Yeah. Voting on human rights sucks, but it’s not much worse than any other system out there, and it’s better than most.

  16. rietpluim says

    To KG: not every reaction has to be a solidly built argument. I was expressing my frustration.

    Crip Dyke said it just right. And if there were a referendum in our country about the subject right now, I’d go and vote yes, even though I have nothing to say about my neighbor’s uterus in the first place, neither yes nor no. Having to do so only adds to my frustration. It is fucking 2018. The debate should have been over by now.

    So fuck you again and your rietpluim the wise.

  17. rietpluim says

    Oh, and fuck you thrice for putting human rights between quotes. You see, bodily autonomy is not a human right, it is a “human right”. Asshole.

  18. KG says


    Well there’s certainly somebody being a bit of an asshole in this argument, but it’s not me. The people opposing the repeal of amendment 8 would certainly claim to be defending human rights, because they think the right to life should extend (or as they would say, “extends”) to the fetus. Glibertarians think the right to retain any property acquired without overt violence should be (or as they would say “is”) absolute. Fundamentalist homeschoolers think it’s their “human right” to indoctrinate their children with lies. Many vegans think most “human rights” should extend to non-human animals. There is no definitive list of human rights, and if there were, even Rietpluim the Wise would have no access to it. So unlike you and Crip Dyke, I don’t find it disturbing that “human rights” are ultimately decided by vote, because what is and is not a “human right” is not a matter of fact, but of the values human communities arrive at – and any other method of arriving at them is less democratic, and no more guaranteed to protect the rights I want protected, which I imagine are in most cases, the same ones you do.

  19. chigau (違う) says

    KG #29
    Well there’s certainly somebody being a bit of an asshole in this argument, but it’s not me.
    Are you quite sure?

  20. blf says

    Well done, Ireland. The 2-to-1 majority, with a massive turnout (from memory, over 75%) and only one county voting against repel (and that by only c.51%) is decisive.