NOW You Can Celebrate

I’ve seen a lot of people jumping for joy about Ireland’s referendum, such as PZ Myers and Marcus Ranum. Problem is, the initial results were based on exit polling data, and they’re not always reliable. The people most likely to respond are the people most passionate about a subject, for instance. They also miss out on early voters, who don’t necessarily visit the polling booth, and voters that show up late. Nate Silver cribbed some excellent discussion of exit polls from Mark Bluemthnal, and while that info dates from 2008 and 2004, respectively, exit polls are routinely argued over well after the election itself. Hence why I sat on my hands.

The Eighth Amendment, which grants an equal right to life to the mother and unborn, will be replaced. The declaration was made at at Dublin Castle at 18:13 local time. The only constituency to vote against repealing the Eight amendment was Donegal, with 51.9% voting against the change. […]

Reacting to the result, the taoiseach (prime minister) Leo Varadkar, who campaigned in favour of liberalisation, said it was “a historic day for Ireland,” and that a “quiet revolution” had taken place. Mr Varadkar told crowds at Dublin Castle the result showed the Irish public “trust and respect women to make their own decision and choices.” He added: “It’s also a day when we say no more. No more to doctors telling their patients there’s nothing can be done for them in their own country, no more lonely journeys across the Irish Sea, no more stigma as the veil of secrecy is lifted and no more isolation as the burden of shame is gone.” […]

Mr Varadkar said he understood that those who had voted against repeal would be unhappy. He said he had a message for them: “I know today is not welcome and you may feel this country has taken the wrong turn, that this country is not one you no longer recognise. “I want to reassure you that Ireland today is the same as it was last week, but more tolerant, open and respectful.”

OK, NOW it’s time to raise my hands. I’m a bit puzzled why declaring mothers and fetuses to have equal rights was considered an argument against abortion, given that we live in a universe where the Violinist argument exists, but no matter: this is a solid victory for human health, and a boon for the impoverished and/or unlucky.