Ireland’s abortion referendum raises the bar for U.S. abortion politics
By Abigail R.A. Aiken
June 9, 2018
Ireland’s landslide vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment of its Constitution signaled the end of one of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws. Just as remarkable as the “yes” vote itself, however, was the debate that led to the result — and how refreshingly different it was from the debate here at home. In Ireland, politicians actually listened to evidence, and they listened to women. In America, too many politicians have done neither.
The United States and Ireland have long seemed far apart on abortion. The U.S. Constitution protects the right to choose, whereas until last week, the Irish Constitution explicitly equated the life of a fetus with the life of a pregnant woman. Yet the two countries are much more similar than they seem at first glance.