UPDATE: May 26, 2018
Ireland has voted to repeal its abortion ban. The Irish Times exit poll suggested that women voted by 70 percent in favor of legalizing abortion.
Ireland is one of Europe’s most socially conservative countries, with one of the world’s strictest bans on abortion. Residents went to the polls on Friday for a “once in a generation opportunity” to decide whether to liberalize or maintain the country’s abortion laws.
For Americans, conservatives trying to control abortion rights using religion sound all too familiar.
In the U.S., women’s rights and women’s healthcare are being determined by a almost completely white and male Evangelical Christian/Republican administration led by President Donald Trump — married three times, cheated on his first wife with the woman who became his second wife, took the 5th Amendment 97 times in his second divorce and apparently committed adultery with a porn star and a Playboy model as his third wife was tending to their baby (fifth child with three women). And we have yet to see what happens when the Broidy shoe drops.
Ten percent of Ireland’s population didn’t think men should have participated in the abortion referendum vote.
“We’re having conversations now that we have never had before in my country,” Fiona de Londras, a professor of global legal studies at the University of Birmingham, told The Atlantic.
A reflection of the changing times is that the moral authority of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, once a major anti-abortion force, has been on the decline since the 1990s due to scandals relating to child sexual abuse by priests.
Irish men are beginning to realize that women can decide what happens to their own bodies.
“Many men in this Irish vote are tending to hang back, seeing abortion as a woman’s matter,” reports The New York Times.
Approximately 22 percent of the Irish legislature is women.
In the U.S., women make up 25.4 percent of all state legislators nationwide, according to the National Conference of State Legislature (NCSL). Approximately 1,874 women serve in the 50 state legislatures in 2018.
The majority are Democrats — 1,147 compared to 705 Republicans.
According to a study by Pew Research Center, three-quarters (75 percent) of Democrats say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Meanwhile, about two-thirds of Republicans (65 percent) say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.
The divide becomes even greater when making a comparison between liberals and conservatives.
The vast majority of liberal Democrats support legal abortion (91 percent). Seventy-one percent of conservative Republicans say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.
The underlying fact in any abortion debate is this — only women can give birth, men can’t. So, women should ultimately be the decision makers when it comes to abortion rights.
The Democratic Party understands that. Meanwhile, this week, the Trump administration proposed a rule to cut funding for abortion providers.