'This is a moment when politics really stepped up to the plate' - 'Yes' campaigners react to abortion referendum win
A number of major 'Yes' campaign groups have shared their "extreme happiness" and "pride in the Irish public" following the announcement that Ireland has officially voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment.
Linda Kavanagh, co-founder of the Abortion Rights Campaign said the final results show how powerful the voices of Irish women are: "It just shows how powerful grassroots organisations and the personal stories of our country’s women can be in implementing change.
"We really are a compassionate country. We heard our women’s stories. We listened. Today, we showed we heard and we care."
Krysia Lynch, chairperson of the Association for Improvements in Maternity Services, said the Yes vote will have a "tremendously positive effect" on not only those who wish to terminate a pregnancy, but also those who wish to continue their pregnancy.
"We are so happy to welcome what looks to be a landslide win for the Yes side. It’s going to benefit all women—obviously the ones who don’t wish to continue their pregnancy, but also the ones who want to continue their pregnancy in a safe way," Ms Lynch told Independent.ie.
"Women will no longer be penalised if they wish to receive treatment for their health that in the past would not be allowed unless it was life-threatening."
Executive Director of Amnesty Ireland Colm O’Gorman called the vote "the most extraordinary proof that Ireland is becoming the country we’ve always quietly been—now we are just able to talk about it."
He continued; "This is a moment when politics really stepped up to the plate, we’ve had this problem for years but they really heard us this time and helped implement the change we’ve been waiting for.
"Now that the votes are in, we are really looking forward to working with the government and enforcing new legislation."
Cora Sherlock, a spokesperson of the Pro Life Campaign, said the results represent "a very sad day for Ireland".
Ms Sherlock told Independent.ie: "We’ve accepted that the Yes side have it today, which is incredibly tragic. Ireland has voted for abortion up to 12 weeks which leaves babies very exposed.
"Babies at that age have a heartbeat, eyes, ears, fingers and toes and they are really the ones losing today. Ireland has let them down."
Michael O’Dowd, a representative of Disability Voices for Life, said while the vote has been cast, "the fight is not over".
"The yes side have won today, but that doesn’t mean the fight is over, it just means the battle ground has shifted from the constitution to legislation. We will take some time to regroup and be ready to fight for what we believe in for the legislation."