Now That Ireland Has Repealed Its Abortion Ban, Will Belfast Follow?

The answer is complicated: The fate of Northern Ireland's own ban hinges not just on the opinions of its residents but on the broader political scene in the U.K.
Demonstrators gather in Dublin on Saturday, awaiting the final results of Ireland's referendum on abortion. Ultimately, Irish voters backed repeal of the ban — but, as evidenced by their signs, those in favor of repeal were already thinking of what may happen next in Northern Ireland. Source: Paul Faith

Before Ireland voted Friday on whether to repeal its constitutional ban on abortion, many observers in the predominantly Catholic, traditionally conservative country expected a close result on the hotly contested question.

Then, the Irish actually voted — and it was a blowout. More than voted to roll back its strict prohibition against abortion in nearly all cases, opening the door for possible legislation allowing abortion in certain situations.

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