Some Filipinos rue results of Irish referendum on abortion

Roderick Garcia, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at May 31 2018 10:48 AM

DUBLIN, Ireland - Some Filipinos here were disappointed over the turnout of the referendum that effectively made abortion legal in this European nation.

Health care assistant Cherry Rivera said the landslide win in favor of abortion was heartbreaking.

“What is there to celebrate? Killing unborn babies? Nothing to celebrate about. It’s a sad day to think people are out there celebrating this victory with no thought of the thousands of children who will never take their first breath. I voted No, Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord,” said Rivera.

Millions of Irish residents, including Irish-Filipinos, went out to vote on May 25 to either retain or repeal the eight amendment of the constitution that states: “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”

"Before the poll, I knew that 'yes' was very popular but I was still hoping for a dramatic turn of events. I somehow, understand where the other party is coming from but the end doesn’t justify the means. I am deeply saddened by the result," said nurse Josephine Caragan O’Roarke.

The eighth amendment – article 40.3.3 of the Irish constitution – which prohibited abortion, will be replaced with a clause stating: "Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy."

The Irish government is planning to bring legislation before the Dáil (Parliament), providing for abortion on request up to the 12th week of pregnancy, with a 3-day “cooling off” period before medication is administered.

Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said he wanted the new law to be enacted by the end of the year. There will be provisions for medical practitioners to object, although doctors will be obliged to transfer care of the pregnant woman to another doctor.

Despite the results of the referendum, a lot of Filipino Irish, most of whom are working as nurses and health care assistants, vow to not participate in abortion procedures should it finally be enforced in Irish Hospitals.