Ireland's Gay Prime Minister Jubilant After Nation Overturns Abortion Ban

Leo

The results are in and Irish voters voted nearly 2-1 on Friday to end the nation's ban on abortion rights for women. The vote was celebrated by openly gay Irish taoiseach (prime minister) Leo Varadkar.

"What we've seen is the culmination of a quiet revolution that's been taking place in Ireland over the past 20 years," Varadkar told the BBC of the nation's embrace of secular, liberal values. 

Irish voters "trust and respect women to make the right choices and decisions about their own healthcare," Varadkar, a licensed physician and Ireland's former health minister, said.

The Irish parliament now has the green-light to soften the Eighth Amendment, which currently does not allow abortion even in cases of rape, incest, or fetal abnormalities. Varadkar says he hopes to have a new law enacted by the close of 2018.

Varadkar was elected prime minister in June, becoming the first gay man, the youngest person, and the first member of an ethnic minority -- he's part Indian -- to hold that post.

Tags: World, Women, Ireland

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