Ireland voted to legalize abortion, thereby ending the "good old conservative Europe". Until recently, the country had a truly medieval legislation on this subject, remaining a true "patriarchal island" of the Western world. The reasons why liberals won where they managed to miss even a sexual revolution can surprise many.
During the second half of the 20th century, Ireland remained a green island of patriarchy in liberal Europe. Under the strict supervision of the Catholic Church, the customs there were extremely strict.
In 1960, the Irish managed not to notice the sexual revolution. While in the whole Western world "they made love, and not war," the Irish authorities sent women who gave birth outside of marriage to special correctional shelters - "Magdalene laundries." There "Magdalene" (as they were nicknamed by the people) for years spent half-starved and worked under the supervision of nuns, atoning for their "sins".
In 1980, when the West has covered the third wave of feminism, following the Irish referendum, a law was passed that postulated equal rights to the life of a pregnant woman and her unborn child. Thus, a person's life was counted from the moment of his conception. This made it possible to make the legislative ban on abortion one of the most stringent in the world.
Even divorces were allowed in Ireland only twenty years ago. To this end, the country again held a nationwide referendum, in which the defenders of the right to divorce won with great difficulty and a small margin.
The situation began to change only at the turn of the century, when the Irish government decided to warm up the local economy according to the recipe of its British neighbors. The bottom line was to lure into the country headquarters of the largest TNCsby offering them preferential taxation. Green Island began to gradually turn into secret offshore. While the EU neighbors set taxes for corporations at the level of 20-30%, Ireland suggested that TNCs pay only 10%. The offer was especially liked by Internet giants, and in a few years the Irish authorities managed to lure the entire top five IT corporations into the country.
The appearance of TNC headquarters in the capital meant the arrival of a large number of advanced and influential expats, for which the conservatism of the local population seemed unhealthy exotics. The Irish authorities had to reformat the image of their country.
Strangely enough, it was the easiest thing to do about the issue of sexual minorities. Gay parade is held in Dublin from 1983 year and for the last decades has turned into a grandiose event. The program of festivities stretches for more than a week. The capital of Ireland attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists.
Three years ago, the Irish held a referendum on the legalization of same-sex marriage. So an island of patriarchy became the first country in the world to approve gay marriages through popular vote.
A year ago, the country received an exemplary politically correct prime minister. The politician of Indian origin Leo Varadkar is an open gay.
The liberal image of the new Ireland contrasts sharply with its legislation on the prohibition of abortion. Interruption of pregnancy is prohibited even if pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. If the embryo has pathologies of development, it can not be aborted. The only chance for a woman is to prove that pregnancy can lead to her suicide. But in practice doctors do not give permission for abortion and in this case they are afraid to get under the article of the Criminal Code, according to which they face up to 14 years of imprisonment. The same term is used for unlawful termination of pregnancy and for women themselves.
In 2012, the country was shaken by the story of Savita Halapanavar. The Irish of Indian origin was sent to the clinic in Galway with a frozen 17-week pregnancy. Being a doctor by training, she asked doctors to do her an urgent surgery. The patient was put on treatment, but the operation was not done. Halapanavar said that her life was in danger, in response, the doctors claimed that the heart of the embryo was still beating. Aborting such a fetus, they fell under criminal prosecution.
A week Savita persuaded the doctors to save her. Soon she developed sepsis - a blood poisoning. The operation was done, but it was too late. A young woman died in a hospital due to cardiac arrest caused by sepsis. The authorities tried to pass this off as a usual medical error. But it was clear to everyone that the doctors were simply reinsured because of excessively stringent legislation. Savit set up a monument to which regularly lay flowers.
Nevertheless, the issue of the legalization of abortions split the Irish society almost in half. The country held a rally in anticipation of the referendum since the beginning of the year. Supporters of the abolition of the Eighth Amendment (the so-called article on reproductive rights in the country's constitution) wore green T-shirts with the word "Yes". Their opponents chose orange waistcoats with the inscription "No".
Almost all media outlets of the country in one way or another agitated for abortion. However, in the absence of media support, the defenders of the Eighth Amendment managed to organize themselves on the ground. They created their movement "Save the Eighth Amendment - Save Life," printed a bunch of literature, sent their propagandists to bypass houses and apartments, and in March they held a grand 100,000th rally in Dublin, using in their rhetoric all the tricks of liberal opponents.
The latter argued that young and educated residents of large cities favor abortion. But the Irish proclaimers proved the opposite. Their actions were attended by indigenous Dubliners, youth, students. There were lecturers of universities and doctors with academic degrees. They debunked the myth that the entire medical community of the country allegedly welcomes abortion.
Activists of the movement "Save the Eighth Amendment" attracted even some feminists to their side. In her fiery speech at the Dublin rally, influential activist feminist movement Destini Herndon de la Rosa labeled abortion as "the extreme degree of exploitation of a woman, a symbol of her utmost oppression."
A huge role in protecting the Eighth Amendment was played by parents of children with developmental disabilities. The new law will allow Irish women to have an abortion if ultrasound and analysis reveal anomalies in the development of the fetus. And thousands of families, where children with Down syndrome grow, took to the streets with the same posters. On each of them there were photos of the child, his name and slogan: "And now ask me why I choose" No ". These Irish people believe that their country is the only one in the world where children with Down's syndrome have a chance to live.
"I'm not sick," said activist Down syndrome Charlie Fin, speaking at a Dublin rally. "I do not suffer, and my friends with Down's Syndrome do not suffer either." We have a happy life. "
Strong argument of the defenders of the Eighth Amendment was the demography of Ireland. Against the backdrop of a long-term decline in the birth rate across Europe, the population of the country grew at a rate of 1% per year - that is, four times faster than the population of the rest of Europe, flooded by migrants. In 1951 year in Ireland there were less than three million people, now - 4 million 800 thousand, and this is the youngest country in the EU. And the duration and quality of life, as well as the level of education among the Irish are some of the best in the European Union.
True, the pace of emigration is also impressive: tens of thousands of Irish people leave the country every year.
For this demographic idyll it is necessary to pay Irish women. Each year, thousands of them go to neighboring England for the artificial termination of pregnancy. The official figure is about 3,5 thousand of foreign abortions a year, but real figures may be several orders of magnitude higher. Not all patients indicate their real data - in fact for the Irish legislation they remain criminals.
Such overseas trips remain a heavy and humiliating undertaking. Women do not tell anyone anything at home and are afraid to meet friends in England. The operation along with the plane ticket costs about 1,5 thousand pounds (more than 120 thousand rubles), single mothers and students are forced to borrow from acquaintances or take loans, so save on everything. Even on spending the night in a clinic or hotel: after the operation, they go to the waiting room or to the cinema to just relax, and then fly home that evening.
The hypocritical policy of the authorities on the issue of abortion irritates many modern Irish people and creates a truly intolerant social atmosphere, especially in small towns and villages.
In general, the law on abortion was a difficult topic and caused a serious boiling of passions. Many Irishmen working abroad, specially flew to their homeland to come to a referendum. In the network even appeared hashtag HomeToVote - "Home to vote."
According to preliminary estimates, about 68% of Irish voted to abolish the Eighth Amendment. This means that in the near future the country will receive modern liberal legislation: abortions will be allowed on demand up to 12 weeks, on medical grounds - up to 22 weeks.
Meanwhile in Northern Ireland, part of the UK, the punishment for the artificial termination of pregnancy remains life imprisonment - for both the doctor and the patient.