Dublin, Ireland, Jan 3, 2019 / 16:05 pm
January 1, 2019 marked the beginning of legalized abortion in Ireland, drawing dismay from Irish pro-life groups, who campaigned extensively against the reform.
Once a majority-Catholic and pro-life contingent, voters in Ireland last May voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment to their constitution, which had banned abortion. The repeal was officially enacted by President Michael D. Higgins in September, which cleared the way for abortions to begin in the country in 2019.
Ireland's health minister Simon Harris called Jan. 1, when legal abortion was officially put into practice, a "momentous day", while other Irish leaders and doctors have expressed concerns that the process of legalization and its enactment were rushed.
In a year-end reflection, Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick lamented the introduction of abortion to the country, and said he hoped it would not become the "default response that characterizes people in Ireland when crisis pregnancies arise."