Childless Emmanuel Macron, Theresa May Celebrate Pro-Abortion Vote in Ireland

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DUBLIN (AP) – The Latest on reaction to the Irish abortion referendum result (all times local):

1:45 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron says that Ireland has made history with its abortion referendum in which voters chose to abolish a ban on terminations.

Macron tweeted that “this vote will stand as an essential symbol for women’s freedom.”

France, a largely Roman Catholic country, legalised abortions in 1975.

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1:35 p.m.

Britain’s prime minister welcomed the outcome of the Ireland abortion referendum, in which voters overwhelmingly chose to abolish a ban on terminations.

Theresa May said that Friday’s referendum “was an impressive show of democracy which delivered a clear and unambiguous result.”

She congratulated the Irish people and the successful “Yes” campaign.

May’s statement didn’t mention Northern Ireland, where restrictions on abortion remain.

The referendum result in the Republic of Ireland may increase pressure on Northern Ireland to follow suit. Abortions approved by doctors are allowed in the rest of the U.K. until the 24th week of pregnancy, but not in Northern Ireland.

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12:40 p.m.

Irish Catholics attending Sunday Mass say they are disappointed with the result of a referendum in which voters opted to legalise abortion and think it reflects the weakening of the Church — a situation that was unthinkable in Ireland a generation ago.

There was no mention of the referendum during the sermon at St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral, but it was weighing heavily on the minds of some worshippers as they left the Mass in central Dublin.

Some worshippers said the overwhelming victory of abortion rights activists seeking the repeal of the Eighth Amendment of the constitution reflects a weakening of the Catholic Church’s historic influence and fills them with dread for Ireland’s future.

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