Abortion used to be illegal in Ireland, unless it was necessary to save the woman’s life. So thousands of Irish women had to go to Brit¬ain for the procedure. All that changed on May 25th when there was a referendum about removing this ban on abortion in Ireland. The results of the vote were over¬whelming with 66.4% of the voters in favor of changing the law.
除非用於挽救懷孕女性的性命，否則墮胎在愛爾蘭向來是非法的。正因如此，已有數千名愛爾蘭婦女前往英國進行墮胎手術。然而，在5 月25 日這天，一切有了不同。愛爾蘭舉行公民投票，贊成墮胎的得票率達66.4%，通過墮胎公投。
Abortion is a kind of medical procedure in which a doctor ends an unwanted or unsafe pregnancy. There are two types of abortion: medi¬cal and surgical. The medical way uses a special kind of medicine, usually a pill. The surgical way involves minor surgery. Before the referendum, pregnant Irish women ei¬ther had to illegally buy abortion pills online or leave their country to have a surgical abortion.
墮胎（人工流產）屬醫療行為，醫生執行此行為， 中止非預期或不安全的懷孕。墮胎可分成藥物流產及手術流產兩種方式。服用特定藥物造成流產，即稱藥物流產。手術流產則須透過手術進行，屬於非重大手術。愛爾蘭5 月25 日公投前， 懷孕婦女如要墮胎，只能透過網路違法購買墮胎藥，或出國尋求手術流產。
In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service already provides free abortions to most wom¬en. However, even though North Ireland is part of Great Britain, a woman may only get an abortion if the pregnancy threatens her life. So when the referendum passed in Ireland, North Irish became hopeful that a similar change might happen for them. Instead, the UK’s highest court rejected the idea.
Laws about abortions are very different from one country to the next. The majority of nations (about 97 percent) allow abortions in order to save a woman’s life. About two-thirds of countries allow abortions to protect the physical or mental health of a woman. Roughly half say it’s okay if there was rape or incest involved, or if the fetus is damaged. Only one-third allow women to choose freely.
各國的墮胎法律相當分歧。絕大多數國家（約占97%），允許在保護孕婦生命前提下進行墮胎。約有3 分之2 的國家，同意為保護女性身心健康而做的墮胎。另有大約半數的國家，允許遭強暴或亂倫而懷孕，或肚中胎兒嚴重損傷的女性接受墮胎。全世界只有3 分之1 的國家，允許女性完全擁有選擇墮胎的自由。
Abortion is a very controversial issue because people have very different and very strong opinions about it. It all comes down to this question: is a fetus, or unborn child, a person? Those who believe it is a person think that abortion is a kind of murder. Others say the fetus isn’t a person yet and the pregnant woman has the right to decide what happens to her body.
對立：Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice
The two sides of the abortion de¬bate are referred to as ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-choice’. People who identify as pro-life feel that a fetus is a liv¬ing person as soon as it is made. Many pro-life support¬ers follow a religion that does not allow abortion. People who identify as pro-choice don’t think a fetus is a person yet, and feel a woman’s right to choose is the most impor¬tant thing.
反對跟支持墮胎的主張，各自屬於「支持生命權」及「支持選擇權」兩派。認同前者的民眾認為， 胎兒一旦成形，其生命權與世上任一人無異。認同後者的民眾則主張胎兒尚且非人， 懷孕女性的選擇權，才是最需要被保障的權利。