Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Ireland votes overwhelmingly in favour of repealing anti-abortion law

Ireland votes overwhelmingly in favour of repealing anti-abortion law

"Democracy in action. It's looking like we will make history tomorrow".

Results for different parts of the country are expected from 1100 GMT, with a final result to be announced later in the day at the main counting centre in Dublin Castle.

The prime minister, a medical doctor who came to power past year, spoke to RTE News in advance of the announcement of the referendum's official results, expected later Saturday.

After the "Yes" vote is confirmed in official results, the eighth amendment of Ireland's constitution will be repealed. According to several exit polls, it looks as if pro-abortion forces have decisively delivered enough votes to overturn the country's 8th amendment that bans abortion. "A sigh of relief that the Ireland we always thought we had, has now been recognised".

In 1992, a 14-year-old rape victim was prevented from traveling to Britain for an abortion. "The right exists, independent of what a majority says".

Following Halappanavar's death, abortion is only legal if the mother is at risk of near-death. People in the countryside and small towns tend to be more conservative and more religious.

Others just knew that the gays would come to campaign in style.

Thousands of Irish women every year cross the channel to have an abortion in the UK.

Ireland's prime minister, Leo Varadkar, has said almost 200,000 women have traveled to Britain to terminate pregnancies in the 35 years since the amendment was passed.

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Repealing the amendment means that abortion could be regulated as it is in both the United States and the United Kingdom, clearing the way for Ireland's government to implement more liberal abortion laws.

Savita's smilingimage on aposter was one of the prominent ones in the "Yes" campaign, with the words, "Savita Matters, Women Matter".

Yet the exit poll showed overwhelming majorities in all age groups under 65 voted for change, including nearly nine in every 10 voters under the age of 24. "They have said we need a modern constitution for a modern country", he said. And as voting began across the country Friday, if recent polling is any indication, their answer is likely to be closely contested.

Save The 8th spokesman McGuirk appealed for tolerance and respect from "those who find themselves in the majority now".

It suggested the highest "Yes" vote was in Dublin, where 77 percent of voters were in favor, but there was no sharp urban/rural divide as in previous referendums on the subject, with all provincial areas backing the proposals.

Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney said he believed a middle ground of around 40 percent of voters had decided en masse to allow women and doctors rather than lawmakers and lawyers to decide whether a termination was justified.

Pro-life activists responded to the referendum with a massive canvassing and public awareness campaign about how many lives have been saved by the Eighth Amendment, how one in five babies in England is aborted, the fact that abortion kills a living human being, and the many harms to women and society that come with legalizing it.

The change in the law would allow women to have abortions (up to 12 weeks in pregnancy), which is now illegal in Ireland unless the woman's life is at substantial risk.

Ireland's Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone said Saturday she is confident new abortion legislation can be approved by parliament and put in place before the end of the year.

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