Monday, 15 October, 2018

Irish overwhelmingly vote to legalise abortion, exit poll suggests

Polling stations across Limerick close with steady voter turnout reported A new tactile ballot template for voters with visual impairments
Glenn Montgomery | 26 May, 2018, 10:59

The count begins at 9:00am (0800 GMT) on Saturday, with the result expected to be announced at Dublin Castle later in the day.

In short - it looks likely Ireland will shortly be making abortion freely available to women.

If the exit poll numbers hold up, the victory will be of a larger magnitude than "yes" activists had believed possible.

The referendum follows a ruling by the Irish Supreme Court this year that said unborn have no constitutional rights.

The vote also is a key indicator of Ireland's trajectory, three years after the country voted to allow same-sex marriages and a year after its first openly gay prime minister took office.

Today, Irish citizens are voting on a referendum to repeal the country's abortion ban. With a turnout of 53 per cent which amounted to 1.2 million people, almost 67 per cent voted Yes and over 33 per cent voted No.

Polling stations close at 21.00 GMT and national broadcaster RTE plans to publish an exit poll at 22.30 GMT.

"If there is a Yes vote Ireland will be the same place, just a place that's a little bit more compassionate and a little bit more understanding than it has been in the past".

Members of the public hold yes placards on Fairview road as the country heads to polling stations on May 25, 2018, in Dublin, Ireland. He said, "I'm a staunch No". Post marriage, she moved to Ireland with her husband Praveen Halappanavar who has now moved to the US.

More than 2,000 people living off the coasts of Galway, Mayo and Donegal had their opportunity to vote yesterday.

"It's looking like we will make history tomorrow", Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who was in favour of change, said on Twitter.

"The heart of our Christian faith is that God took flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary and that he took on the human condition", remarked O'Domhnaill.

The amendment requires authorities to equally protect the right to life of a mother and that of a fetus, from the moment of conception. In Europe, only Malta and Poland have similar laws.

"Yes" campaigners argued that with over 3,000 women traveling to Britain each year for terminations - a right enshrined in a 1992 referendum - and others ordering pills illegally online, abortion is already a reality in Ireland. It is proposed that instead of the article, the government has proposed would act legislation and allow abortion up to 12 weeks.

Later abortions would be allowed in special cases.

Thousands of Irish people overseas travelled home to take part in the historic referendum, and supporters of repeal gathered at Dublin Airport to give arrivals an ecstatic welcome.

Friends star showed her support for the yes when she tweeted a video in which Irish stars like Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and Saoirse Ronan pleaded with viewers to vote in favour of repealing the eighth. Abortions up to the 23rd week will be permitted when a woman's health is threatened and in cases of a fatal foetal abnormality.

"It's an added bonus that I get to see my family, but the referendum is the only reason I came back to be honest", she said. "Please please vote Yes this Friday". Many of these groups are supported from overseas, and they often align themselves with the Catholic Church.

Early exit polls point to a landslide victory. Thirty-two percent of voters opposed the repeal.

"It's women's rights, I feel it's basic healthcare, human rights that women deserve, and we're not getting that".

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