Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Irish abortion referendum: Exit polls suggest landslide for repeal

REUTERS    
   IRELAND ABORTION The people over spoken and overturned the strict laws REUTERS IRELAND ABORTION The people over spoken and overturned the strict laws
Kenny Thornton | 26 May, 2018, 16:17

As a result of the Eighth Amendment to the document, which voters overwhelmingly backed in 1983, the state "acknowledges the right to life of the unborn" and gives the unborn "equal right to life as the mother".

Abortion will remain illegal in the country in nearly all circumstances until Ireland's legislative body, the Oireachtas, passes a law legalizing the practice nationwide.

If confirmed, the outcome will be the latest milestone on a path of change for a country which only legalised divorce by a razor-thin majority in 1995 before becoming the first in the world to adopt gay marriage by popular vote three years ago.

"They have said we need a modern constitution for a modern country", he said.

"Democracy in action. It's looking like we will make history tomorrow", he said in a tweet after the exit polls were released.

Another Irish Times article reported that voter turnout was extremely high, possibly higher than it was when Ireland voted to legalize same-sex "marriage".

Her husband later told the press that they repeatedly asked for an abortion to save Savita's life, and were turned away with the answer "this is a Catholic country".

The counting of votes was underway Saturday following Ireland's referendum to lift its constitutional ban on abortion after exit polls pointed to an emphatic "Yes".

Women accessing illegal abortions can receive a maximum 14-year jail sentence, but the law allows them to travel overseas for an abortion, resulting in several thousand Irish women travelling to the United Kingdom each year to terminate their pregnancies.

Opponents have come out against legalizing abortion, with some pressing a vote "NO" campaign across Ireland.

GETTY    
     REFERENDUM Ballot papers are handled as officials count votes in the Irish referendum
GETTY REFERENDUM Ballot papers are handled as officials count votes in the Irish referendum

"I've followed it a lot and feel that it's important to have a say", Mr Gaultier said. The laws prohibit abortion while the foetus is live, even if there is a threat to the mother's life.

Another by the Irish Times, 68 per cent voted in favour of ditching the prohibition.

Leo Varadkar was speaking after exit polls suggested a landslide vote in favour of reforming the law.

People arriving at polling stations from the early morning spoke about the momentousness of a complex decision that in many cases pitted moral against religious beliefs.

People hold "yes" placards as the country heads to polling stations, May 25, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland.

'Home to vote' campaigns had gained momentum in recent weeks, bringing hundreds of young people back to exercise their democratic right.

Unlike in 1983, when religion was front and centre and abortion was a taboo subject for most, the campaign was defined by women on both sides publicly describing their personal experiences of terminations.

If the amendment is removed and the issue moves to Parliament, the government proposes that terminations be allowed during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

People used the hashtag #HomeToVote on Twitter to share their journeys.

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