Ireland referendum could lift abortion ban

26 May, 2018, 16:41 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Yes and no campaigners

Counting began at 09:00 local time and the confirmed result is expected by Saturday evening.

Exit polls published after Ireland's referendum on abortion suggest a large vote in favour of liberalising the law.

Activists react at the count centre as votes are tallied folowing yesterday's referendum on liberalizing abortion law, in Dublin, Ireland, May 26, 2018.

Ms Halappanavar, a 31-year-old dentist, died at University Hospital Galway in 2012 after a septic miscarriage, during which she asked several times for an abortion. In the United Kingdom, 8 million children have gone missing since the abortion law was introduced.

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

The heated, emotional campaign saw limits placed on social media advertisements nationwide, with Facebook and Google banning campaign ads after concerns from experts that some campaign ads were funded by us based anti-abortion groups.

Carlow Kilkenny TD Bobby Aylward, who organised pro-life meetings in response to Mr Martin declaring he supported the constitutional change, said he allow abortion legislation pass through the parliament.

Abortion is now only legal in Ireland in cases where the mother's life is at risk, and remains illegal in cases of rape, incest or fetal abnormality.

In Dublin, 79% of people voted for repeal, according to the RTÉ poll.

A counting station
PAAn exit poll is a poll of voters taken as they leave polling stations

Catherine Murphy, co-leader of the small Social Democrats party, said the polls strongly indicate "voters have taken on board the clear message that the constitutional ban harms women" and must be removed from the constitution.

Videos shared on social media showed scores of voters arriving home at Irish airports from overseas.

O'Connor said the vote is a "rejection of an Ireland that treated women as second-class citizens".

The ban has led to thousands of women travelling each year to neighbouring Britain, where terminations are legal, or increasingly turning to abortion pills sold online.

Since 2013, terminations have only been allowed in Ireland when the life of the mother is at risk, including from suicide.

A "no" vote would preserve the 1983 amendment that recognizes the "right to life of the unborn", effectively equating the life of a fetus with the life of a mother. He notes that the 8th amendment under review is a declaration of equality of life between the life of a woman and her unborn child, "both lives being precious, in need of protection, love, and the support of society and its laws".

Following a 2015 vote, Ireland legalized same-sex marriage. 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.

Although not on the ballot paper, the "No" camp has seized on government plans to allow abortions with no restriction up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy if the referendum is carried, calling it a human rights issue and a step too far for most voters.

Seeking or providing an abortion in Ireland was a criminal offense that carries up to 14 years behind bars.

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