Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Ireland: Exit polls predict win for repealing abortion ban

Ireland: Exit polls predict win for repealing abortion ban

Hours before Irish voters cast their ballot in Ireland's abortion referendum Friday, pro-lifers are exposing the "extreme" measure that would decriminalize the murder of an unborn child for any reason up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.

If today's exit polls hold true, it indicates a seismic shift in the opinions of Irish 1983 when the 8th amendment was originally introduced, 67% of Irish voters were in favor of the ban on abortion.

John McGuirk, communications director for the "Save the 8th" campaign pushing a "No" vote, reacted to the exit poll on Twitter.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, a vocal proponent of liberalisation, led the way, tweeting: "Thank you to everyone who voted today".

When feminists discuss the right to choose, we mean the right to make hard decisions about our lives and our bodies because we are capable of making those decisions and should be trusted to do so.

Ireland's historic abortion referendum is on course to be a landslide for the "Yes" campaign, according to the first exit poll.

As expected, younger voters were overwhelmingly in favour of the change, with whopping majorities in all age groups under 65.

Voters on 12 remote islands in the Atlantic Ocean went to the polls a day early on Thursday to ensure the ballot boxes could be shipped or flown to count centres on the mainland in case of poor weather.

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.

Ireland, a country with a deep connection to its Roman Catholic roots, didn't see open access to contraception until the 1990s and only legalized divorce in 1995.

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(Then again, they did vote to legalise same-sex marriage more than two years before we did, so people in glass houses probably shouldn't throw stones).

"I think there are a lot of people who are reluctant to speak their minds".

She and her family all voted yes, but she is still nervous of the result.

"I feel like I've waited all of my adult life to have a say on this", she said. I have a lot of hopes we're going to win it, but it's not a sure thing one way or the other. I'm very emotional about this.

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

"It means I can get the proper medical care that I should get and that my needs are put first whenever it comes to me being in hospital".

Meanwhile, city streets are filled with people wearing campaign badges, stickers and tops. 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". But in other cases, a doctor can face prosecution and up to 14 years in jail.

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

Volunteers from Reproductive rights, against Oppression, Sexism & Austerity (ROSA) in Dublin, calling for a "Yes" vote. "It's a vote as to whether we trust the women of Ireland to make decisions about their own lives for themselves".

On May 25 2018, Ireland has the opportunity to repeal the country's abortion law and the Eighth Amendment, to allow the government to legislate terminations.

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