Landslide to lift Irish abortion ban

Polling stations across Limerick close with steady voter turnout reported

Polling stations across Limerick close with steady voter turnout reported

At present Ireland's eighth amendment - which could be repealed in the vote - recognises the "right to life of the unborn" with an "equal right to life of the mother".

"Not the official result, but it's looking good!", Irish Culture Minister Josepha Madigan, coordinator for Prime Minister Leo Varadkar's governing party's campaign for a "Yes" vite, said on Twitter.

Like Brexit, the vote has divided families.

Yes campaigners were last night confident they have won over enough support to secure victory in today's divisive vote. This is your day to make another great decision.

Currently, 78 percent of the Irish population is Catholic, and members of the church are hoping their members will vote "no".

Groups have even set up camp at Dublin Airport to welcome those returning home to vote.

The Referendum Commission‏ tweeted a simple message about Friday's vote: "The debate is over and now everyone should make sure their voice is heard by voting".

Around 2,000 voters in 12 islands off the mainland were eligible to vote on Thursday to prevent any delay in counting their ballot papers.

Voters have until 10:00pm (2100 GMT) on Friday to cast their ballots at some 6,500 polling stations, after which an exit poll of 3,000 voters will be released on national broadcaster RTE. Votes will be counted beginning Saturday morning, with an announcement expected during the afternoon. If a woman or a healthcare professional chooses to defy these laws, they risk criminality and up to 14 years of imprisonment.

When voted on, the referendum passed with 66.9 percent voting "yes", and 33.1 percent voting "no". Not normally one for asking people to vote one way or another.

But Savethe8th's John McGuirk said people must decide "whether or not we're going to have a liberal abortion regime in Ireland". For opponents, it would be a betrayal of Ireland's commitment to protect the unborn.

"The Eighth Amendment to our Constitution gives protection to the most vulnerable and voiceless members of our society", the letter added.

What does the current law say? Thousands of Irish people made the journey home to take part in the referendum.

Opinion polls have shown the "Yes" side, in favor of changing the law, taking a clear lead. Doctors in Ireland refused to perform an induction that would've ended Savita Halappanavar's 17-week-long pregnancy, which she was miscarrying, more quickly because the foetus still had a heartbeat when she was admitted to hospital. This means that some politicians want substantial legislative restrictions on abortion.

Ms Woods sees the lack of legal abortion in such cases, and in cases of disability, as "appalling breaches of humanity", but calls the killing of an innocent child a "termination".

Who is opposed to the referendum?

. "That he was a living human being in the womb of Mary and it's fairly hard for anyone who would say that if they believed that to then say they didn't believe that he didn't have a right to be born". Many of these groups are supported from overseas, and they often align themselves with the Catholic Church.

"At no stage has the government held out its hand to these women and said, 'How can I help you?"

Looking for news you can trust?

What is the main argument to repeal it?

.

CBS reported, "Women who had an abortion were 34 percent more likely to develop an anxiety disorder, 37 percent more likely to experience depression, 110 percent more likely to abuse alcohol, 155 percent more likely to commit suicide, and 220 percent more likely to use marijuana".

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

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