Friday, 22 June, 2018

Irish voters show landslide support for liberalizing abortion laws, exit poll shows

Exit poll suggests hugely one-sided result in abortion referendum Irish Women Turn Out in Droves to Repeal Constitutional Ban on Abortion
Gerardo Duncan | 26 May, 2018, 10:57

Another poll by national broadcaster RTE suggested an even bigger victory, with 69 percent to 30 percent backing reforms.

Exit polls on Ireland's abortion referendum show more than two thirds of voters want to change the country's strict law.

Ireland has voted to liberalize some of Western Europe's most restrictive abortion laws, an exit poll indicated.

While political leaders south of the border were at the forefront of efforts to liberalise the law during the referendum campaign, most politicians in Northern Ireland do not favour a change in the law.

And it is a moment brought about by the untimely and tragic death of a vivacious young Indian woman from Karnataka after she was denied an abortion six years ago caused widespread outrage across Ireland and revulsion at what many saw as the country's archaic abortion laws.

A silent No vote is the only thing that can derail attempts to repeal the Eighth Amendment, it has been claimed as the Republic goes to the polls.

"I took it really personally, this vote, and said I'm going to come out today and vote for what I believe in". That said, with a result of that magnitude, clearly there was very little to be done.

Members of the public vote in Ireland's abortion referendum at Scoil Thomas Lodge polling station on May 25, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. Ciara Grealy, 21, from Dublin, said: "I don't know see we should export women to another country to have something that should be done safely and legally here". Numerous anti-abortion signs showed photographs of fetuses. In Ireland, constitutional change requires a referendum.

Exit polls also indicated that women voted for the repeal of the 8th of Amendment by 72% where as men supported the repeal at 65%.

Four thousand voters were interviewed as they left polling stations during the day on Friday.

The referendum vote is expected to be a close contest in the largely Catholic nation.

Voters are being asked if they wish to scrap a 1983 amendment to the constitution that gives an unborn child and its mother equal rights to life.

Abortion was illegal in Ireland under the Offences against the Person Act of 1861, but when contraception was legalised in 1974, there was concern from many conservatives that abortions would follow.

Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who backs the reform, said he was hopeful that the ban would be abolished as he voted in Dublin.

Her father Andanappa Yalagi released a video calling on voters to "remember Savita" when they voted.

"I don't think a human life should be simply. down to being unwanted or not [,] and yes it's much so hard for women in those positions".

The counting of votes will begin on Saturday morning local time (Saturday night NZT), with a result expected early on Saturday evening (Sunday morning NZT).

As per 1983 amendment, anyone terminating a pregnancy in Ireland could face 14 years in jail. Since the inception of e-commerce, Irish women have been illegally purchasing abortion pills online, of which 1,200 were seized in one year alone.

"He said that proposed legislation seeks to introduce a "very liberal abortion regime" with unrestricted access for first three months and thereafter access on health grounds, not yet defined, and possibly up to birth for life limiting conditions".

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