Irish Vote by Landslide to Repeal Abortion Ban, According to Exit Polls

Ireland’s Main Anti Abortion Campaign Concedes Defeat

The eight amendment, introduced in 1983, enshrined in Irish law the equal right to life of a mother and her unborn child.

Save the Eighth, meanwhile, decried the results and vowed to obstruct legislation liberalizing abortion every inch of the way.

Voters backed the removal of a wide-ranging constitutional block on terminations by about 68 percent to 32 percent, according to exit poll of about 4,500 voters commissioned by the Irish Times. In 2015, Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by a public vote, and Leo Varadkar, the gay son of an Indian immigrant, became the country's leader previous year.

"If and when abortion clinics are opened in Ireland, because of the inability of the Government to keep their promise about a GP led service, we will oppose that as well", they said.

Keane said she had been crying tears of joy on the news of the exit polls.

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".

Official counting is set to begin in Ireland's historic abortion rights referendum, with two exit polls predicting an overwhelming victory for those seeking to end the country's strict ban.

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.

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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.

In January after his cabinet agreed to hold the referendum, Varadkar said, "I do not believe that the Constitution is the place for making absolute statements about medical, moral, and legal issues". Abortions after 24 weeks are allowed only if the woman's life is at risk or the child would be born with a severe abnormality.

With a turnout of 70%, the exit poll results give the Yes vote a margin of victory nobody had been predicting.

Just for clarity as well, the Irish Times' polls pretty much mirrored RTE's and the early tallies at 09:30 so far reflect the same.

The government proposes that women be allowed to terminate pregnancies in the first 12 weeks.

The big cities - Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway - are in many ways typical Northern European cities, with cosmopolitan voters and low levels of religious observance.

As with the gay marriage referendum, those using the #hometovote hashtag on Twitter appeared overwhelmingly to back change.

"Women and girls should not be made into healthcare refugees when they are in a time of crisis", said Niamh Kelly, 27, who paid 800 euros and travelled 20 hours to return home from Hanoi where she works as an English teacher.

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