Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Ireland voting today to loosen abortion ban

Ireland voting today to loosen abortion ban

The Eighth Amendment, which was added to the constitution following a referendum in 1983, places the rights of the fetus and the rights of its mother on equal footing, effectively banning abortion barring a "real and substantial risk" to the mother's life.

The poll released by Ireland's national broadcaster RTE shortly after polling stations closed on Friday night predicted that almost 70% voted in in favor of repealing the Eighth Amendment to Ireland's Constitution. The ballots will be counted from 9am today, with the result expected this evening. However, the Catholic Church's influence has waned in recent years following a series of child sex abuse scandals.

According to Ireland's eighth amendment, abortion is banned in the country.

The RTE television and Irish Times exit polls are only predictions, with official tallies due on Saturday afternoon, but both exit polls suggested an overwhelming victory for abortion rights activists seeking a "yes" vote to change the Constitution.

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People hold "yes" placards as the country heads to polling stations, May 25, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. "Yes" campaigners have argued that with over 3,000 women travelling to Britain each year for terminations - a right enshrined in a 1992 referendum - and others ordering pills illegally online, abortion is already a reality in Ireland.

A prominent pro-life advocate in the country, Cora Sherlock Tweeted in response to news of the surveys: "Exit polls, if accurate, paint a very sad state of affairs tonight. Please please vote Yes this Friday". The build-up has seen heated campaigning in the Catholic country.

Ireland's LGBT+ community and women have bonded together to support those who need access to abortions in a way quite like no other. Ireland is one of the few countries in the European Union that does not allow those overseas to vote via post or in embassies. Akkamahadevi says that though she was in the hospital, she had checked with her brother to find out if her parents had reached home safely.

Catholics are split on the subject, with 45 percent supporting abortion up to 12 weeks and 40 percent opposed, contrasting with 69 percent support and 26 percent opposition amongst those with no religion. I wasn't lucky enough to have a daughter. "More than 100,000 Irish unborn babies and mothers have been spared from the pain and death of abortion, thanks to the constitutional protection", writes LifeSite's Steven Ertlet. "I've a family myself and I think it's really important", said John Devlin, a marketing worker in his 50s voting "No" near Dublin's city center.

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"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 99 randomly selected citizens, after hearing extensive evidence, voted in favour (64 percent) of having no restrictions on termination in early pregnancy.

Thousands of Irish people overseas travelled home to take part in the historic referendum, and supporters of repeal gathered at Dublin Airport to give arrivals an ecstatic welcome.

If the amendment is removed and the issue moves to Parliament, the government proposes that terminations be allowed during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

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"I do not believe the smart people of Ireland want this unrestricted, abortion-on-demand bill".

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