Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Second exit poll projects large victory for Yes side in Abortion Referendum

Second exit poll projects large victory for Yes side in Abortion Referendum

In September previous year, the Irish government announced that it would hold an abortion referendum in 2018, seeking to make a change to the law based on the votes.

Voters over 65 were the only age group overall not supporting the amendment, with 58.7% voting no, the poll said.

An official result will not be announced until Saturday morning (local time).

People arriving at polling stations on Friday in more traditional rural areas and city centres spoke about the momentousness of a morally complex decision.

Ireland's prime minister, Leo Varadkar, has said almost 200,000 women have traveled to Britain to terminate pregnancies in the 35 years since the amendment was passed.

Ireland adopted the ban in 1983, but support has waned as the country has grown more liberal, legalizing divorce and gay marriage.

The referendum comes three months before a visit by Pope Francis for the World Meeting of Families (WMF) and three years after Ireland voted to legalise same-sex marriage despite the Church's opposition. But advocates say the vote represents a changing tone in Ireland's politics. "I'm one of the lucky ones", he said.

"What we've seen today is the culmination of a quiet revolution that has been taking place in Ireland for the past 10 or 20 years", Varadkar told RTE, Ireland's public broadcaster.

Abortion rights activists proclaimed victory for social justice Saturday as exit polls and early results indicated Ireland had voted overwhelmingly to repeal a 1983 constitutional ban on abortions.

Voters were asked if they wish to scrap the amendment, which gives an unborn child and its mother equal rights to life.

"I've been awake all night".

A counting station
PAAn exit poll is a poll of voters taken as they leave polling stations

"In the United Kingdom, 8 million children have gone missing since the abortion law was introduced", he said. "Hopefully our day has come".

And the man who had the exact same thought and pretty much set the entirety of Twitter off.

Canvassers were out on the streets holding up signs and wearing t-shirts, mindful of the law requiring them to stay at least 50 metres from a polling station. Irish nationals from America, Australia, and Bangkok have hopped on trains, buses, and planes to make a difference.

Some of those traveling back to Ireland to vote "yes" recalled undertaking trips in the other direction to seek reproductive services in other countries.

This has meant thousands of pregnant women have been forced to leave their home country at considerable expense to get safe abortions elsewhere.

"Hopefully it'll be a Yes vote", he said.

If the projected numbers hold up, the referendum would be a landmark in Irish women's fight for abortion rights.

It was also the tragic case of an Indian dentist, 31-year-old Savita Halappanavar, who died in Ireland in 2012, because of complications form a natural miscarriage after abortion was denied to her, that ignited the pro-choice campaign.

Since 1983, around 170,000 Irish women have gone overseas for terminations. Beyond 12 weeks of pregnancy, termination would still be possible - up to 24 weeks - if two doctors determined that a woman's life was threatened by the pregnancy or that there was serious risk to her health.

Although not on the ballot paper, the "No" camp has seized on government plans to allow abortions with no restriction up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy if the referendum is carried, calling it a human rights issue and a step too far for most voters.

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