Ireland: Exit polls predict win for repealing abortion ban

“Yes” vote supporters celebrate as the results in the Irish referendum on the 8th amendment concerning the country's abortion laws takes place at Dublin Castle

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Ireland has been changing fast. As it stands the historically predominantly-Catholic country has some of the toughest restrictions around terminations in Europe. Women outpolled men in the exits, but men still supported the yes side.

"The influences are interesting because of the broadening of the parameters of the debate compared to the 1980s and 1990s", Diarmaid Ferriter, author of "The Transformation of Ireland: 1900-2000", said.

Posters in Dublin's city center urge votes in Friday's referendum.

Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy showed his support by sending a chocolate cake to the Together for Yes campaign group with a note thanking them for their hard work. About 3.3 million Irish had registered to vote, and many appeared to be returning from overseas to cast ballots.

Since 1980, more than 170,000 women have traveled out of Ireland to terminate their pregnancies-mostly to Britain, but also to the Netherlands.

"We really are a compassionate country".

But Sarah Monaghan, from the rival camp, said: "People in Ireland. are ready to face up to that reality and do something about it, and the power is now is in their hands".

Earlier this month Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who backs the "Yes" campaign, denounced the pro-life lobby for using images of people with Down Syndrome and suggesting repeal would lead to terminations of babies with the genetic disorder. They were greeted with cheering.

If the "yes" forces seeking a constitutional change prevail, Ireland's parliament will be charged with coming up with new abortion laws.

There has been much confusion and misinformation leading up to this Referendum and it is vital that people are aware of the facts: The Amendment prevents elective abortions and does not prevent doctors from providing any necessary medical care to the mother during pregnancy, should the need arise.

Varadkar said the new legislation would be enacted by the end of the year.

The referendum is about taking action that would result in the repeal of article 40.3.3 of the Irish Constitution (commonly referred to as the 8th amendment), allowing the Irish government to change the law on abortion, which is now illegal unless a woman's life is at substantial risk. That is basis of an nearly total prohibition of abortion, even in cases of rape, incest, fetal anomaly or maternal health risk.

Many Irish women seeking an abortion are forced to travel overseas, often to the UK. In its current form, it would make abortion legal for all women in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

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Ireland's political leadership has promised that Parliament will quickly pass a new law guaranteeing unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks, and beyond that in cases of fatal fetal abnormalities or serious risks to a mother's health.

In 2012, a woman named Savita Halappanavar, who was 17 weeks pregnant, died of sepsis (blood poisoning) at Galway University Hospital. "All of us have underestimated our country", she said before breaking down in tears.

"This is about women taking their rightful place in Irish society, finally". "I just don't think I could ever live with myself if it didn't go through and I hadn't gone home".

On Friday, a monumental vote will occur in Ireland. Yesterday, even in Roscommon he won Yes (57%). Such a move would bring Ireland into line with most other European countries. He won in all age groups, except for older than 65 years. No one expects that this time.

On Friday night excitement for victory was barely disguised in Pantibar, Temple of Gay night Dublin, where rainbow flag fluttered on two huge murals by yes.

"We are so happy to welcome what looks to be a landslide win for the Yes side". The faithful Irrumpían in a jubilant rumble, before dancing untied to ironic rhythm of girls just want to have fun, Cindy's upper, and faith, by George Michael.

Ganiel said economic changes, combined with eventual loosening of laws on the sale of contraceptives, undermined an alliance between priests and mothers that was central in maintaining Irish conservatism.

The amendment was not introduced to criminalize abortion - this was already unequivocally the case in Ireland before the "83 vote".

"We've all known women who felt that they've no other options", Martin says.

Two Americans have spearheaded a campaign to protect life in Ireland ahead of the nation's May 25 referendum that will determine whether abortion remains illegal in the country.

The Irish government offered her 30,000 euros ($35,000) in compensation - further spurring calls for reform.

But DUP made it clear that revising it does not go into its plans.

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