Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Anti-abortion group admits defeat in Irish vote

Anti-abortion group admits defeat in Irish vote

The Ireland abortion referendum exit poll results will be announced on the Irish talk show The Late Late Show and RTÉ's David McCullagh will reveal what the people interviewed after they voted for or against repealing the Eighth Amendment.

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. RTE's exit poll showed a similar split on the vote, with an estimated 69.4% voting "Yes" and 30.6% voting "No", according to the exit poll.

Voters in Ireland headed to the polls on Friday to decide whether the country should repeal its restrictive abortion laws.

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

But the Yes camp, which portrayed itself as modernising and in step with global opinion, insisted repeal would demonstrate Ireland's compassion for thousands of Irish women forced to travel to England for the procedure.

The Behaviour & Attitudes poll for RTÉ surveyed 3,800 people at 175 polling stations across the country.

If the Yes vote is confirmed, the Irish Government intends to legislate by the end of the year to make it relatively easy for a woman to obtain the procedure in early pregnancy.

The Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI exit poll suggested that voters in the once deeply Catholic nation had backed a referendum by a margin of 68 percent to 32 percent.

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Some "Yes" politicians were already calling on the government to pass the legislation without delay following the publication of the exit polls.

Not just in terms of pro-choice, the amendment even outlaws abortion in most cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal abnormality and risk to the woman's health.

When voted on, the referendum passed with 66.9 percent voting "yes", and 33.1 percent voting "no".

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. A narrow victory might have led to more limited abortion with more stringent conditions attached.

The Times reports that supporters of the ban hoped to secure enough votes in Ireland's rural areas to preserve the ban, but the Times reports that rural areas voted as much as 60 percent to repeal the ban.

Letters to the editor published on Friday in the Irish Independent newspaper contained several emotional arguments urging voters to reject the repeal movement.

We have the journalist documenting every fantastic airport entry. But this is not simply a Catholic or Christian issue, he said, since "people of all faiths and none" have come together in a broad coalition of concern, sharing the belief that "innocent human life should be protected".

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