Irish anti-abortion campaign concedes it has lost referendum

PA Wire  PA Images                   A woman lays flowers next to a mural of Savita Halappanavar in Dublin as Ireland went to the polls

PA Wire PA Images A woman lays flowers next to a mural of Savita Halappanavar in Dublin as Ireland went to the polls

"The size of the victory predicted by the exit poll leaves little doubt that, whatever the final count figures, the constitutional ban on abortion, inserted in a referendum in 1983, is set to be repealed", the Times has inferred.

The RTE poll used similar methods and projected the "yes" vote to be almost 70%.

Here is a closer look at what this vote is about, what Ireland's eighth amendment stands for. and what happens if the amendment is repealed.

Irish voters are getting the chance to decide whether or not the nation should repeal the Eighth Amendment - an amendment to the Irish Constitution which upholds the right to life of unborn children. No exceptions are made in cases of rape or incest.

He said the Ireland we will see from now on is one that "will wrap women in a blanket of compassion".

Anyone terminating a pregnancy in Ireland could face 14 years in jail. She had suffered a miscarriage four days after she had been admitted to hospital.

She was released and readmitted the same day when doctors determined that she was miscarrying.

"The fact that it's illegal for somebody in Ireland to seek medical treatment, having to travel outside the country and to feel that guilt, shame and isolation, it's absolutely shocking", said Belinda Nugent, 43, a community activist voting at Lourdes Parish School in north Dublin.

The law was tweaked in 2013 to allow terminations if the mother's life is at risk, following the death of Savita Halappanavar, a pregnant woman originally from India who was refused an abortion.

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However, the new law did not satisfy all people, and people argued that it would still not make getting an abortion in Ireland any easier.

A number of Irish have even chosen to fly back to their country to take part in the historic vote. The country's huge global diaspora have used the hashtag #hometovote on social media.

Abortion restrictions will remain in place in Northern Ireland, where progress on many political issues has been stalled due to the collapse of power-sharing agreements. "I do not believe the smart people of Ireland want this unrestricted, abortion-on-demand bill".

The Catholic Church in Ireland has been slighted for not standing firmly in favor of saving Ireland's Eighth Amendment.

As expected, younger voters were overwhelmingly in favour of the change, with whopping majorities in all age groups under 65.

If a majority has voted yes - as appears to be the case - then the Irish government's recommendation is that women will be able to access a termination within the first 12 weeks of their pregnancy. "Whether you agree or disagree, it shouldn't be the government or anyone else making that decision".

After 24 weeks of gestation, which is when a fetus can survive outside the womb, abortion would remain banned, unless the fetus has a fatal abnormality.

Three years on, the country yesterday (May 25) headed to the polls again, in a bid to overturn a law restricting access to abortion in the country.

Varadkar told reporters that turnout had been good so far and this increased the chances of a vote in favour of liberalising abortion laws.

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