Six Years After Indian Woman's Death, Ireland Set To End Abortion Ban
26 May, 2018, 08:58 | Author: Diane Mills
"For decades, the Eighth Amendment has protected unborn babies and mothers equally in Ireland by recognizing that both are valuable human beings who deserve a right to life".
The effective prohibition on abortion in Ireland was partially lifted in 2013 for cases when a mother's life was in danger.
Voters backed the removal of a wide-ranging constitutional block on terminations by about 68 percent to 32 percent, according to exit poll of about 4,500 voters commissioned by the Irish Times.
Some voters encountered trouble Friday attempting to return to Ireland to cast a ballot.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who backs the reform, said he was taking nothing for granted as he voted in the capital. However, the Catholic Church's influence has waned in recent years following a series of child sex abuse scandals.
A bitter campaign has dominated public debate in Ireland over recent months as almost 3.5 million voters are asked whether they want to overturn a constitutional ban on abortion. The government's vote count begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday in Dublin.
The result is expected to be close after a polarising campaign, but the latest polls suggest voters are ready to overturn the ban.
The ban has led to thousands of women travelling each year to neighbouring Britain, where terminations are legal, or increasingly turning to abortion pills sold online.
The polls are open as the nation votes in a referendum to repeal or retain the Eighth Amendment. "Please please vote Yes this Friday".
Met Eireann predicts a largely sunny day across the whole country, with just a few showers. "I am conscious that in 1983 there was only a turnout of 55%, most people made a decision to sit out and I hope that won't happen on this occasion and I am really encouraging everyone to come out and vote", he said.
A subsequent referendum made it legal for women to travel to have abortions, and for information about abortions to be provided (previous to this, ads for abortion providers had been cut out of the pages of United Kingdom women's magazines that were imported into Ireland) but the ban on abortion was not rolled back. Ireland does not allow expatriates to vote via post or in embassies but those away for less than 18 months remain on the electoral roll. Two-thirds of voters approved it, declaring that a woman and a preborn child have a right to life.
"I've followed it a lot and feel that it's important to have a say", Mr Gaultier said.
Letters to the editor published in the Irish Independent newspaper contained several emotional arguments urging voters to reject the repeal movement.
The 99 randomly selected citizens, after hearing extensive evidence, voted in favour (64 percent) of having no restrictions on termination in early pregnancy.
Some activists held a placard reading "Thank you for making the journey so other women don't have to" - a reference to the way Irish women seeking abortions have had to leave the country to obtain them.
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My daughter called her while it was happening from underneath the desk and it sounded like it was coming from another hallway". Vice President Mike Pence tweeted , "Karen and I are praying for the victims of the bad shooting in Indiana".
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