Irish abortion referendum: Counting begins as exit polls present landslide in favor


A ballot launched by Eire’s nationwide broadcaster RTE shortly after polling stations closed Friday evening predicted that almost 70% voted in favor of repealing a 35-year-old modification to the Irish Structure that positioned the rights of mom and embryo on the identical footing.

Crowds of “Sure” voters started to collect Saturday morning to have a good time at Dublin Fortress. “We anticipated simply to scrape by. We thought it will be shut,” mentioned Heather Keane, 24, who lives in London however flew residence for the vote.

Keane mentioned she had been crying tears of pleasure on the information of the exit polls.

Official outcomes are anticipated late Saturday afternoon.

“It is a very compassionate end result,” mentioned Rebecca Moynihan, an area Labour politician in Dublin. “Individuals knew what they had been voting for. They’ve listened to the tales of Irish ladies.”

Dublin Labour politician Rebecca Moynihan

The Eighth Modification, which was added to the structure following a referendum in 1983, banned abortion in Eire except there was a “actual and substantial danger” to the mom’s life.

If the exit polls are confirmed, the referendum may even full a circle of sweeping social reforms within the European Union nation that fly within the face of the normal teachings of the Catholic Church, from contraception to divorce, and most not too long ago same-sex marriage.

These against abortion vowed Saturday to take their battle now to the Irish Parliament, the place lawmakers should result in laws permitting for terminations within the first 12 weeks of being pregnant — and later in circumstances the place there’s a danger to the mom’s life or the fetus will not be anticipated to outlive.

The vote seems to signifying an astounding victory for the federal government of Leo Varadkar, the Prime Minister, or Taoiseach because the workplace is named in Eire.

“What we have seen at the moment is the end result of a quiet revolution that has been going down in Eire for the previous 10 or 20 years,” Varadkar instructed RTE. “This has been an ideal train in democracy, and the individuals have spoken.”

Dr. Ruth Cullen, spokeswoman for the anti-abortion LoveBoth marketing campaign, conceded defeat Saturday earlier than the depend had completed.

“We’ll maintain the Taoiseach to his promise that repeal would solely result in abortion in very restrictive circumstances. He gave his phrase on this, now he should ship on it. Little question many individuals voted for repeal primarily based on the Taoiseach’s guarantees on this regard,” Cullen mentioned in a press convention Saturday.

Varadkar will not be solely Eire’s youngest ever and likewise first brazenly homosexual Prime Minister but in addition the primary of duel heritage. His father is an Indian physician.

The dying of an Indian dentist ignited the abortion rights marketing campaign. Savita Halappanavar, 31, died in Eire in 2012 due to problems from a pure miscarriage after abortion was denied to her.

Demonstrators hold placards and candles in memory of Savita Halappanavar in 2012 in Dublin.

Turnout was excessive Friday in all of the 6,500 polling stations in 40 constituencies throughout the Irish Republic. If the ultimate turnout surpasses 60.52%, will probably be larger than Eire’s referendum on same-sex marriage, which handed in 2015. Turnout was greater than 70% in some areas, broadcaster RTE reported.

Posters for both campaigns in the abortion debate vie for attention this month in Dublin.
The exit poll showed 69% of males voting and 72.1% of girls voting supporting repeal, amongst an citizens of greater than 3.2 million who had been eligible to forged their ballots Friday, together with hundreds of Irish residing overseas who had made the journey home to vote.

Help appeared to lower with age. The exit ballot mentioned repeal was supported by 87.6% of voters 18 to 24, 84.6% of voters 25 to 34, 72.8% of voters 35 to 49, and 63.7% of voters 50 to 64.

Voters over 65 had been the one age group total not supporting the modification, with 58.7% voting no, the ballot mentioned.

CNN’s Hilary Clarke wrote from London, whereas Kara Fox reported from Dublin. CNN’s Muhammad Darwish contributed to this report.

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