Polls open landmark Irish referendum to repeal abortion ban

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Polls open landmark Irish referendum to repeal abortion ban

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri May 25, 2018 7:11 am

Polls open in landmark Irish referendum to repeal abortion ban

Posters for both campaigns on a lamp post in Dublin, Ireland.

(CNN)Voters in Ireland are casting their ballots in a landmark referendum to decide whether to remove a constitutional amendment that bans abortion in almost all circumstances.

Polling stations across 40 constituencies in the republic opened at 7 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET). An electorate of around 3.2 million are eligible to cast their ballots, including thousands of Irish people living overseas who have flown home to vote.
If the Yes campaign wins, Irish lawmakers are expected to enact legislation allowing for terminations in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy -- and later in cases where there is a risk to the mother's life or the fetus is not expected to survive.

A No vote would keep Ireland's abortion laws -- some of the strictest in the developed world -- in place.

The Eighth Amendment, which was added into the constitution following a referendum in 1983, places the rights of the fetus and the rights of its mother on equal footing, effectively banning abortion barring a "real and substantial risk" to the mother's life.

As with any proposed change to Ireland's constitution, the question has to be put to a referendum.

Related: A baby's murder opened a dark chapter in Ireland that still hasn't been closed
Abortion-rights activists -- advocating a Yes vote on Friday -- have long argued that the Eighth Amendment punishes women and doesn't stop abortions, which are exported, mostly to the UK, instead.

Their longstanding campaign to repeal the Eighth, as it is commonly known, has seen some change over the past three decades.

In 1992, the X Case made it legal for Irish women to travel abroad for abortions, adding the threat of suicide as grounds for abortion. In 2013, Savita Halappanavar died of sepsis after being denied a termination of a miscarrying fetus in a Galway hospital, prompting the government to pass a bill allowing abortions when a woman's life is in danger. And in June 2016, the UN's Human Rights Council ruled that the country's abortion regime subjected Amanda Mellet, a dual Irish-American national, to "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment," and called on the Irish government to reform its laws.
The young Americans trying to stop Ireland from voting Yes to abortion
Throughout the years, Ireland's abortion-rights campaigners have mobilized en masse, with demonstrations that have brought Dublin to a halt and found support across the globe.
Anti-abortion activists will be voting No, arguing that the Eighth has saved thousands of lives and encouraged compassionate alternatives to abortion, such as perinatal hospice care when the baby is not expected to survive or adoption for babies born to women in challenging circumstances.

The No campaign has also found support from anti-abortion groups worldwide, including some American activists who have traveled to speak at rallies.

Polls will close at 5 p.m. ET (10 p.m. local) on Friday. Counting of ballots will get underway on Saturday, with a result expected by mid-afternoon.
https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/25/europe/i ... index.html
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Re: Polls open landmark Irish referendum to repeal abortion

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri May 25, 2018 7:24 pm

Irish Times exit poll projects Ireland has voted by landslide to repeal Eighth Amendment
Exit poll result suggests huge majority of younger people voted Yes

about 2 hours ago Updated: 54 minutes ago
Pat Leahy Political Editor


Ireland has voted by a landslide margin to change the constitution so that abortion can be legalised, according to an exit poll conducted for The Irish Times by Ipsos/MRBI.
The poll suggests that the margin of victory for the Yes side in the referendum will be 68 per cent to 32 per cent – a stunning victory for the Yes side after a long and often divisive campaign. See here for liveblog coverage of events across Friday in the referendum vote.

More than 4,500 voters were interviewed by Ipsos/MRBI as they left polling stations on Friday. Sampling began at 7am and was conducted at 160 locations across every constituency throughout the day. The margin of error is estimated at +/- 1.5 per cent.
Counting of votes begins on Saturday morning at 9am with an official result expected to be declared in the afternoon.
However, 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. An exit poll published later on Friday night by RTÉ during the Late Late Show mirrored the projection seen in The Irish Times exit poll. The RTÉ poll showed 69.4 have voted for Yes, while 30.6 per cent have voted for No.
Wave of support
Although polls had predicted victory for the Yes side, few anticipated the great wave of support for repeal of Eighth Amendment that swept the country. The highest Yes vote was in Dublin, where 77 per cent of voters backed the proposals, The Irish Times poll predicts.
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politic ... -1.3508861
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