Almost 70 Percent of Irish Vote to Repeal 8th Amendment

Irish Women Turn Out in Droves to Repeal Constitutional Ban on Abortion

"Hopefully, our day has come", she said, outside a polling station opposite Dublin's cathedral.

"I think it's important that we protect the unborn babies, people don't care anymore about the dignity of human life".

Vera Rooney cast her ballot at the same polling place.

Nulty explained that once we deprive the unborn of the right to life, "we can no longer defend ourselves from what flows from an abortion culture", which "fundamentally alters our attitude towards disability". "How can I take the pressure off you so you don't feel so driven towards abortion?" she told AFP news agency.

A Yes vote would mean that the text added to the constitution back in 1983 and 1992 would be changed to: 'Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy'. The poll says that 68 percent voted yes, and 32 percent voted against.

He wrote: "I hope Ireland votes yes on a 'women's right to choose" because no women has an abortion on a whim'.

Thousands of Irish women every year cross the channel to have an abortion in the UK.

"I'm not taking anything for granted of course, but quietly confident there's been a good turnout so far across the country and hopefully it will be a yes vote". In Ireland, constitutional change requires a referendum.

The RTE poll suggested the highest "Yes" vote was in Dublin, where 80 percent were in favour, but there was no sharp urban/rural divide as in previous referendums on the subject, with 63 percent of people living in areas with a population under 1,500 backing the proposals.

Prime Minister Leo Varadkar speaks to the media after casting his vote.

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Ireland's historic abortion referendum is on course to be a landslide for the "Yes" campaign, according to the first exit poll.

Tara Flynn, who 11 years ago flew to the Netherlands for an abortion, said she planned to vote "yes" to make sure future generations of women don't endure what she did, with feelings of isolation and shame. She said her friend had found seeing the omnipresent referendum placards distressing.

"At no stage has the government held out its hand to these women and said, 'How can I help you?" The No side was largely backed by so-called pro-life groups - the most prominent being The Iona Institute, a socially conservative Roman Catholic advocacy group.

The supporters and opponents have flown from around the world just to vote.

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

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

He tweeted: "As many were duped into believing the Lisbon Treaty would bring jobs and recovery, many are being duped into believing this referendum is about healthcare and choice, when it's really about bringing the lucrative abortion industry into Ireland".

"I will be voting no".

The 99 randomly selected citizens, after hearing extensive evidence, voted in favour (64 percent) of having no restrictions on termination in early pregnancy.

The referendum, if passed, would allow abortions up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy and in limited circumstances later, where fatal fetal abnormalities are present.

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