Ireland backs changing abortion laws, exit poll says

Exit polls show that voters in Ireland might have just legalized abortion by a landslide

Ireland held a referendum on the Eighth Amendment of the country's constitution on May 25, 2018 that bans abortion and if this is repealed, the Irish government could legislate terminations.

The specific question people were asked was whether they wanted to see the Eighth Amendment replaced with wording in the constitution that would hand politicians the responsibility to set future laws on abortion, unhindered by constitutional strictures.

At the end of an emotional campaign, marked by stories of the pain and suffering caused by the abortion ban, many Irish women and men reported crying tears of joy at the apparent revelation that the repressive Ireland they had grown up in was, as one put it simply, "dead".

More than 3.2 million people are eligible to vote in Friday's referendum and officials said early turnout was greater than usual. "What Irish voters did yesterday is a tragedy of historic proportions", Save The 8th said in a statement.

The Irish Times exit poll showed overwhelming majorities in all age groups under 65 voted for change, including nearly nine in every 10 voters under the age of 24.

Effectively, that means abortion is banned in Ireland unless the pregnancy poses a real and substantial risk to the mother's life. He has actively campaigned in recent weeks to have the ban abolished.

"I knew I had to spend this money that I didn't have", she said. "It's a vote as to whether we trust the women of Ireland to make decisions about their own lives for themselves".

When voted on, the referendum passed with 66.9 percent voting "yes", and 33.1 percent voting "no". Last year, Ireland elected its first openly gay prime minister, Varadkar. In 2015, Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by a public vote, and Leo Varadkar, the gay son of an Indian immigrant, became the country's leader previous year.


"Life is God's gift and the right to life comes from God and not from any law or constitution".

However, in 2010, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Ireland was violating the European Convention of Human Rights because the rules surrounding what is and isn't a legal abortion were blurred.

Mr Varadkar, who called the referendum, was among the first to cast his ballot when polling stations opened.

The country is voting on whether to repeal the country's Eighth Amendment, which outlaws abortion by giving equal rights to the unborn.

Reacting to the exit polls on Friday night, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, a vocal proponent of liberalisation, tweeted: "It's looking like we will make history tomorrow".

Final results of the referendum are expected around 4pm on Saturday.

Canvassers were out on the streets holding up signs and wearing t-shirts, mindful of the law requiring them to stay at least 50 metres from a polling station.

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