Irish abortion referendum: No campaign concede defeat
26 May, 2018, 17:27 | Author: Donnie King
But this is not simply a Catholic or Christian issue, he said, since "people of all faiths and none" have come together in a broad coalition of concern, sharing the belief that "innocent human life should be protected".
The exit polls represent a remarkable turnaround in public opinion in little over a generation. Religious conservatives pressed for a constitutional amendment to strictly ban abortion, which was passed by referendum in 1983.
"The Eighth Amendment to our Constitution gives protection to the most vulnerable and voiceless members of our society", the letter added.
The big cities - Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway - are in many ways typical Northern European cities, with cosmopolitan voters and low levels of religious observance.
The Irish Times and Ipsos MRBI poll says 32% of voters opposed repealing the eight amendment. Varadkar wants to remove the current language on abortion, paving the way for terminations up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy and only in very limited circumstances - such as a fatal fetal abnormality - after that. "I've a family myself and I think it's really important", said John Devlin, a marketing worker in his 50s who voted "No" near Dublin's city center. The very high turnout - up to 70 percent in some areas - provides further democratic legitimacy for the outcome.
Speaking to RTE, Mr Martin said he has spoken to a number of pro-life Fianna Fail TDs who said they will not "stand in the way of he democratic will of the people". The laws prohibit abortion while the foetus is live, even if there is a threat to the mother's life.
A "yes" vote, meanwhile, would ease the way for Irish lawmakers to pass legislation allowing abortions in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and in cases that could endanger the mother's life.
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. Later abortions would be allowed in special cases.
More than 3.2million people are registered to vote in the referendum, with over 100,000 new voters registering to vote ahead of the poll.
Thousands of Irish people overseas travelled home to take part in the historic referendum, and supporters of repeal gathered at Dublin Airport to give arrivals an ecstatic welcome.
She said her vote would be one for solidarity and compassion, "a vote to say, I don't send you away any more".
Ireland's Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone said Saturday she is confident new abortion legislation can be approved by parliament and put in place before the end of the year.
"Thank you to everybody who voted today - democracy can be so powerful on days like today - looks like a stunning result that will bring about a fundamental change for the better", he tweeted late of Friday night. Paper ballots must be counted and tallied. Numerous anti-abortion signs showed photographs of fetuses.
Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney said he believed a middle ground of around 40 percent of voters had decided en masse to allow women and doctors rather than lawmakers and lawyers to decide whether a termination was justified.
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Happalanavar's face has become the symbol of the "Yes" campaign to end the abortion ban.
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Campaigning was not allowed Friday, but Dublin was still filled with signs and banners urging citizens to vote "yes" or "no". She said her vote would be one for solidarity and compassion, "a vote to say, I don't send you away any more".
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