Ireland voted to end restrictive abortion ban, reactions

Ireland Votes In Favour of Law Reform In Abortion Referendum

"We will have a modern constitution for a modern country", said Varadkar, who in 2014 said, "I consider myself to be pro-life in that I accept that the unborn child is a human life with rights".

Official counting for Friday's referendum on whether or not to liberalise Ireland's abortion laws was still under way, and final results are not expected until Saturday afternoon.

There were reports of strong turnout in many parts of the country, particularly in urban areas.

Co-director Ailbhe Smyth said: "This will be a moment of profound change in Ireland's social history, a moment when the nation collectively stood up for women and for their healthcare, and voted for constitutional change".

The referendum delivered a conclusive consensus for reform among men and women, almost all age groups and across most counties.

While repealing the Eighth amendment of the constitution enshrining the equal right to life of mother and baby would not immediately introduce abortion, it would pave the way for the Government to do just that. Varadkar has said the legislation would permit women to have abortions with no restrictions up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy.

Abortion is legal only in rare cases when the woman's life is in danger, and several thousand Irish women travel each year to terminate pregnancies in neighbouring Britain.

"Yes" campaign supporters react as the results of the votes are announced.

After that, abortions will only be allowed until the 24th week of pregnancy if there is a risk to a woman's life, or a risk of serious harm to the physical or mental health of a woman.

Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, foreground, arrives at Dublin Castle for the results of the referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Irish Consti.

"Suddenly, Irish citizens had gone far ahead of where the country's laws were at on abortion", Doyle said.

The Irish government estimates that more than 100,000 Irish have come to Canada since 2008.

Savita Halappanavar
Savita Halappanavar's death has been a rallying cry for the movement. Charles McQuillan Getty Images

"What we have done is begin to dismantle the shame and stigma that was around this issue for so many years".

About 80% of Irish people described themselves as Catholic in the last census in 2016. It was the latest, and harshest, in a string of rejections of the church's authority in recent years.

The church was, in fact, largely absent from the referendum campaign.

The death of an Indian dentist ignited the abortion rights campaign in Ireland.

Kevin Keane, 23, is the president of the Students' Union at Trinity College Dublin.

The result caught most observers and voters off guard.

"It felt like the Ireland that I knew, but I haven't really seen". Abortion is not permitted in cases of rape, incest or fetal abnormalities.

"The irony that the referendum on abortion is being held on International Missing Children's Day will not be lost on many Irish people", he tweeted.

"I'm a Roman Catholic and I've always been against abortion", she said. "You may feel that the country has taken the wrong turn, is no longer a country you recognize".

More people in Dublin, where the majority of residents supported the "repeal" campaign, voted in this referendum than in 2015 on same-sex "marriage" and in their general election. A scan at 12 weeks showed a large buildup of fluid in the fetus' neck and head and severely under-developed heart and lungs.

"I don't think the Irish people will be fooled by this".

"We will oppose that legislation", he said. One concern that I heard several people express was that abortion would be used as contraception, an idea that seems to come from the misogynistic myth that the No campaign has helped to conjure, one where women can not be trusted and abortion is "on demand", as if it were a Netflix series. The pamphlet that includes heartbreaking stories from some of women in Ireland who've had to travel overseas to receive the healthcare they needed?

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