Niall Horan, Hozier, Bastille & More Encourage Votes on Irish Abortion Referendum

Pauline Gross
May 26, 2018

Exit polls from Ireland's historic referendum on abortion showed that an overwhelming majority of voters had endorsed government plans to scrap Europe's most restrictive law.

Ireland expected the higher-than-usual voter turnout to continue into the evening on Friday as Irish citizens headed to ballot boxes in droves and women living overseas returned to their home country to weigh in on a measure that would repeal the Eight Amendement of the Irish Constitution, which bans abortion unless a pregnant woman's life is at risk.

The referendum is one of the most anticipated, and controversial, in the heavily Catholic nation's history, as it could roll back rules that now only allow abortion in the case of a woman's life being at risk, but not for rape, incest or fatal fetal abnormality.

However an Irish Times exit poll, carried out by Ipsos MRBI, suggests a huge victory for the Yes side, with 68 per cent in favour of change.

Today in Ireland, thousands voted in a referendum that could force their government to introduce legislation that will legalize abortion for the first time since 1983. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, made a fervent appeal to voters to lift the ban on abortion in the country and vote "Yes" in the referendum.

"We will never again have a more important vote", Bukley said.

A total of 70 per cent of women voted in favour of legalising terminations, and support was also high among men, who voted 65 - 35 in favour of lifting the ban.

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The Irish government's push to liberalize the laws is in contrast to the United States, where abortion has always been legal, but President Donald Trump backs stripping federal funding from women's health care clinics that offer abortions.

Ms Woods says that repeal would be "a vote for tolerance", and hopes "with all my heart" that the Irish people will vote for it; however, she adds that "I do pray that few will want to use it"; she believes that abortion "is a bad, tragic thing", but "sometimes it is a horribly necessary awful, tragic thing.' Abortion advocates used to talk in terms of "tragic but necessary" - of the need to make abortion 'legal but rare" - now they talk about making abortion a human right for any reason at all, and try to silence all opposition.

A breakdown of the poll suggested young people had overwhelmingly vote for "Yes".

. Voters will decide whether or not to abolish the 8th amendment which makes abortions illegal, except when the mother's life is at risk. "I am conscious that in 1983 there was only a turnout of 55%, most people chose to sit out and I hope that won't happen on this occasion and I am really encouraging everyone to come out and vote", he said.

Under current law an Irish citizen is disqualified from voting in elections or referendums if they have lived outside the State for more than 18 months. 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".

Voting has already taken place on Ireland's offshore islands.

A 2011 study shows something that conservatives have argued for decades: Abortion is "tied to a sharp decline in women's mental health". Ireland now grants women and fetuses an "equal right to life", and women who have abortions could face up to 14 years in prison.

Vote counting begins on Saturday morning at 0800 UTC with an official result expected to be declared in the late afternoon.

Other reports by GizPress

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