Irish voters show landslide support for liberalizing abortion laws, exit poll shows

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After polls closed today, Raidió Teilifís Éireann, Ireland's National Public Service Multi-Media Organization, said exit polls indicate that the "yes" voters has won by a margin of 69.4% to 30.6%.

An Irish Times exit poll released Friday night projected a landslide victory for those who want to loosen abortion laws, but official results are not expected until Saturday afternoon.

Residents of Irish islands cast their votes on Thursday local time, to ensure their votes reached count centres on time.

The Irish Times and Ipsos MRBI poll says 32% of voters opposed repealing the eight amendment.

Some have shared their own traumatic stories of having to travel overseas in order to have an abortion, while others are showing their support for women finally having autonomy over their own bodies in what is historically a deeply Catholic country.

"If the vote passes it would be another social-change milestone for Ireland after it legalized contraception (1979), divorce (1995), and same-sex marriage (2015)", USA Today reports.

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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".

This is one of the most conservative and restrictive laws on abortion in the Western world.

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

He said the Supreme Court has warned that "removal of this protection will leave the unborn child with no constitutional rights, which is a huge step".

It "acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right" - meaning the life of the woman and the unborn are seen as equal.

People hold placards as Ireland holds a referendum on liberalizing its law on abortion, in Dublin, Ireland, May 25, 2018.

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Exit polls also indicated that women voted for the repeal of the 8th of Amendment by 72% where as men supported the repeal at 65%.

She and her family all voted yes, but she is still nervous of the result.

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.

"If there is a Yes vote Ireland will be the same place, just a place that's a little bit more compassionate and a little bit more understanding than it has been in the past", emphasized Varadkar. But as an Irish son and brother, no state should have the right to tell a woman what to do with her body.

The 53-year-old, who found fame with his sisters Andrea, Sharon and Caroline in Irish folk-rock band The Corrs, claimed the vote was a means for the pharmaceutical industry to profiteer from abortion.

Women accessing illegal abortions can receive a maximum 14-year jail sentence, but the law allows them to travel overseas for an abortion, resulting in several thousand Irish women travelling to the United Kingdom each year to terminate their pregnancies.

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