Ireland referendum could lift abortion ban

Huge turnout predicted in Kildare referendum vote this Friday

Ireland has voted to relax laws on abortion by a landslide, exit polls suggest - surpassing the margin of victory in the country's equal marriage referendum. Another poll by national broadcaster RTE suggested an even bigger victory, with 69 percent to 30 percent backing reforms.

In other news, South Korea's government recently announced that it will conduct a survey of 10,000 women in upcoming months to get a sample of the prevalence of abortion in the country. Savita Halappanavar has now become the face of the campaign in Ireland.

And it is a moment brought about by the untimely and tragic death of a vivacious young Indian woman from Karnataka after she was denied an abortion six years ago caused widespread outrage across Ireland and revulsion at what many saw as the country's archaic abortion laws.

She was released and readmitted the same day when doctors determined that she was miscarrying.

She said "those who voted No should take heart".

Currently, abortion is only allowed when a woman's life is at risk, but not in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality.

The results also exposed large divisions between age groups, with voters over 65 mostly voting against repealing the ban on abortions, and 18 to 24-year-olds voting for repeal at roughly 87 percent.

What did the polls show?

All paper ballots must be counted and tallied for the official vote, as the exit polls are merely predictions.

He called it "the final casting off of old mores".

Voters went to the polls after a campaign that aroused deep emotions on both sides.

POLLING stations have now closed across Limerick City and County, with voter turnout for Ireland's abortion referendum reported to have been steady throughout the day.

More news: US Market Indexes Close Lower on Tuesday

Ireland has traditionally been one of the most religious countries in Europe.

She was a successful dentist who lived with her husband Praveen in Galway, on the west coast of the Republic of Ireland - one of the most breathtakingly attractive parts of the world.

However, the expectation amongst No campaigners that rural Ireland would vote against changing the constitution was wide of the mark.

"I'm a staunch No".

The Catholic Church was among influential voices calling for a No vote, arguing that the life of the unborn should be sacrosanct.

She said her vote would be one for solidarity and compassion, "a vote to say, I don't send you away anymore".

Those taking part in the referendum were asked whether they wanted to repeal or retain a part of the constitution known as the Eighth Amendment, which says an unborn child has the same right to life as a pregnant woman.

Canvassers were out on the city's streets holding up signs and wearing t-shirts with campaign slogans. "No doubt many people voted for repeal based on the Taoiseach's promises in this regard" she added.

"What changed people's opinions is that for many years, we've all become aware of the vast harm the eighth amendment has caused over the years".

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.

Since 1983, around 170,000 Irish women have gone overseas for terminations.

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