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No campaigners ‘disingenuous’ in run-up to abortion referendum

No campaigners ‘disingenuous’ in run-up to abortion referendum

The first votes of the Irish abortion referendum will be cast later when many islanders take to the polling booths. The government proposes to allow abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy with later terminations allowed in some cases.

Prime Minister Leo Varadkar called the result the culmination of a "quiet revolution".

He said he was troubled by the way the "yes" campaign used the case of Savita Halappanavar, a 31-year-old dentist who died of sepsis during a prolonged miscarriage after being denied an abortion in Galway in 2012, to drum up support for repeal.

It has urged people to remember the rights of the unborn, who can not speak for themselves; many others sharing the same perspective have characterised that imbalance in emotive terms - warning that babies will die. "Not taking anything for granted, of course, but quietly confident", Varadkar said.

Dozens of Irish emigrants in Canada have shared their stories online, with many pledging either to fly home for the vote, or to sponsor other emigrants who are eligible to do so.

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

"What Irish voters did yesterday is a tragedy of historic proportions", the Save The 8th group said. It required doctors to regard the rights of a fetus, from the moment of conception, as equal to the rights of the mother. Seeking or providing an abortion is punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

The referendum will ask whether they want to remove the Eighth Amendment, thereby allowing politicians to create new abortion laws in the future.

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

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"Abortion is a reality in Ireland today: 3 women a day take the abortion pill (which they get illegally online), without medical advice and support, while another 9 women travel overseas every day to terminate their pregnancy".

In 2013, legislation was amended to allow terminations under certain tightly restricted circumstances - the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act.

The vote "now means I can do my job without the fear of going to jail", said Grainne McDermott, a doctor who works in intensive care in a Dublin hospital.

It is not yet clear what strategy abortion opponents will use in parliament in light of the unexpectedly large vote in favor of repeal.

Diarmuid Martin, the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, said the Church could not compromise its position on abortion. "However, the Catholic Church has lost its moral authority for the vast majority of Irish people", Doyle said.

In an effort to neutralize the "hard cases" argument, some prominent anti-abortion campaigners have lately shifted their stance, even suggesting that new laws could be enacted to permit abortions in certain limited cases.

Results of the referendum will be known on Saturday evening, Australian time.

"I believe in life". "You may feel that the country has taken the wrong turn, is no longer a country you recognize".

I'm hoping that people will just say this isn't a compassionate thing to do. "On Friday he'll return the favour and vote to give women the right to make decisions about their own bodies", wrote McHugh. "We are not a divided country", 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. She had to go to the Supreme Court after the government blocked her from travelling to get an abortion.

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Under pressure from the United Nations about alleged degrading treatment of women who travelled to England for terminations, the Irish Government began exploring the possibility of further reform, culminating in the calling of this referendum and the promise to legislate.

Some supporters had tears of joy running down their cheeks, and many women hugged. Cheers erupted every time partial results were shown on two big screens transmitting the latest television news.

Among the crowds celebrating the referendum outcome at Dublin Castle where the result was announced, were many from Northern Ireland. Another vote this week could ease the country's strict abortion laws.

"I'm very proud of her and I support her decision 100 per cent", he said.

Fiona O'Brien, who moved to the Toronto area five years ago, said she followed some of the vote over Skype with her mother in Dublin and is "over the moon" with the result.

Majority Catholic Ireland is now in a heated debate over legalizing pregnancy termination, which is banned under current laws.

Meanwhile, the country's education minister Anne Milton told ITV's Peston On Sunday she will back liberalisation of Northern Ireland's abortion laws.

"That says something. Ireland is a connected and modern-thinking place", she said.

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