Ireland Votes To Repeal Eighth...

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Ireland Votes To Repeal Eighth Amendment

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Ireland's voted overwhelmingly to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

Exit polls were largely in line with tallies and early results, which showed that almost all constituencies voted for the change.

Donegal was the main exception, having voted to keep the measure.

The national turnout was at 64.13%.

Figures show Ireland voted to repeal the amendment with 1,429,981 votes in favour.

The final result saw 66.40% Yes and 33.60% No.

Donegal was the only constituency to vote against the proposal.

Speaking in Citywest earlier, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar described the decision as "the culmination of a quiet revolution that has been taking place in Ireland over the past couple of decades."

"The public have spoken," he said. "The result appears to be resounding in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment."

Speaking in his Wicklow constituency count centre, the Health Minister Simon Harris said Ireland has a new message for women facing crisis pregnancy.

"Up to this point we have been saying, 'take the plane' or 'take the boat,'" he said.

"We are now saying 'take our hand... we want to be able to care for you with compassion in our own country.'"

Mr Harris said he will ask the Cabinet for permission to begin drafting the legislation on Tuesday.

There's been widespread welcome of the result from human rights groups.

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) said it was an "overwhelming" vote.

Executive director Liam Herrick said: "This resounding and emphatic vote by the Irish people to repeal the Eighth Amendment is an historic victory for women's rights.

"This vote demonstrates that Ireland in 2018 is a more caring and compassionate society that recognises the harm and terrible injustice that has been caused by this constitutional provision.

People from the Yes' campaign react as the results of the votes begin to come in after the referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Constitution at Dublin Castle | Image: Peter Morrison/AP/Press Association Images

"Ireland will now be able for the first time to introduce nuanced legislation which can address the full complexity of pregnancy in a manner compatible with the rights and dignity of Irish women."

While Amnesty International said: "Today the people of Ireland sent a powerful message to women and girls that their human rights and reproductive health matter.

"In this historic referendum, the Irish people have resoundingly voted to end the almost total constitutional ban on abortion."


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