Irish turn attention to parliament as abortion ban voted out

Irish Students Offered Grants to Fly Home and Vote 'Yes' to Abortion

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

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.

"We're going to have to keep going to ensure that women can access safe and legal abortion procedures in Ireland but also so that they can do so without stigma". "No more lonely journeys across the Irish Sea. No more isolation. The burden of shame is gone". Recent polls show the pro-repeal side is leading in a tightening race.

"What Irish voters did yesterday is a tragedy of historic proportions", the Save The 8th group said.

One woman who flew to the Netherlands for an abortion she could not get at home says she is voting "yes" to support others in a similar predicament.

Those opposed to abortion vowed Saturday to take their fight now to the Irish Parliament, where lawmakers will have to bring about legislation allowing for terminations in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy - and later in cases where there is a risk to the mother's life or the fetus is not expected to survive.

No social issue had divided Ireland's 4.8 million people as sharply as abortion, which was pushed up the political agenda by the death in 2012 of a 31-year-old Indian immigrant from a septic miscarriage after she was refused a termination.

Orange Order members in the Republic have been urged to vote "No" in Friday's referendum on relaxing the country's abortion laws.

Orla O'Connor, co-director of the Together for Yes group, said Saturday: "This is about women taking their rightful place in Irish society, finally".

If the partial results hold up, the referendum would likely end the need for thousands of Irish women to travel overseas - mostly to neighboring Britain - for abortions they can't get at home. Since 2013, they are allowed only when the mother's life is at risk, including from suicide.

Former chairman of Ireland's Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Eamon McGuinness, says doctors should provide counselling and care; he's voting No.

If citizens vote in favor of repeal, new abortion laws will then be discussed in parliament.

The Catholic Church is among influential voices arguing that the life of the unborn should be sacrosanct, but the retain campaign faces a major challenge from a Yes camp which has portrayed itself as modernising and in step with global opinion. "I was not ready for a child to crash into my life", she said.

The church was, in fact, largely absent from the referendum campaign.

Ryan declared the above results of the referendum in front of a large cheering crowd of people gathering at a central count center at Dublin Castle, a main government complex, in the Irish capital of Dublin.

The first official results for Ireland's landmark abortion referendum have begun to come in, indicating a landslide win for abortion rights campaigners is likely in diverse constituencies across the country.

"Obviously, I would be encouraging everyone to come out and vote, a high turnout would be to the advantage of the yes campaign". "You may feel that the country has taken the wrong turn, is no longer a country you recognize".

Several people refuse to talk about their vote at all - who are you to ask me about it? - heard in the click of the door closing.

According to the United Kingdom's National Health Service, 10 Irish women a day cross the Irish Sea to receive an abortion.

While some countries have conditions such as requiring authorisation by one or more doctors in place, these are not always a barrier in practice, she said. "I dreamed for people to think like this, but didn't believe it".

If the referendum passes women will be able to get unrestricted abortions for up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.

There has been a big surge in voter registration ahead of the referendum.

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