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Official tally shows big win for abortion rights in Ireland

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

Irish citizens living overseas who want to participate in the country's abortion referendum are flying home to cast their vote - with some even offering to pay others' travel costs.

Opponents of the repeal movement conceded defeat on Saturday morning after exit polls from the night before suggested more than two-thirds of voters had backed repeal.

"This has been a great exercise in democracy", Varadkar said, "and the people have spoken and the people have said: We want a modern constitution for a modern country, and that we trust women and that we respect them to make the right decisions and the rights choices about their own health care".

The RTE poll indicated that about 72 percent of women voted "yes" along with about 66 percent of men.

Abortion is accessible to most women in Ireland - if you have the money, if you have somebody to look after your kids, if your partner isn't abusive to the point where you don't have the ability to spend 24 hours away from him, if you have the requisite visa papers to leave and re-enter Ireland.

In recent weeks, the lead of the "Yes" side - to repeal the so-called Eighth Amendment in the Constitution that gives equal rights to a pregnant woman and her unborn child, effectively prohibiting abortion unless a woman's life is at risk - has shrunk.

If Ireland does repeal the constitutional clause, proposed legislation would allow abortion on demand up to 12 weeks into pregnancy, and later in specific medical and psychiatric circumstances.

The prime minister, a medical doctor who came to power past year, spoke to RTE News in advance of the announcement of the referendum's official results, expected later Saturday.

"I feel very emotional", she said. Through my tears I read message after message of support, many expressing their solidarity with the 3,500 women a year who travel overseas for abortion access. If they want to make themselves useful in the fight to "protect lives", they should bloody well vote yes today or not vote at all.

The hashtag #RepealThe8th has been used increasingly on social media by "yes" campaigners in the run-up to Friday's vote.

There were reports of strong turnout in many parts of the country, particularly in urban areas.

The debate during eight weeks of campaigning has been divisive, with the leaders of all the main political parties, including Fine Gael leader Mr Varadkar, backing change.

Why are you coming home to vote? .

But Mullally, 34, says that over her lifetime, she has seen the influence of the church wane dramatically, including over her parents. But "the nail in the coffin", he added, was "the succession of really appalling scandals about mistreatment of women and molestation of children".

Abortion is also banned in Andorra, the Vatican and San Marino, which are in Europe but not the EU.

Ireland can not be categorized as a religious country today.

The result caught most observers and voters off guard.

According to Ryan, almost 3.37 million voters were registered for the referendum and 64.1 percent of them turned out in Friday's voting with some 6,000 votes declared invalid. One of the anti-abortion campaigns uses the simple slogan "Love Both".

Meanwhile the Catholic Church has largely taken a back seat in the campaign - mindful, according to experts, that an overly dogmatic approach could have the reverse effect of encouraging a pro-abortionvote.

Since 1980, more than 170,000 women have traveled out of Ireland to terminate their pregnancies-mostly to Britain, but also to the Netherlands.

His comments were instantly attacked by anti-abortion forces, in a campaign that has turned ever-more bitter as polling day approaches.

But Sarah Monaghan, from the rival camp, said: "People in Ireland. are ready to face up to that reality and do something about it, and the power is now is in their hands".

In December 2017, a report by the United Nations working group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of human rights conditions for South Korea said that it should "r$3 espect reproductive rights of women, which include decriminalization of abortions" and "r$3 emove all penalties for women who seek abortion, and for doctors and other medical personnel involved in providing these services". She says that women are in revolt against the state's historic mistreatment of women.

Ferriter said that while the run-up to the 2015 vote was "positive and uplifting", the campaign ahead of the abortion poll was "much more visceral and deep-rooted". Abortion is still a highly personal issue for many voters, shaped by personal experiences such as miscarriages or fetal abnormalities.

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