Sanctions to be dropped before new abortion law

Ireland counted votes from a referendum to repeal a ban on abortion. Charles Mc Quillan  Getty Images

Ireland voted to repeal the eighth amendment to their constitution by a landslide Friday opening the path to legalizing abortion.

An untold number of those votes were cast by young Irish women now living overseas, like Ciara Coogan, who travelled home from where she works in France to participate. The size of the win exceeded expectations and will make it much easier for Irish women to obtain abortions legally for the first time. "No more isolation. The burden of shame is gone".

For many, the trip was a symbolic one, given the number of Irish women who have traditionally had to fly to the United Kingdom to access abortion services.

Prime Minister Leo Varadkar hailed the result, calling it a "quiet revolution" in Ireland.

Mr Little said while Ireland's circumstances were quite different - the result of its referendum did indicate attitudes and values towards abortion were changing.

"It was weird, nearly perverse that we were now a middle-class family", he said. This is Ireland's second chance to treat everyone equally and with compassion and respect.

By the time her life was at risk, it was too late to save her with a termination.

Ireland voted by a roughly two-to-one margin Friday to end a constitutional ban on abortion, and parliament is expected to approve a more liberal set of laws governing the termination of pregnancies.

In a post on Twitter, Mrs May said: "The Irish Referendum yesterday was an impressive show of democracy which delivered a clear and unambiguous result".

John McGuirk, communications director at Save the 8th, an antiabortion group, said the vote was "a tragedy of historic proportions". "This is about women taking their rightful place in Irish society, finally".

"These women in Northern Ireland, often very vulnerable, being forced to leave their homes and their loved ones and their country to get this kind of treatment, that really has gone on long enough", she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

One of dozens of messages left at a memorial to Savita Halappanava in Dublin after Ireland voted to liberalise abortion laws in a referendum
Ireland Votes To Lift Its Abortion Ban, Exit Polls Show

More than 170,000 women traveled from Ireland to access abortion services another country between 1980 and 2016, according to the Irish Family Planning Association.

People all around the world are celebrating what they consider a reproductive victory.

Campaigners for change, wearing "Repeal" jumpers and "Yes" badges, gathered at count centres, many in tears and hugging each other.

As he left Dublin Castle, he stopped for selfies and chatted with the handful of Yes-supporters still in the forecourt.

But opponents of the repeal movement have conceded they have no chance of victory.

Former One Direction member and Irish native Niall Horan also shared his thoughts on the vote.

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

New abortion legislation in Ireland could be named Savita's Law in honour of a woman who died after being refused a termination.

Varadkar said the vote will give his government "the mandate that we need now to bring forward the legislation that we promised. before the end of this year".

"As this is a devolved issue, if an amendment is not accepted by the Speaker, then there should at very least be a referendum in Northern Ireland on this issue", she added.