Ireland votes to legalize abortion: 'a tragedy of historic proportions'

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"A vote for "yes" tomorrow isn't a vote for abortion, it is a vote for solidarity, it is a vote for compassion", she said.

"I'm very upset that women were made to feel like they should be frightened going into Irish hospitals, which was a failing of Yes campaigners because our global record is fantastic in this area". The group said on its website that the referendum's outcome was a "tragedy of historic proportions", but McGuirk said the vote must be respected.

Under the current law, an unborn child has the same right to life as the mother, with the maximum penalty for accessing an illegal abortion fixed at 14 years in prison. "Not an Eighth Amendment issue".

If the repeal vote wins, Ireland's political leadership has promised that Parliament will quickly pass a new law guaranteeing unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks, and beyond that in cases of fatal fetal abnormalities or serious risks to a mother's health. Almost every county in the country, with the exception of Donegal County to the north, voted for the amendment's repeal. One was in 1983, three were in 1992, and one was in 2002. "It is a vote to say, I don't send you away anymore".

Frank Gaynor, a 75-year-old retiree, said after the Mass that he never imagined the vote in favor of abortion rights would be so lopsided.

In March, Ireland's Health Minister, Simon Harris, outlined what this government legislation would look like if the people voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

If people vote yes, the Government intends to allow terminations within the first 12 weeks, subject to medical advice and a cooling-off period, and between 12 and 24 weeks in a restricted fashion.

Opinion surveys in the run-up to the referendum have showed the "Yes" vote to repeal the amendment ahead, while revealing that as many as 1 in 5 people were undecided just days ago.

"The unborn child no longer has a right to life recognised by the Irish state", the Save the 8th's defeat statement continued.

Meanwhile, members of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council have backed a motion calling for the establishment of "a Perinatal Hospice Care facility or service" in Northern Ireland, to offer support for parents who continue with a pregnancy following a prenatal diagnosis indicating their baby has a life-limiting condition and could die before or shortly after birth.

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.

"We will hold the Taoiseach to his promise that repeal would only lead to abortion in very restrictive circumstances".

"Every time an unborn child has his or her life ended in Ireland, we will oppose that, and make our voices known".

Exit polls on the day of the vote, though, began to suggest a "landslide" victory for abortion.

What if a woman became pregnant as the result of rape, or the fetus is nonviable? It has the toughest anti-abortion laws in the United Kingdom and only Malta has a stricter ban in Western Europe.

Irish abortion activists exploited Savita's case and lied about her death, culminating in Friday's vote.

Voters were asked to cast Yes or No vote on a question written on their ballots as to whether or not they agree to legalise abortions in the country. Still others admitted the pre-born are humans, but advocated for killing them.

Speaking shortly after the result was confirmed, the country's prime minister Leo Varadkar said it marked "the day Ireland stepped out from under the last of our shadows and into the light".

"This is a monumental day for women in Ireland", Orla O'Connor, co-director of the Together for Yes group, said.

The Melbourne Irish Abortion Rights Campaign group has launched the Diaspora Downunder Dollars for Choice campaign, holding fundraising events across Australia. Women are, however, allowed to have abortions overseas.

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