Ireland set to liberalise abortion law- exit poll suggests

Ireland set to liberalise abortion law- exit poll suggests
Copyright REUTERS/Max Rossi
Copyright REUTERS/Max Rossi
By Pascale DaviesReuters
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First exit poll shows voters in Ireland back a referendum to liberalise abortion laws in a historic vote.


Pro-choice campaigners in Ireland are confident of a landslide victory in the country's historic referendum on liberalising abortion laws.

Two exit polls are suggesting a huge win for the 'Yes' campaign.

Both suggest about 69 percent voted to repeal a part of the constitution that effectively bans terminations.

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"I was ecstatic because it was such a... it could have been such a close call," said student Scout Black. "And I think a lot of us were expecting a 'no'. So, just to see (that in the exit polls) it seemed to be a pretty enthusiastic 'yes'. That was amazing."

"It is important for women to take their decisions on their own," said Sneha Lichani, a student from India living in Dublin . "Why should we wait for, you know, the doctors to say 'no' and, you know, suffer (in) our own lives."

Some voters rejoiced by the exit polls results posted pictures of themselves with ballots in their hands.

Some Irish politicians also took to social media to express their enthusiasm for the early results.

Voters in Friday's referendum were asked whether they wanted to repeal or retain the constitution's Eighth Amendment.

It says an unborn child has the same right to life as a pregnant woman.

At present, abortion is only allowed when a woman's life is at risk, but not in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality.

Friday's referendum was the result of a debate that has spanned decades and is the Republic of Ireland's sixth vote on the issue.

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