What you need to know about Ireland’s abortion referendum

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The RTE/Behaviour and Attitudes poll showed 69.4% are in favour, while the Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll put the figure just slightly lower at 68%.

A poll conducted by RTE Television showed that nearly 70 percent of respondents voted to repeal the abortion ban, and another poll for The Irish Times was similar - showing 68 percent of those surveyed voted for repealing the eight amendment, against 32 percent who said abortions should still be banned in the country.

A recent survey showed 56 percent of Irish voters said they were planning to vote "yes" to repeal the amendment, but the gap has steadily narrowed in recent weeks, perhaps due to a "no" campaign funded in part by American anti-abortion groups. The campaign has dominated public debate in Ireland over recent months and has forced its almost 3.5 million voters to decide if the constitutional ban on abortion should stay or go. A vote was held on September 7, 1983, which proposed adding an eighth amendment to the Constitution.

He said: "I always get a little buzz from voting".

The referendum was the result of a decades-long debate about abortion in the Republic of Ireland and was the country's sixth vote on the issue. "I've a family myself and I think it's really important", said John Devlin, a marketing worker in his 50s who voted "No" near Dublin's city center. A poll by the Irish Times earlier this week gave the pro-abortion rights campaign a 12-point lead. The build-up has seen heated campaigning in the Catholic country.

Savita's beaming face has appeared widely on posters and banners for the "yes" campaign which called for the repealing of the 8th amendment. She tweeted: "Based on the exit poll, a historic & great day for Ireland, & a hopeful one for Northern Ireland".

Four thousand voters were interviewed by Ipsos/MRBI as they left polling stations on Friday. "How can I take the pressure off you so you don't feel so driven towards abortion?" she told AFP news agency.

The referendum vote is expected to be a close contest in the largely Catholic nation.

As the Irish people vote today on repealing the Eighth Amendment to their constitution and so legalising abortion, Judith Woods says in the Telegraph that "repeal would allow unrestricted terminations of pregnancies for up to 12 weeks, thereby bringing it into line with every other country in Western Europe except for Northern Ireland". Vote-counting begins at 0800 GMT on Saturday, with the first indication of results expected mid-morning. Last year, Ireland elected its first openly gay prime minister, Varadkar.

"I'm a staunch No".

The Irish government's push to liberalize the laws is in contrast to the United States, where abortion has always been legal, but President Donald Trump backs stripping federal funding from women's health care clinics that offer abortions.

On May 25 2018, Ireland has the opportunity to repeal the country's abortion law and the Eighth Amendment, to allow the government to legislate terminations. Ahead of the vote, women have come forward to share their stories about unplanned pregnancies and their limited options for medical in their country.

Women accessing illegal abortions can receive a maximum 14-year jail sentence, but the law allows them to travel overseas for an abortion, resulting in several thousand Irish women travelling to the United Kingdom each year to terminate their pregnancies.