As Ireland Votes on Abortion, Here’s What You Need to Know

Exit poll predicts 69.4% voted Yes and 30.6% voted No

Exit poll predicts 69.4% voted Yes and 30.6% voted No

The first indications of the result are expected mid-morning on Saturday after the count begins at 08.00 GMT.

The 28-year-old Harry Potter star tweeted: "A vote for the freedom to choose, a vote for women's rights, a vote for women's control over their bodies, a vote for women's health & safety, a vote towards equality".

"Not taking anything for granted of course, but quietly confident", he said, adding that the upside of a sunny day in Ireland is that people come out to vote.

More than 3.2 million people are registered to vote in Friday's referendum with many traveling home to Ireland to cast their ballots.

Abortion up to 12 weeks would not bring Ireland "into line" with Britain, where we allow abortion to be performed up to 24 weeks and up to birth in cases of disability; however, as with all "strict safeguards" surrounding such laws supposed to deal with "hard cases", familiarity breeds contempt, and in time the Irish time limit would be relaxed. It would mean the once-Catholic country would "join that sad community of nations who throw away irreplaceable human beings through abortion on demand".

Saoirse Ronan and Niall Horan have led the famous faces encouraging Ireland to legalise abortion, as the country prepares to vote in a historic referendum.

Voters arrive and leave St. Patrick's Boys National School polling station in Drumcondra, Dublin, to vote in the Irish referendum on liberalising abortion law on 25 May.

"I feel like I've waited all of my adult life to have a say on this", she said. "Please please vote Yes this Friday".

"We will never again have a more important vote", Bukley said. "Democracy in action. It's looking like we will make history tomorrow".

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Polls opened across the country at 7am on Friday, with voters opting to either retain or repeal the Eighth Amendment of the constitution - which prohibits terminations unless a mother's life is in danger.

The amendment, in place since 1983, requires authorities to equally protect the right to life of a mother and her unborn child, from the moment of conception.

The referendum, if passed, would allow abortions up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy and in limited circumstances later, where fatal fetal abnormalities are present. She found out she was pregnant; the doctors said "our hands are tied".

"It's not a vote on me, not a vote on the government", Varadkar said this week in Dublin, according to the Financial Times.

And Ireland's abortion referendum has reached further fields than our islands, with A-list celebrities weighing in on the divisive debate.

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.

Vicky Wall, whose daughter Líadán died in the womb at 32 weeks, argued that the Eighth Amendment protected her right as a mother to not terminate her pregnancy.

CBS reported, "Women who had an abortion were 34 percent more likely to develop an anxiety disorder, 37 percent more likely to experience depression, 110 percent more likely to abuse alcohol, 155 percent more likely to commit suicide, and 220 percent more likely to use marijuana".

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