Allinson's hopes for Ireland referendum

This week's historic referendum could change that.

Irish-born Shauna Stanley lives in Melbourne and is ineligible to vote, but still wanted to contribute to the outcome.

Voters went to the polls after a campaign that aroused deep emotions on both sides.

As the nation approaches the referendum, the bishop said the choice facing the Irish people "is quite clear".

It is expected that results will start coming in towards Friday night, with the final announcement of results expected in the early hours of Saturday morning. Advocates for the "no" side have even secured the web address hometovote.uk, where they encourage visitors to defend the Eighth Amendment. Voting yes would repeal the amendment, while voting no would keep it in place. That effectively bans all abortions in Ireland, except in cases when the woman's life is at risk.

The deputy chairwoman of one of Ireland's biggest anti-abortion groups, Cora Sherlock, called it a "sad day for Ireland" and rejected the argument that abortion was primarily a health care issue.

The hashtag is dominated by people from the Yes camp - often wearing "Repeal" jumpers and badges. A few months after our journey to Liverpool, Savita Halappanavar died in Galway. Seventeen percent said they are undecided.

She died of blood poisoning. "We all have a right to life", Ms Maynes said. Her death sent shock waves through Ireland and led to widespread protests. The referendum states that abortions should only be performed when the mother's life is in immediate danger, as fetuses have an "equal" right to life. Donegal, in the northwest of the country, is the only county in Ireland where Tally men and women think the "no" vote might narrowly prevail.

"I'm very proud to be part of this new Ireland", says medical doctor Andrew O'Regan.

Who is opposed to repealing the 8th amendment and why? The referendum result showed that many Irish voters agreed that women in those circumstances should be allowed a choice.

The Catholic Church is also in favor of the ban.

Amnesty International, George Soros, and other far-left groups poured money into the "yes" to abortion campaign. The Irish government reportedly plans to introduce a new law that would permit abortion without restriction up to 12 weeks into the pregnancy.

And it seems unlikely that there would be another vote anytime soon.

"What we have seen today is a culmination of a quiet revolution that has been taking place in Ireland for the past 10 or 20 years", said Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. It was the latest, and harshest, in a string of rejections of the church's authority in recent years.

What happens if Ireland votes yes? .

Niamh Downey, an account executive living in London, is flying back to her hometown of Dundalk in order to vote yes to repeal the amendment.

They nearly certainly will. Savita's parents in Belagavi, decided not to go to Ireland, in spite of the many calls they got. But momentum had gathered and the referendum resulted in a two-to-one majority in favour of the amendment.

The Government's proposal, which will now be processed by Parliament, contemplates legal abortion in first 12 weeks of gestation without having to justify its decision.

It was a bright day in April and Together for Yes had launched their first crowdfund to raise €50,000 to help the campaign to remove the Eighth Amendment.

"It will not change her healthcare; but it will make all the difference to the woman who is in a dire predicament because of a pregnancy". When my doctor confirmed I was pregnant five weeks previously, I burst into tears, "What if I don't want to be?".

The senator said he would not be supporting legislation that came through parliament. Right now, the ruling party is in the minority, relying on the support of other groups to pass legislation.

"We can not continue to export our problems and import our solutions", Varadkar said.

Last September Chile ended its strict ban, which had been in force for decades, when then president Michelle Bachelet signed into law legislation to decriminalise abortion in certain cases, including on health issues. As David Kenny, a professor at Trinity College, said in the Irish Times: "The Government's control over the lawmaking process is not almost as strong as it has typically been and parliament is much stronger".

With the opportunity to voice their view on repeal or retaining the Eighth Amendment either way, the Irish public faces a momentous decision - and one that will have ramifications for generations to come.

  • Leroy Wright