The first exit poll following today’s vote on abortion in Ireland claims Irish voters have voted to overturn the nation’s legal protections for unborn children — setting up government-sponsored legislation to legalize abortions on babies as old as 6 months.
A poll for the Irish Times of voters as they left polling venues suggests an overwhelming victory for pro-abortion forces, with 68% or Irish voters backing abortion and 32 percent voting No. The exit poll is only a prediction of what may have happened at the polls today and the official count will be announced Saturday in the afternoon or evening local time in Ireland.
The poll suggests a 77 per cent victory for Yes in Dublin, with two thirds of people also supporting a Yes vote in Leinster and Munster.
A total of 70 per cent of women voted in favour of legalising terminations, and support was also high among men, who voted 65 – 35 in favour of lifting the ban.
Even areas predicted to have a large no vote seem to have opted in favour of the law change.
Connacht-Ulster voted yes by 59 per cent to 41, the poll found.
As expected, younger voters were overwhelmingly in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment – the poll suggests that 87 per cent of 18-24s voted Yes.
The over-65 age group were the only age group with a majority No vote.
A total of 4000 voters were interviewed by Ipsos/MRBI throughout Thursday, at 160 locations, throughout every constituency in Ireland.
A second exit poll from another research firm appears to confirm the results. A RTE/Behaviour & Attitudes exit poll found voters leaving polling stations say they voted to legalize abortion on a 69-31 percent margin.
But the exit polling data flies in the face of internal polling from pro-life groups showing a close vote and fears from abortion advocates that turnout was depressed in the urban areas they need to legalize abortions. Prior to the release of the exit polling data, pro-abortion campaigners in Ireland were worried that their massive attempt to legalize abortion in the historically pro-life country may go down in defeat.
Abortion advocates are relying on pro-abortion voters to turn out heavily in Dublin knowing that support for abortion is higher in urban areas as compared to the suburbs and rural parts of Ireland. However, with just hours to go in the polling, which has now closed, pro-abortion campaigners were panic-stricken because the turnout was considerably lower in the places where they need lots of people to show up to the polls.
REPEAL the eighth amendment campaigners have warned that turnouts are slower than normal in the Eighth Amendment referendum.
Having spoken to local politicians, the campaign in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment flagged that numbers are slowing down – and urged people to get out and vote.
In a Facebook post, Together For Yes said: “Turnout reports high across the country, but slowing fast, and some parts of Dublin comparatively MUCH LOWER – Dublin Central, Rathfarnham, Ballymun and Finglas, Ballinteer, Tallaght and Deansgrange.
“We need a high turnout in these areas! Yes voters, get to the polling stations!
“Some other areas outside Dublin where we need a higher turnout include Dunshaughlin, Dunboyne, Galway City, Waterford City, South Cork City and sections of Limerick. Forget the sun, and get to the polls. We’re reliably informed the sun will still be here tomorrow.”
Public polling had shown the pro-abortion side having a lead for months in their attempt to get a Yes vote to overturn the 8th Amendment. However the pro-life side opposing repeal closed the gap in polls and was behind by a small percentage heading into today’s nationwide vote. Leading pro-life campaigners informed LifeNews this morning that their own internal polling showed they had closed the gap and were actually one percentage point ahead, 51-49. If the momentum in the No direction has continued, and if turnout in the pro-abortion portions of Ireland is as suppressed as abortion advocate fear it to be, then pro-life campaigners may be in for a surprising victory tomorrow when election officials count the votes on the abortion referendum.
“Since the beginning of the campaign, we have commissioned tracking polls to monitor the views of voters on the referendum. We have also commissioned an independent analysis of all recent opinion polls, including the latest of our own tracking polls, which projects the outcome of the referendum based on the likely turnout and the support for Yes and No within each age group,” pro-life advocates told LifeNews. “That analysis predicts the following result for today’s referendum.”
As voters headed to the poll, pro-life campaigners made their last attempts to urge Irish voters to vote No on overturning the pro-life 8th Amendment.
Pro-life politician Peadar Tóibín, a member Sinn Féin — which as a party supports a pro-abortion Yes vote — called on the Irish people to vote No. He tweeted this morning, “The irony that the referendum on abortion is being held on International Missing Children’s Day will not be lost on many Irish people. Those on the margins of society suffer most from abortion. Vote No to abortion on demand.”
For decades, the Eighth Amendment has protected unborn babies and mothers equally in Ireland by recognizing that both are valuable human beings who deserve a right to life. More than 100,000 Irish unborn babies and mothers have been spared from the pain and death of abortion, thanks to the constitutional protection. Ireland has become one of the safest places in the world for pregnant mothers and their babies, with one of the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world.
The vote today will determine whether unborn babies will continue to be protected under the law. Without the Eighth Amendment, there is nothing to prevent lawmakers from legalizing abortion for any reason up to birth.
The proposal they are pushing already is very extreme. It would legalize abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks of pregnancy and up to six months in a wide range of circumstances. Abortion activists, backed by some of the world’s richest men, have been pushing the pro-life country to legalize abortion on demand.
Pro-lifers said the radical proposal has many voters rethinking their positions. While some want to see abortion allowed in difficult cases, such as rape and incest, they think abortion up to six months is far too extreme.
Save the 8th campaigner Aoife de Clár and medical adviser Eoghan de Faoite told Crux Now that they have seen people change their minds after learning what really is being proposed for Ireland.
“There’s always going to be the hard cases, but this referendum isn’t about the hard cases,” de Clár said. “Instead, this referendum will remove every right of the unborn child.”
“When people are aware of that reality, they begin to change their mind,” de Faoite added.
Polls suggest this as well. While support for the repeal remains higher than opposition, several recent polls showed the pro-abortion campaigners lost huge ground this spring. In April, the Business Insider reported 47 percent of Irish voters now say they will vote to repeal the pro-life Eighth Amendment – down 9 points from an earlier poll.
Even if the repeal passes, pro-life lawmakers and advocates said the battle will not be over.
The majority of Fianna Fail TDs are against repealing the Eighth Amendment, and many may vote accordingly, regardless of the referendum result.
At least three have indicated this. Fianna Fail TD for Waterford, Mary Butler, said she will actively “halt” the passage of the proposed legislation which she says is “too extreme”.
Ms Butler said she would allow parts of the bill dealing with cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality but said: “I have a serious issue for abortion just because you don’t want the baby.
“I personally will not hold up legislation for rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormality. I will, however, scrutinise the bill word for word, line by line,” she said. “This goes too far, it’s too extreme.”
Irish doctors have been some of the most outspoken advocates against abortion, saying the repeal of the Eighth Amendment would do nothing whatsoever to help Irish women. People with disabilities and their families also are expressing fears that legalized abortion could lead to wide-spread, deadly discrimination against unborn babies.
Irish celebrities also have weighed in on the debate. This week, Jim Corr of the Irish folk-rock band Corrs said he plans to vote no because the government proposal is “too extreme,” according to The Catholic Times.
“… many are being duped into believing this referendum is about healthcare and choice, when it’s really about bringing the lucrative abortion industry into Ireland,” Corr wrote on Twitter.
Pro-life advocates have been working hard against a biased media, politicians, celebrities and huge, illegal donations from rich American businessmen who are intent on pushing Ireland to adopt abortion on demand. Pro-life volunteers have been knocking on doors across Ireland to save the Eighth Amendment and thousands of unborn babies’ lives.