STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Voters cast ballots in landmark Irish abortion referendum

Voters in Ireland cast their ballots in a landmark referendum to decide whether to remove a constitutional amendment ...

Posted: May 26, 2018 12:31 PM
Updated: May 26, 2018 12:31 PM

Voters in Ireland cast their ballots in a landmark referendum to decide whether to remove a constitutional amendment that bans abortion in almost all circumstances.

Some 6,500 polling stations across 40 constituencies in the republic closed at 10 p.m. local time (5 p.m. ET). Counting of ballots will get underway on Saturday, with a result expected by mid-afternoon.

An electorate of around 3.2 million people were eligible to cast their ballots, including thousands of Irish people living overseas who have flown home to vote.

If the Yes campaign wins, Irish lawmakers are expected to enact legislation allowing for terminations-in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy -- and later in cases where there is a risk to the mother's life or the fetus is not expected to survive.

A No vote would keep Ireland's abortion laws -- some of the strictest in the developed world -- in place.

The Eighth Amendment, which was added into the constitution following a referendum in 1983, places the rights of the fetus and the rights of its mother on equal footing, effectively banning abortion barring a "real and substantial risk" to the mother's life.

As with any proposed change to Ireland's constitution, the question has to be put to a referendum.

Ireland's Eighth Amendment

Related: A baby's murder opened a dark chapter in Ireland that still hasn't been closed

Abortion-rights activists -- advocating a Yes vote on Friday -- have long argued that the Eighth Amendment punishes women and doesn't stop abortions, which are exported, mostly to the UK, instead.

Their longstanding campaign to repeal the Eighth, as it is commonly known, has seen some change over the past three decades.

In 1992, the X Case made it legal for Irish women to travel abroad for abortions, adding the threat of suicide as grounds for abortion. In 2013, Savita Halappanavar died of sepsis after being denied a termination of a miscarrying fetus in a Galway hospital, prompting the government to pass a bill allowing abortions when a woman's life is in danger. And in June 2016, the UN's Human Rights Council ruled that the country's abortion regime subjected Amanda Mellet, a dual Irish-American national, to "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment," and called on the Irish government-to reform its laws.

Throughout the years, Ireland's abortion-rights campaigners have mobilized en masse, with demonstrations that have brought Dublin to a halt and found support across the globe.

Anti-abortion activists were voting No, arguing that the Eighth has saved thousands of lives and encouraged compassionate alternatives to abortion, such as perinatal hospice care when the baby is not expected to survive or adoption for babies born to women in challenging circumstances.

The No campaign has also found support from anti-abortion groups worldwide, including some American activists who have traveled to speak at rallies.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 28770

Reported Deaths: 1092
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds224739
DeSoto144216
Madison124234
Jones109149
Neshoba97070
Lauderdale89479
Rankin86012
Forrest82942
Harrison79410
Scott75715
Copiah58016
Leake56519
Jackson55716
Holmes53641
Wayne52212
Lee51816
Oktibbeha51625
Washington5129
Yazoo4786
Leflore47449
Warren46317
Lowndes45912
Lincoln43734
Lamar4317
Grenada3965
Pike39312
Monroe37529
Lafayette3684
Attala35523
Newton3329
Sunflower3216
Covington3175
Bolivar29813
Panola2956
Adams28018
Simpson2713
Chickasaw26418
Tate2648
Marion26311
Pontotoc2616
Jasper2516
Noxubee2478
Pearl River24532
Clay24410
Winston2446
Claiborne23910
Marshall2123
Smith21111
Clarke20424
Coahoma1906
Union1819
Walthall1794
Kemper17614
Yalobusha1667
Lawrence1621
Carroll16111
Humphreys1309
Itawamba1308
Tippah12711
Webster12610
Calhoun1244
Montgomery1242
Hancock12313
Tallahatchie1153
Jefferson Davis1074
Prentiss1003
Greene968
Jefferson963
Wilkinson929
Tunica903
Amite842
George753
Tishomingo731
Choctaw724
Quitman690
Perry634
Alcorn601
Stone541
Franklin392
Benton270
Sharkey270
Issaquena81
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 39604

Reported Deaths: 961
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4532143
Montgomery3875102
Mobile3797134
Tuscaloosa210739
Marshall162210
Lee124537
Shelby110923
Madison11047
Morgan10203
Walker87123
Franklin86314
Dallas8419
Elmore83614
Baldwin7359
Etowah64413
DeKalb6415
Butler60727
Chambers60027
Tallapoosa57269
Autauga55312
Unassigned50724
Russell5030
Lowndes45820
Lauderdale4576
Houston4464
Limestone4290
Cullman4114
Pike4075
Colbert3775
Bullock3649
Coffee3592
Barbour3331
Covington3327
St. Clair3192
Marengo29911
Hale29621
Escambia2936
Wilcox2848
Talladega2827
Calhoun2805
Sumter27912
Clarke2686
Dale2620
Jackson2522
Winston2373
Blount2181
Pickens2176
Chilton2152
Marion20613
Monroe2052
Choctaw19212
Randolph1889
Conecuh1866
Greene1788
Macon1778
Bibb1761
Perry1541
Henry1303
Crenshaw1243
Washington1027
Lawrence1000
Cherokee797
Lamar711
Geneva700
Fayette671
Clay612
Coosa571
Cleburne301
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 82°
Columbus
Few Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 76°
Oxford
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 75°
Starkville
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 73°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather