After historic vote, Ireland poised to end abortion ban

A Yes voter on Saturday in Dublin. Early

The news that the Republic of Ireland has voted to liberalise some of the world's most restrictive abortion laws has been met with an overwhelming response; and many celebrities and well-known faces have taken to social media to share their reaction to the historic result.

Together for Yes co-director Orla O'Connor paid tribute to the women and couples "whose own bravery and dignity have moved hearts and changed minds - and given the scale of the victory, changed the country".

Hugging, celebrating, singing and cheering wildly, thousands crammed into the courtyard of Dublin Castle, where the official result was declared, chanting "Yes! Yes!"

"The public have spoken".

People from the " Yes" campaign react as the results of the votes begin to come in, after the Irish referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution at the RDS count centre, in Dublin, Ireland, Saturday.

"What we've seen is the culmination of a quiet revolution that's been taking place in Ireland over the past 20 years", said Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, a center-right politician who supported repealing the abortion ban.

Legal abortion will likely continue to be a contentious topic in Ireland, as it is in the US.

The landmark vote saw thousands of Irish citizens working overseas fly home to cast their vote, as well as a massive social media campaign and support from Irish celebrities like Saoirse Ronan, Maria Doyle Kennedy, and Liam Neeson speaking out to repeal the amendment.

One of Ireland's leading anti-abortion groups says the abortion referendum result is a "tragedy of historic proportions" in a statement that all but admits defeat in the historic vote. "However, a wrong does not become a right simply because a majority support it".

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All of Ireland's 40 voting regions tallied so far voted in favor of doing away with the amendment, which required authorities to defend the lives of a mother and a fetus equally. Currently, terminations are only allowed when a woman's life is at risk.

While the official result was expected later in the day, it appeared Ireland was on the cusp of a defining moment in its social history.

Reform in Ireland also raised the prospect that women in Northern Ireland, where abortion is still illegal, may start traveling south of the border.

"The people of Ireland weighed it in the balance and it came down on one side".

A woman leaves flowers at the Savita Halappanavar mural in Dublin on Saturday.

Exit polls from the Irish Times and broadcaster RTE suggested the Irish people have voted by almost 70 percent to repeal the Eighth Amendment. I'd be surprised if we haven't undergone the same sort of change there.

Emotions ran high - and so, too, did celebrations. They have achieved what has always been the norm in other European countries: giving women the right to decide for themselves whether they feel capable of having a child or not.

Some called for the new abortion legislation to be named "Savita's Law".

Draft legislation was set out before Friday's vote and will now be formalised over the coming weeks, to be tabled in the Dáil, Ireland's parliament, in the autumn.

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