It's A Yes: Ireland votes to repeal the eighth amendment and legalise abortion
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Today, Ireland voted in favour of repealing the eighth amendment with a 66.4% majority.
The repeal means that Irish women will finally be able to access abortion in their own country. People are turning their attention to Northern Ireland to look at reforming their own abortion laws. Ireland surpassed all expectations, with a record high turnout for an Irish referendum of 64.51%, more than three points higher than in the last referendum in 2015 and the Yes side winning by a far higher margin than anyone anticipated. The No campaign conceded defeat early this morning before any of the constituencies results had even been officially declared. The exit polls last night all put the Yes side as winning by a landslide. The 18-24 age group, in particular, voted in an overwhelming majority, with 87.6% voting in favour of repeal, no doubt in part due to the campaigns from universities supporting Irish students abroad going home to vote. The only age group to vote mostly in favour of keeping the amendment were those over 65 and the only political party to vote in favour was Fianna Fail (50.3%). The decisive victory of the Yes side in this referendum, along with the win for same-sex marriage in 2015, shows just how far attitudes in Ireland have changed. It also represents the disappearing influence of the Catholic Church, suggesting that the Church's influence on public opinion is not as strong as it once was.
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