The woman who became the face of Ireland’s campaign for abortion rights

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Voters were asked if they wish to scrap a 1983 amendment to the constitution that gives an unborn child and its mother equal rights to life.

Ireland and Malta are now the only two European Union countries that outright restrict access to abortion on request except for in the case of a mother's life being at risk.

The survey, conducted by the polling firm Ipsos/MRBI for the Irish Times, suggests that the "Yes" vote to repeal the eighth amendment will win by a fairly stunning margin of 68 to 32 percent, defying expectations of a closely divided electorate. The country's deputy prime minister, Simon Coveney, said, "Thank you to everybody who voted today - democracy can be so powerful on days like today - looks like a stunning result that will bring about a fundamental change for the better".

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who backs the reform, said he was taking nothing for granted as he voted in the capital. It would mark a major shift for a country long dominated by the Roman Catholic Church. The first indications of the final result are expected on Saturday, after the count begins at 08:00GMT. Hozier also weighed in, reminding voters to go the polls today.

"Yes" campaigners argued that with over 3,000 women traveling to Britain each year for terminations - a right enshrined in a 1992 referendum - and others ordering pills illegally online, abortion is already a reality in Ireland.

If the exit poll is confirmed, Malta will be the only European Union country to have a complete ban on abortion. Many of these groups are supported from overseas, and they often align themselves with the Catholic Church. "I am conscious that in 1983 there was only a turnout of 55%, most people chose to sit out and I hope that won't happen on this occasion and I am really encouraging everyone to come out and vote", he said.

Ireland adopted the ban in 1983, but support has waned as the country has grown more liberal, legalizing divorce and gay marriage.

Voting on the eighth referendum in the Republic of Ireland will take place until 10pm.

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But across the city, Finbar O'Regan, 50, said he wanted a "good, strong No vote".

However, beyond 12 weeks, abortions would only be permitted where there is a risk to a woman's life or of serious harm to the physical or mental health of a woman, up until the 24th week of pregnancy.

"I feel like I've waited all of my adult life to have a say on this", she said. They correctly perceived that Ireland was gradually becoming a more secular country, and wanted to create a bulwark against the introduction of abortion that would be hard to reverse.

The 99 randomly selected citizens, after hearing extensive evidence, voted in favour (64 percent) of having no restrictions on termination in early pregnancy.

But in the ensuing years, abortion supporters launched their own campaign to alter the views of the people.

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Ironically, due to Ireland being one of the few European Union countries that doesn't allow people overseas to vote via post or in embassies, thousands of Irish people living overseas have had to travel from across the world purely to cast their vote. It is proposed that instead of the article, the government has proposed would act legislation and allow abortion up to 12 weeks.

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