An Aer Lingus flight attendant pulls her luggage past a new mural of Savita Halappanavar with flowers placed beneath it put up on the day of the Abortion Referendum on liberalizing abortion laws in Dublin May 25, 2018.
Some activists held a placard reading "Thank you for making the journey so other women don't have to" a reference to the way Irish women seeking abortions have had to leave the country to obtain them. The Women's RIghts Foundation, a Maltese non-governmental organisation that has supported the Irish Yes vote, said it will refrain from commenting until the Irish referendum results are official. For opponents, it would be a betrayal of Ireland's commitment to protect the unborn.
A recent survey showed 56 percent of Irish voters said they were planning to vote "yes" to repeal the amendment, but the gap has steadily narrowed in recent weeks, perhaps due to a "no" campaign funded in part by American anti-abortion groups. The margin of error is estimated at +/- 1.5%, the newspaper said. The poll is only a prediction.
Leo Varadkar, Ireland's prime minister, or taoiseach, leaves a Dublin polling station after casting his vote in Friday's referendum.
Chris Garvin, 20, who works in human resources, said: "I'm not going to try and sway people's opinions but it's a very, very important matter and I think it's going to affect everybody's lives in some way". One in southwest Dublin offered hugs to people who voted in favour of repealing the ban.
"It is a hard decision but I just feel I don't have the right to take life", she said. But those who voted No should take heart.
The eighth amendment to the Irish constitution was installed following a 1983 referendum which approved outlawing abortion.
In Ireland, abortion is only allowed when the mother's life is in immediate danger-and sometimes even then it has been denied.
Many Irish women seeking an abortion are forced to travel overseas, often to the UK.
The 99 randomly selected citizens, after hearing extensive evidence, voted in favour (64 percent) of having no restrictions on termination in early pregnancy. Varadkar wants to remove the current language on abortion, paving the way for terminations up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy and only in very limited circumstances - such as a fatal fetal abnormality - after that.
Later abortions would be allowed in special cases.
These are all freedoms of choice granted to us through the fierce fights of our sisters before of us and hopefully the right to choose an abortion will join them as the latest rung on the ladder of gender equality in Ireland. Today millions of Irish voters will decide through a referendum whether abortions up to 12 weeks can happen legally and safely within Irish borders.
"It's an added bonus that I get to see my family, but the referendum is the only reason I came back to be honest", she said. Numerous anti-abortion signs showed photographs of fetuses.
Exit polls also indicated that women voted for the repeal of the 8th of Amendment by 72% where as men supported the repeal at 65%.
The 28-year-old Harry Potter star tweeted: "A vote for the freedom to choose, a vote for women's rights, a vote for women's control over their bodies, a vote for women's health & safety, a vote towards equality".