An exit poll has suggested 68% of voters in Ireland have backed changing abortion laws.
Residents of Irish islands cast their votes on Thursday local time, to ensure their votes reached count centres on time. The Irish government has proposed that if the eighth amendment is repealed, abortion will be allowed up to 12 weeks and between 12 and 24 weeks in exceptional circumstances. "I am fasting and I am praying all day for the right result", said pastor Stephen Finley, an American who moved to the parish of Kiltoom in 2006 with his wife. "So many women have travelled to England to take care of their family and health-care needs and I think it's a disgrace and it needs to change", she said, referring to women who travel for abortions.
Results are not expected until Saturday afternoon or evening.
Abortion will remain illegal in the country in nearly all circumstances until Ireland's legislative body, the Oireachtas, passes a law legalizing the practice nationwide.
They say it's a once-in-a-generation opportunity to liberalise some of Europe's strictest abortion rules.
Voters went to the polls after a campaign that aroused deep emotions on both sides.
The poll sampled some 4,000 voters as they were leaving voting stations Friday night.
First voted into the Irish constitution in 1983, the Eighth Amendment recognises the equal right to life of the unborn.
RTE's exit poll suggested 69.4 per cent in favour of the Yes side in the referendum and 30.6 per cent for "No".
The 2013 amendment in the wake of Halappanavar's death permitted abortion where a doctor feels a woman's life may be at risk from pregnancy complication or because she may suicide.
Ms Woods sees the lack of legal abortion in such cases, and in cases of disability, as "appalling breaches of humanity", but calls the killing of an innocent child a "termination".
Despite attempts by the campaigners to seemingly hijack the song, Sheeran previously confirmed that the track was written in honour of a "close friend" who had experienced a still-birth five months into her pregnancy. The only age group that didn't vote pro-abortion by a "whopping majority" was people over 65. Ireland is one of the few countries in the European Union that does not allow those overseas to vote via post or in embassies.
"I just think that we should not be exporting an issue like abortion to other countries and I think that we need to be responsible for taking charge of something that is happening in Ireland and will happen in Ireland irrespective of the vote".
The Irish government's push to liberalize the laws is in contrast to the United States, where abortion has always been legal, but President Donald Trump backs stripping federal funding from women's health care clinics that offer abortions.
- Top smartphones for gaming
- Fox activist urges Murdoch to engage with Comcast on asset deal
- North Korea poised to demolish nuclear test site amid Trump summit doubts
- Teachers return to site of deadly Texas school shooting
- Can Atleti snatch La Liga's title away from Barca?
- USA to slap Iran with 'strongest sanctions in history'
- Census: Franklin Among Nation's Fastest-Growing Large Cities
- Trump demands 'total transparency' from Justice Department about Federal Bureau of Investigation informant
- Tamil Nadu anti-Sterlite protests: Death toll mounts to 10
- United and City looking to create El Classico in Manchester