'A tragedy of historic proportions' - No side lick wounds after heavy defeat
Cora Sherlock said she is personally “very, very upset”
CAMPAIGNERS on the No side of the abortion referendum have described the likely-overwhelming vote in favour of repeal as "an extremely bad day for Ireland".
The LoveBoth campaign said results from yesterday's exit polls following the referendum yesterday "paint a bleak picture for retention of the Eighth Amendment".
Counting began at 9am on Saturday and results are expected sometime in the afternoon or early evening. However, exit polls from RTE and the Irish Times indicate that the vote to repeal the Eighth could be anything up to 70pc in favour.
Anti-repeal activist Cora Sherlock said that “what we voted on today is the ending of human life.”
Ms Sherlock said she is personally “very, very upset” at the exit polls but that the pro-life movement will continue in its pursuit to keep Ireland abortion-free.
"I will accept the will of the Irish people, at the same time I will make it very clear what I feel of the campaign that has taken place. We will now regroup and find out what our next move is," says Ms Sherlock.
Head of Save the 8th John McGuirk said that "the constitution has changed but the facts have not".
"The 8th Amendment did not create a right to life for the unborn child- it merely acknowledged that such a right exists, has always existed, and will always exist," Mr McGuirk said.
"What Irish voters did yesterday is a tragedy of historic proportions. However, a wrong does not become right simply because a majority support it."
Dr Ruth Cullen of the pro-life campaign also expressed her disappointment at today's predicted landslide victory for the Yes campaign.
“If the exit polls are borne out today, it will represent a sea-change on abortion in Ireland and sadly pave the way for an abortion regime that has nothing to do with healthcare and everything to do with abortion on demand," Ms. Cullen said.
Constituencies with the strongest Yes/No vote
The table below shows the top five constituencies with the strongest vote for or against repealing the Eighth Amendment.
Dublin Bay South 78.49% 21.51%
Dún Laoghaire 77.06% 22.94%
Dublin Fingal 76.96% 23.04%
Dublin Central 76.51% 23.49%
Dublin Rathdown 76.10% 23.90%
Donegal 48.13% 51.87%
"As a group, we stand over all the claims we made during the campaign about what repeal would mean. It’s most regrettable the Taoiseach, Minister for Health and some leading medics received a free pass from scrutiny in pushing for abortion, thereby depriving the public the opportunity to hear them defend their pro-abortion positions."
Dr Cullen said that the pro-life team will "hold the Taoiseach to his promise" that abortion will only available in "very restrictive circumstances".
The pro-life campaigner added that LoveBoth are proud of their volunteers for speaking their minds during the lead up to the referendum.
“We are immensely proud and grateful to all our volunteers throughout the country who worked tirelessly over recent months to ensure unborn babies would not be deprived of legal protections. Regardless of what happens today the campaign to protect unborn babies will endure.”
Senator Ronan Mullen, a prominent No campaigner, indicated that he would take a hard stance against any legislation brought before him in the coming weeks and months around abortion.
"I have a strong sense of sadness at what has happened. I think a lot of unborn children will lose their lives in the future," he said.
"I'd ask people to keep those children in their thoughts and prayers today, and their mothers and those involved in taking their lives."