JUDY WOODRUFF: But first: Voters in Ireland went to the polls today for an important vote. The Irish constitution bans abortions, even in cases of rape and incest. A new constitutional amendment up for vote today would allow Parliament to legalize abortion.
And according to initial exit polls, it seems to have succeeded. Foreign affairs correspondent Nick Schifrin has our story.
NICK SCHIFRIN: In this historically conservative and religious society, the voting booths are in churches, and some of the voters show up in habits. But old Irish habits are dying, and this is not the same country once dominated by the Catholic Church.
THERESA SWEENEY, Yes Voter: I woke up at 6:00 this morning. I'm not usually an early riser, but I couldn't wait to get down here to vote.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Women like Theresa Sweeney are trying to replace a law that can currently send women who get abortions to 14 years in prison, with a law that would allow unrestricted abortions for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The campaign has been painful, and divided families and friends.
WOMAN: My son's godmother and I actually had a huge falling out. We haven't spoken a year, because she's a nurse and she is voting yes. And I vote no. And it's literally -- it has actually divided us. We are just not speaking at all.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Both sides have made their cases with personal stories. Amy Callahan has a new son, but in another pregnancy, her fetus was diagnosed with a fatal condition. She couldn't have an abortion in Ireland, so she and her husband, Connor (ph), flew to the U.K.
AMY CALLAHAN, Yes Voter: That night we had the abortion, went off that night, and we brought Nico (ph) with us back to the hotel room in a little box. And I hadn't eaten in something like 48 hours. And Connor went off to get dinner. And I didn't want to leave Nico. And the next day, we flew back to Ireland. And as we were walking in the airport, I turned to Connor. We were walking through security, and I turned to Connor and I was like, are they going to ask us to open the box?
NICK SCHIFRIN: The Callahans want Irish women to be able to get the help they need in Ireland.
AMY CALLAHAN: It's going to be medically safe. And for women like me, they're going to get the care that they need when their baby is dying anyway.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Yes campaigners cite the case of Savita Halappanavar, who in 2012 died after her fetus became stillborn, but the hospital refused to give her an abortion. Shona Murray is a special correspondent with The Irish Independent.
SHONA MURRAY, The Irish Independent: It was too late, and she died. And she died as a direct consequence of the 8th Amendment.
NICK SCHIFRIN: The Catholic Church stills runs the majority of schools here, and influences most of society, but scandals have eroded its influence, especially among a younger generation.
SHONA MURRAY: You also have a very young country, a young population, a population that has grown up within the European Union, that has engaged in progressive liberalism, that has traveled the world, and that's the other side of this.
NICK SCHIFRIN: But no campaigners have their own stories to tell. Vicky Wall chose to give birth to her daughter Liadan (ph), even though she was born at 32 weeks with a fatal syndrome, and died shortly after.
VICKY WALL, No Voter: Liadan died at home surrounded by her family, and with love and with care, and most of all with dignity. We have to look at what the choice entails. What are we saying we have the choice to do? We're looking to have the choice to end a unique human life. I am extremely pro-life, and I think life should be protected.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Twenty-year-old campaigner Abigail Malone fears that women with healthy fetuses would choose to have an abortion.
ABIGAIL MALONE, No Voter: Ireland needs to remain a culture and remain a country that values the right to life of every unborn child.
NICK SCHIFRIN: This is a once-in-a-generation vote, and both sides admit it's not just about abortion, but also about the soul of a still traditional country that is now transforming. For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Nick Schifrin.
1.in cases of 在情况下
Normally the Vatican does not intervene in the internal affairs of religious orders except in cases of disputed elections.
2.seem to 似乎
They seem to have lost their desire for life.
3.dominated by 受控
Women are no longer dominated by the men in their relationships.
4.wake up 醒来
A cool shower wakes up the body and boosts circulation.
5.fall out 争吵
Mum and I used to fall out a lot.
尼克·西夫林：历史上，爱尔兰是个宗教社会，相当保守，投票站设在教堂里，一些选民来到这里是出于一种习惯 。但古老的爱尔兰习俗正在消亡，这里已不再是受天主教会统治的国家 。
特丽萨·斯威尼，投票支持者：今天早上6点钟我就醒了 。平时我起得不算早，但我迫不及待地想来这里参加投票 。
尼克·西夫林：根据现行宪法规定，实施堕胎的妇女，将被处以14年的监禁，特丽萨·斯威尼希望宪法能够以新代旧，新宪法对妇女在12孕周以前实施堕胎，不做限制 。这是一项痛苦的改革，它分裂了家人和朋友 。
女：我儿子的教母，我真的和她闹翻了 。我们一年都没说话，因为她是护士，她投的赞成票 。我投的反对票 。毫不夸张地说，它真的分裂了我们 。现在我们彼此还谁也不理谁 。
尼克·西夫林：双方用自己的故事阐述了各自的观点 。艾米·卡拉汉又有了一个儿子，但在另外一次妊娠中，她的胎儿被诊断患有致命的疾病 。在爱尔兰，她无法实施人工流产，于是她和她的丈夫康纳，乘机前往英国 。
艾米·卡拉汉，投票支持者：那天晚上我们做了人工流产，我们带着尼可回到酒店房间，把它放在一个小盒子里 。我大约48小时都没有进食 。康纳去吃饭了 。我不想离开尼克 。第二天，我们飞回了爱尔兰 。我们走在机场里，我转向康纳 。我们当时正在通过安检，我转向康纳，我就像这样问他，他们会不会让我们打开盒子 。
艾米·卡拉汉：这在医疗上将会是安全的 。对像我这样的女人来说，如果胎儿性命无论如何难以保全，她们会得到她们所需要的照顾 。
尼克·西夫林：投赞成票的人引用了维塔·哈拉帕纳瓦的例子，2012年，她的胎儿死产，她随即死亡，但医院拒绝给她堕胎 。肖纳·默里是《爱尔兰独立报》的特派记者 。
肖纳·默里，《爱尔兰独立报》：太迟了，她死了 。第八修正案直接导致了她的死亡 。
肖纳·默里：这个国家还很年轻，还有许多年轻人，他们是在欧盟体制下成长的 。接受了进步的自由主义思想，他们的足迹遍布世界，这是另一方面 。
尼克·西夫林：但投票者们都没有自己的故事可讲 。维琪·渥尔选择生下她的女儿利丹，尽管她出生32周就患上了致命的综合征，不久就去世了 。
维琪·渥尔，投票反对者：利丹死在家里，身边家人环抱，她感受到了爱与关怀，最重要的是她有尊严 。我们要了解这种选择所带来的影响 。我们要做出选择，这句话是在表明什么？我们期待能做选择，去结束一个独特的生命个体 。我非常礼赞生命，我认为生命应该受到保护 。
尼克·西夫林：这是一代人仅有一次的投票，双方承认这不仅仅是堕胎问题，而且还关乎一个传统国家的灵魂，而这个国家正在经历变革 。PBS NewsHour，我是尼克·西夫林 。