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Ireland to Hold Abortion Referendum


A man and child walk past a sign for a polling station ahead of a 25th May referendum on abortion law, in Dublin, Ireland, May 22, 2018.

Votes in Ireland will decide Friday whether to keep or repeal a constitutional amendment banning abortions in most cases.

The existing amendment has been in place since 1983 and originally banned all abortions before a change was made five years ago to allow abortions in cases where the mother's life is in danger.

A woman walks past a pro-choice poster in the city centre of Dublin, Ireland, May 22, 2018.
A woman walks past a pro-choice poster in the city centre of Dublin, Ireland, May 22, 2018.

If voters decide in Friday's referendum to further loosen the rules, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar's government intends to put forth legislation allowing abortions with no restrictions up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy.

Recent opinion polls indicate most people surveyed favor lifting the abortion ban.

Currently thousands of women travel each year from Ireland to Britain in order to have abortions.

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