Ireland Will Vote on Legalising Abortion in 2018 Referendum

Last edited 27th September 2017

Ireland Will Vote on Legalising Abortion in 2018 Referendum

Ireland announced it will hold a referendum next year on whether to repeal its constitutional ban on abortion in almost all cases just a few weeks before Pope Francis visits.

The Irish government is also planning votes to remove the country's anti-blasphemy law and to reduce the time couples must spend apart before divorcing.

Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has previously said the eighth amendment of the constitution, which makes abortion illegal unless there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother, was "too restrictive".

His government decided on Tuesday a referendum - which must be agreed by parliament - should take place in May or June 2018 just before the pope visits in August to attend the World Meeting of Families.

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