Republic of Ireland news

Abortion referendum will take place on May 25

There will be a referendum on whether to change abortion laws in the Republic on May 25

A referendum on the Repubic of Ireland's constitutional position on abortion will be held on Friday May 25, the government has confirmed.

Health Minister Simon Harris announced the widely anticipated date. Polls will open at 7am and close at 10pm.

Citizens will be asked whether they want to repeal the Eighth Amendment of Ireland's Constitution, a provision that makes abortion illegal in all but exceptional circumstances.

They will be asked whether they want to replace the amendment, which gives the mother and unborn an equal right to life, with wording that hands responsibility for setting the country's abortion laws to politicians.

If the public votes to repeal the constitutional provision, the Irish government intends to table legislation that would permit women to abort within 12 weeks of pregnancy.

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