NPR

Irish Voters Cast Ballots In 'Once-In-A-Generation' Vote On Abortion Rights

At issue is a 1983 constitutional amendment that guarantees the "right to life of the unborn" and bans abortion in most cases. Friday's landmark referendum will decide whether the ban is repealed.
Leo Varadkar, Ireland's prime minister, or taoiseach, leaves a Dublin polling station after casting his vote in Friday's referendum. Varadkar has campaigned aggressively for repealing Ireland's abortion ban, but the vote's results are expected to be close. Source: Jeff J Mitchell

After weeks of anticipation, acrimony and more than a little heated discussion, Irish voters are finally casting ballots Friday to decide a simple yet deeply divisive question: Should the country repeal a constitutional amendment that bans abortion in nearly all circumstances?

A "no" vote would preserve the 1983 amendment that recognizes the "right to life of the unborn," effectively equating the life of a fetus with the life of a mother.

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