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Vote to End Ireland's Pro-Life Amendment May Now Be Too Close to Call

05-25-2018
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DUBLIN – Irish voters will decide Friday whether to repeal the nation's pro-life amendment to its constitution. And experts say the race has tightened considerably.
 
It's an issue that's being debated in homes, pubs and on street corners across Ireland, sometimes dividing friends and family.
 
"My son's godmother and I actually had a huge falling out. We haven't spoken a year," said one woman, "because she's a nurse and she is voting 'yes' and I'm voting 'no' and I think literally... it has actually divided us. We are not speaking at all."
 
Polling still shows the repeal, or 'yes' side, with the lead. But some polls show it shrinking, and because there are so many undecided voters – almost a quarter of those surveyed – some experts think the race has become too close to call.
 
A repeal would allow for abortion up to 12 weeks, but pro-lifers here fear it would quickly turn into abortion on demand, at any time.
 
The repeal side claims it is about the health and safety of women, but Ireland's Eighth Amendment already protects the life of a woman during pregnancy.
 
Those who want the amendment repealed also say women do not have full rights if they do not have the right to abortion.
 
A major controversy has been a ban on foreign social media advertising by Facebook and Google, which seems aimed at stopping the pro-life side.
 
"I think it is intended to hurt our campaign," said John McGuirk of the pro-life 'Save the 8th' group. "I think Google, having watched the results of the American presidential election and the British referendum on the European Union, are a little bit concerned that if the 'no' vote wins, that they would have gotten the blame. So, they decided to shut down all advertising."
 
Click play to watch this powerful speech by 'Save the 8th' press secretary, Abigail, who is urging Ireland to vote NO to abortion. 
 

Official results are not expected until Saturday, but exit polling may show the results Friday. 

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