IRELAND GOVERNMENT TO CONDUCT REFERENDUM ON ABORTION IN MAY
DUBLIN: Ireland’s government on Monday proposed holding a referendum to liberalise the country’s abortion regime at the end of May, offering voters the first opportunity in 35 years to overhaul some of the world’s strictest laws. Abortion has long been a divisive issue in once stridently Catholic Ireland, which has witnessed a wave of social change in recent years. It became the first country in the world to adopt gay marriage by popular vote in 2015. Voters will be asked if they wish to repeal the eighth amendment of the constitution that was inserted in 1983 and enshrined the equal right to life of the mother and her unborn child, and to instead enable parliament to set the laws.