After same-sex marriage referendum, Ireland sets date for referendum on abortion

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Ireland is set to hold a landmark referendum on liberalising its abortion laws, three years after it became the first country in the world to legally recognize same—sex marriages counting on the results of the nationwide referendum. The Irish government, led by Leo Varadkar, one of only two out gay world leaders, has confirmed that the country’s referendum on abortion will be held on Friday 25 May. The country has some of the strictest abortion rules in the world, which are upheld in the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution. The bill to hold such a referendum has already been passed in the Senate. Forty senators voted in favor of the bill, ten voted against. Voters will be asked if they want to repeal article 40.3.3, which since 1983 has forbidden abortions constitutionally. The health minister, Simon Harris, and housing minister, Eoghan Murphy , signed the order to set the date of the referendum. The prime minister, Leo Varadkar of Fine Gael, a centre-right party, and the Fianna Fáil opposition leader, Micheál Martin, are backing a yes vote.

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