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A guide to the Irish abortion referendum

Irish voters will on Friday decide whether to overturn the countrys near-total ban on abortion.

The..

Irish voters will on Friday decide whether to overturn the countrys near-total ban on abortion.

The final polls ahead of the referendum predicted the ban would be reversed but the anti-abortion campaign has been gaining ground in recent weeks.

After polls close at 10 p.m. local time, national broadcaster RTÉ will have an exit poll on its “Late Late Show,” from a survey of 3,000 people. But the full result wont be announced until Saturday, with constituencies only set to begin counting at 9 a.m. on May 26.

The 3.2 million people registered to vote in the referendum will be asked the question: “Do you approve of the proposal to amend the constitution contained in the undermentioned bill?”

The ballot will list the 36th amendment — the governments proposal to repeal parts of the constitution including the eighth amendment (which grants mother and unborn child an equal right to life) and allow the parliament to legislate on abortion. The words “abortion” and “repeal” do not appear on the ballot.

If a majority of people vote Yes, the government said it intends to present a bill to parliament that would allow abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks.

On Saturday, constituencies will feed their results into the Central Count Centre at Dublin Castle, with live results at Referendum.ie.

Here are some highlights of POLITICOs coverage of the referendum campaign.

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Irelands abortion vote misstep: Asking too much
Undecided voters are torn between a full ban and the 12-week proposal.

Foreign groups invade online abortion debate
Facebook and Google move to ban foreign ads as activists weigh heavily on campaign.

Irish abortion vote tests Facebook and campaign data
How the wider debate on internet users data encroached on the abortion vote.

Why rugby dads could hold key to abortion vote
With all the talk about womens choice, abortion rights campaigners fear socially liberal men wont turn out to vote.

Opposition leader swings behind legalizing abortion
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has put his political career on the line by siding with the abortion rights campaign.

The doctor who brought abortion out of the shadows
Dutch physician Rebecca Gomperts provides pills online to allow women to end their pregnancies.

Special committee says Ireland should repeal abortion ban
Oireachtas joint committee on eighth amendment says current regime is unfit for purpose.

UN says Irish abortion law violated human rights
A landmark 2016 ruling saw the United Nations side with one womans right to terminate her dying fetus.

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