Voters will go to the polls in May or June 2018 to decide whether to repeal near-total constitutional ban on abortion

Ireland will hold a referendum next year on whether to repeal its constitutional ban on abortion in almost all cases, a few weeks before Pope Francis visits.

The prime minister, Leo Varadkar, has previously said the eighth amendment, which makes abortion illegal unless there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother, is “too restrictive”.

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