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Ireland Sees ‘Unprecedented’ Surge In Voter Registration Ahead Of Abortion Referendum

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Grace Carr Reporter
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Ireland has seen an incredible surge in voter registration ahead of Friday’s referendum that will decide whether abortion will remain illegal in the Catholic nation.

Roughly 125,000 voters have been added to the list of voters registered to participate in the May 25 referendum after Ireland extended its May 8 registration deadline to allow for more voters to participate, according to the Independent.

Ireland has seen an “unprecedented surge of voter registration,” the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) reported, noting a 90 percent increase in the number of registered voters compared to Ireland’s 2015 referendum on gay marriage. (RELATED: Ed Sheeran ‘Small Bump’ Song Heightens Ireland Abortion Debate)

Ireland’s Eighth Amendment outlaws and penalizes those who attempt or successfully abort an unborn child. Abortion advocates have called for the amendment to be changed, calling it “archaic and dangerous.”

Persons who violate the law can face up to 14 years behind bars.

“It is really heartening that so many young people responded to the call by NYCI and others and took the opportunity to register” said NYCI Deputy Director James Doorley, the Independent reported.

Forty percent of Irish people support unrestricted abortion until 12 weeks in pregnancy, yet 33 percent think allowing unrestricted abortion until this pregnancy date goes too far, according to a Sunday Independent and Kantar Millward Brown opinion poll. Roughly 20 percent are undecided. The poll included 970 respondents and was conducted across Britain Feb. 6 to 14.

Fewer than three in 10 Irish support elective abortions, according to Breaking News. Support for elective abortions (namely, abortions for reasons other than to save the mother’s life, rape cases, and grave fetal abnormalities) is low.

Facebook and Google banned all foreign ads related to Ireland’s upcoming referendum on abortion. “This change will apply to ads we determine to be coming from foreign entities which are attempting to influence the outcome of the vote on May 25,” Facebook said in a statement(RELATED: Facebook Bans Foreign Ads On Irish Abortion Referendum)

The vote will be tight, recent polling suggests.

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