FIRST AIRED: May 23, 2018

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00:00:00
>> Ireland's referendum on liberalizing abortion laws is just days away. The country has one of the world's strictest prohibitions on the procedure, and the subject has long divided the nation. On Friday the Irish will be asked whether they with to appeal an amendment to the constitution that gives equal rights to the mother and the unborn child.
00:00:21
If they vote in favor, the Irish parliament will be able to set new termination laws. Yes campaigners are focusing on women's rights, and the medical dangers they face because of the ban.>> If we retain the Eighth Amendment, what I would be saying. It will be saying that we are going to continue to require women to be dying before they qualify for termination of pregnancy.
00:00:43
And for women who are raped, they will continue to be expected to carry their pregnancy to term. And that I think would be a very vital message to give to women.>> The NO campaign wants to preserve the law as it stands. They see the rights of the unborn as sacrecent, and fear that change will lead to an abortion on demand service.
00:01:03
>> This is the removal of an healthy baby in utero, there's no justification for that. This isn't in the provision of health care, we're not providing healthcare by removing a very healthy baby.>> The Catholic Church campaigned strongly for the Eighth Amendment back when it was approved by a referendum in 1983.
00:01:21
This time around its largely stayed out of the debate. A complete ban on abortions was lifted five years ago, but they are only allowed only if the mother's life is in danger. Women who find out the fetus they are carrying has a fatal condition must wait until their child's heart has stopped beating.
00:01:40
Or they can become one of the more than 3,000 Irish women who travel to Britain for a termination each year.