Noel Whelan: Why I am voting Yes in the referendum

I have found reassurances about my decision to support repeal over recent weeks

My Yes view is also shaped by the reality that the Eighth Amendment has not prevented Irish abortions – it has merely exported them to Britain. Photograph: Getty Images

My Yes view is also shaped by the reality that the Eighth Amendment has not prevented Irish abortions – it has merely exported them to Britain. Photograph: Getty Images

At this point, seven days from the referendum, many voters have yet to make up their mind or at least to find certainty about the decision they have already made. After all the skirmishes in the poster wars, the radio exchanges and noisy television debates, voters are beginning to tune out. They are carefully weighing up a complex and difficult moral decision. They are seeking moral closure.

Making these kind of decisions involves a combination of intellectual and emotional engagement. Much as we might like to think differently, we do not make our minds up on social issues purely on a rational, detached basis. Our final views are also shaped by our cultural formation, our emotional reference points and even by our sense of affinity with or distancing from those making the arguments.

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