If you, like me, try to keep abreast of all news concerning abortion and women’s reproductive rights, you will know that a referendum has been set for the 25th of May 2018 in Ireland, to consider whether the country should repeal the eighth amendment.
The eighth amendment criminalises abortion in all cases, except where continuing with the pregnancy would result in death. Protesters have been fighting for this amendment to be repealed for a long time, and a date has finally been set for the citizens of Ireland to have their voices heard.
Sadly, I am not Irish, and so I have no right to vote in this referendum, though I am able to raise my voice through this blog and other means, and support the movement to appeal it. Abortion is a choice, a valid medical procedure, and we must trust women to make their own decisions. If you are a citizen of Ireland, I urge you to use this opportunity to vote on this serious issue. If you’re living abroad, check if you’re eligible to go home to vote.
Abortion has been in the news quite a lot lately, what with the British government deciding to provide all women travelling from Northern Ireland – where abortion is still illegal, despite the country – being a part of the UK – with free abortions on the NHS. You can read more about this fantastic decision here.
Decriminalising abortion will not increase the likelihood of abortions happening. We’ve heard a lot in recent years about the homes into which young women were put in order to have their babies in Ireland. Pregnancy outside of wedlock has been frowned upon for decades, and women have suffered, lost children they very much wanted, and even died because of this prejudice. Watch the Netflix documentary Children of Shame if you want to learn more. Thousands of women travel to England from Ireland in order to access abortion. The Abortion Support Network does a brilliant job in aiding such women, but it cannot help everyone. Abortion should be available within these women’s home countries. It is for such reasons that abortion must be freely available and easily accessible, allowing women to decide their own future.
If you’re passionate about trusting women and giving us choices, shout as loud as you can on social media or your blogs. Let’s help our sisters in Ireland spread the truth, fight the pro-life propaganda springing up on the streets of Ireland, and push for the Irish government to repeal the eighth.
If you’re travelling home to vote, you can join the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign’s Facebook event here. To read stories from women who have had abortions, visit the For Choice Project in the menu above, or by clicking here.