Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced a vote on Ireland’s abortion laws will be held by the end of May. If you’re an Irish citizen living away from home, then you may be eligible to take part.
It’s ironic that so many Irish women are forced to make the same trip in reverse to have an abortion. I want to travel home to make sure this comes to an end.
You need to have been living outside of Ireland for less than 18 months. There is no postal vote from abroad, so if you are eligible and want to have your say, you will need to travel home to do so.
In May 2015, we saw thousands of people return home to support the vote for marriage equality. The London-Irish ARC wants to emulate that movement.
No-one under the age of 50 has had their say on the Eighth Amendment, which effectively bans abortion in almost all circumstances, even in cases of rape or fatal foetal abnormality.
Since its introduction in 1983, more than 170,000 women have had to make the journey to Britain to access abortion services. It’s estimated at least 1,000 people a year order abortion pills online.
In May we’ll have a chance repeal this archaic law to allow the government to legislate on abortion provision. We can finally help to bring about a society, which provides compassionate healthcare for all our women. Every vote matters.
Mary Jane Fox, who recently moved to the UK, has already pledged to make the journey home.
“Even though I’m fresh off the boat in London, I’ll be making the journey and encouraging everyone I know to go back too.
“It’s ironic that so many Irish women are forced to make the same trip in reverse to have an abortion. I want to travel home to make sure this comes to an end.”
We’re pleased that Leo Varadkar is also standing with the women of Ireland, by acknowledging that the country has to stop exporting this issue and stop importing solutions.
The question is simple – do we reform our abortion laws or do we leave them as they are?
For every woman who has been forced to travel, for every family that has suffered and for our sisters, friends and daughters, the London-Irish Arc are urging you to go #HomeToVote for repeal. Be part of an Ireland that listens to and trusts women.
Visit hometovote.com for more details.
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