Lads, we need you to help us vote to repeal the 8th Amendment. We’ve heard on social media recently that the men of Ireland don’t feel like the 8th has anything to do with them, or that they have any right to get involved in a decision affecting women’s bodies. While this is truly commendable, we do actually need your support. You guys make up half the country’s population, and you can be sure the opposition won’t be so chivalrous. We need every vote we can get to win this thing, and your voice matters in repealing this huge human rights violation of an amendment. We don’t have the resources or all the funding the other side is getting, everything the Abortion Rights Campaign and Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment, not to mention all the individual campaigners and repealers, are volunteers who are working so hard purely to help us secure a better future for women, girls and pregnant people of Ireland. We don’t have it sorted, nor the same money for glossy pamphlets, online ads and deceptive billboards, and we can’t afford to get complacent and presume people will vote.
So for International Women’s Day, the greatest gift we can ask of ye is to show up on the 25th May to vote to repeal.
Here are a few facts that might make it easier to get behind the cause:
- Abortion doesn’t just affect women. Because of the 8th and the huge amount of complications it can cause, the reality is that men all over the country are travelling with partners abroad to access abortion care, and in extreme cases are losing their partners to pregnancy-related deaths. Not to mention the trans men and young girls who can also become pregnant.
- We hate to pull the ‘what if it was your mother, your sister, girlfriend, cousin?’ card, and do prefer to be seen as people in our own right without having to be somebody’s someone, but the truth is it is much easier to relate to a difficult situation when you think of all the women in your life you may not be aware of that have gone through an abortion or encountered other difficulties with the 8th, or may still.
- The 8th isn’t just about abortion; the amendment in current standing can see women forced into C-Sections or treatment they might not agree to or feel comfortable with. Refusing treatment like this can result in the woman being taken to court, with her baby being represented by a lawyer. Seriously. This has nothing to do with the baby’s health or best interests, but is rather a means of control and ownership over women in the most vulnerable and scary positions of their lives. Not only that, but general medical treatment is often refused until a woman’s done a pregnancy test, or refused until she’s no longer pregnant.
- Abortion is already happening in Ireland. 10-15 Irish women leave the country every day to access healthcare, and around 3 women a day are taking the illegal abortion pill at home, with no access to aftercare should anything go wrong.
If you feel like keeping up with what other men are doing to help out, you can follow @LadsForChoice on Twitter, or donate as much or as little as you can to Together for Yes, ARC and Repeal 8. You can also join your own local Pro-Choice group and donate to them for much-needed rural Yes campaigning materials. Regardless of how you choose to support us in the run-up, please do come out and vote. You can make sure you’re registered here. If you do nothing else and want to keep out of canvassing, please vote.