Repeal the 8th - how can you help?
Want to help the Mná na hÉireann? (Women of Ireland)
On Friday May 25th people in Ireland will be able to vote on whether or not to repeal the 8th Amendment, which "acknowledges the right to life of the unborn" and results in a near-total ban on abortion.
Even if you're not eligible to vote in the referendum, there are still plenty of things you can do to help, and we've listed some of them below.
Let us know any we've missed in the comments!
Ní Saoirse go Saoirse na mBan (no freedom until women are free)
Anti-choice groups are pouring lots of money into online advertising, and have also taken to trolling pro-choice social media pages and their members, giving one star reviews, reporting them for abuse and trying to have them shut down.
You can like, follow, review and share pro-choice pages (and individual posts) which will keep them active, current, and visible in people's news-feeds.
The ‘In Her Shoes’ facebook page, which received so much abuse that it made the news, is particularly good, but please be aware that many of the stories are very triggering in relation to abortion and abuse.
The various Pro Choice campaign groups have come together and now go under the banner ‘Together for Yes’.
This campaign is reliant on public funding and volunteers, but unfortunately you can't donate unless you are a citizen of the Irish Republic, or a permanent resident in Ireland.
You can, however, contribute financially by buying merchandise where the funding goes directly to the campaign. RepealEight, Together for Yes and Abortion Rights Campaign Ireland have online shops where you can get some excellent goodies and help the cause.
Home to vote
If you know of any Irish people living in Scotland they might still be eligible to vote but not realise, so it's worth checking in with them about it.
They can check to see if they are already registered on www.checktheregister.ie. There is still time to register as closing date for postal voters is 28th April (and 8th May in Ireland).
There’s a big drive to get eligible people #hometovote and the fantastic Scottish Irish Abortion Rights Campaign are leading on this in Scotland. If you're a student, the National Union of Students can provide a bursary to help you get home - check out more details here.
Keep it nice
Finally, the referendum will be won (or lost) by people turning out to vote, so it's vital to talk about the issue wherever you can, but there's a few things to keep in mind!
Discussing abortion online can be fraught, and the repeal campaign has asked its supporters not to get into pointless discussions with anti-choice activists as it can lead to abuse, as well as boosting the online engagement of anti-choice groups.
Talking to friends and family in real life can be even more difficult, but it's a really vital part of challenging the stigma around abortion in Ireland. The London Irish Abortion Rights Campaign has a great blog with some advice on how to have those conversations, and Taryn de Vere has a piece on how to talk to anti-choice family members over on Medium.
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