Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Calling for Repeal: An Ocean Away

The week before I left Ireland, I took to the streets of Dublin with my friends
To walk side by side with women, men, and children who were no longer asking for a change in our society
But demanding it.

I left our little island in April, swapping rolling fields for the towering skyscrapers of New York
Filled with a genuine sense of hope for Ireland's future
The ferocious roar of solidarity that I have witnessed countless times in the lead up to this referendum gave me the will to believe that the people I left would make the right choice
Still, there was an undeniable feeling of dread deep in my core, as I no longer had a say in this choice.

Like so many of my generation I am far away from home and with no option to vote from abroad,
I am left to feel as though I have no say in the future of a country I still feel intricately connected to.

I was lucky
Leaving Ireland was my choice, a choice that was not rushed or out of my control
A choice that was fuelled by the need to chase a life long dream.

However, so many other women are forced overseas, across similar waters
But what waits for them on the other side is something they probably never imagined enduring in their worst nightmares.
Their choice, if they are some of the 'lucky' few to be able to afford a choice, is one fuelled by fear and anguish.
It is not a choice any woman wants to make.
For many women in Ireland, it is not a choice they can make.

The last referendum to shake the core of Irish identity and culture was the marriage equality referendum
It's proud result meant that Irish people could spend one of the best days of their lives at home
Surrounded by those they love and care for.

Repealing the 8th Amendment will mean women and families can spend what may be one of the most difficult days of their lives at home
Which is just as important
Surrounded by love, support, and the help they need; all whilst in a safe environment.

By voting YES you are not voting for abortion - you are voting for choice
That women in Ireland may choose what happens to their bodies
That a family may choose to minimise pain.

In 2015 we voted for love.
We voted to for acceptance.
We voted for support.
We voted to show we are a nation that cares for all it's citizens.

In those facets, this referendum is no different.

Vote YES for your mother, sister, daughter, girlfriend, wife.
Vote YES for those of us who can't make it home for May 25th.
Vote YES for our country.
Vote YES for yourself.


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