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14th Feb 2018

In favour of the repeal referendum? Ten ways you can support it

Taryn de Vere

The countdown to the repeal referendum is on, there are four hectic months ahead and the repeal campaign needs every pro-choice person in Ireland working together.

For anyone unsure of how to get involved, we have compiled a list of different ways that you can help to lend your voice and win the repeal referendum which is due to take place in May.

1) Join your local pro-choice group. The Abortion Rights Campaign has branches in 23 of the 32 counties of Ireland. You can find your nearest one here. If there isn’t a group in your area consider starting one yourself. Or you can join one of the 100 member groups of the Coalition to Repeal the 8th. With over 100 organisations and groups, there is sure to be one that you’re a fit for!

2) If writing is more your bag, you can write letters to the editor of local and national papers to explain why you’re voting for repeal.

3) Don’t have a lot of spare time? You can help out by following pro-choice organisations on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc and by liking, commenting and sharing their posts.

4) Make an appointment to visit your TD or write to them to tell them why you support repeal. Our TDs are meant to represent the views of their constituency so let them know what you think.

5) Wear your pro-choice activism. Make or buy some repeal merch like badges and repeal slogans on t-shirts.  You can buy bumper stickers from Abortion Rights Campaign and the Hunreal Issues.

6) Educate yourself on the arguments, read a couple of articles, watch the 8th committee meetings on Oireachtas TV playback or join a pro-choice Facebook group like Mná na hÉireann ag Taisteal or Parents for Choice Discussion Group where you can ask questions of other group members and access a wealth of pro-choice information.

7) Talk to your family about why you’re voting for repeal. Then talk to your friends then talk to your hairdresser, your mechanic and anyone else you encounter in your normal life. The more people you talk to, the more likely is that the amendment will be repealed.

8) Check the electoral register to make sure you are still on it and urge your pro-choice friends to do the same.

9) If you can afford to, donate some cash. The abortion rights campaign doesn’t have the money for billboard advertising or advertising trucks, they are run by volunteers. If you can spare some dosh you can donate to Abortion Rights Campaign or the Coalition to Repeal.

10) Look after yourself! Fill your cup and nurture yourself before engaging directly with others on this topic. Anti-choice campaigners can be forceful and that can be traumatic, especially if you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of women who have left for an abortion, or had one here in secrecy and fear.

The wonderful people of Psychologists for Choice are running free Self Care workshops so check their Twitter for details of upcoming events. Think about what you can realistically offer to the repeal campaign and stick to that. Relaxed, happy people make the best campaigners so take care of yourself. Look out for other campaigners as well.

If we all support the repeal campaign in whatever way we can, we will win the referendum and make Ireland a safe place for women and girls.

Image via Facebook: Abortion Rights Campaign