Happy Friday. Today is a day to be happy as today could be a day that history is changed in Ireland and the women of Ireland can feel somewhat safer knowing that they now have a choice. My cousin from America, got in touch with me and asked if I would be putting something up on my website about the referendum and I wasn’t going to for multiple reasons, but in reality how could I not?
I don’t think Ireland progressing means that someone I don’t know has the right to dictate MY CHOICE in anything. That is not progress, it’s the opposite. I don’t know anyone who wants to have an abortion, but I know of people that might need to get one and I want them to have the choice for them, the good of their family and the good of their health to have the option of it, if needed.
I urge people to read the FACTS not what someone posts on Facebook and claims to be medical truth. I urge people to go to the ‘In Her Shoes – Women Of The Eight’ account and read actual events and stories and then make up your mind because it certainly isn’t a case of vote yes because it’s ‘fashionable’ (I’ve seen that been thrown around by no campaigners), it’s a case of know why you want to vote yes (or no) and know what you are casting your hugely important vote for.
I am voting yes because no one knows your circumstances, your well-being and your health better than you. No one knows your family better than you. No one knows your life better than you. If you feel something is necessary or it is not necessary in your life, the decision and the choice should be left to you.
Repealing the 8th is critical for the future of Ireland if we are to be seen as a nation of any merit on the international stage. While I am fortunate to be able to exercise my right to vote here and will be doing so, voting yes, I encourage all of my readers to take a moment if they are on the fence on this issue, and consider a yes vote for those who are not so fortunate as to be able to be home here to vote.
My cousin also passed me on this bit from her friend who also feels so strongly about the Yes Vote……
“An Open Letter to My Family and Friends Who Are On The Fence
⁃ Syllona Kanu
I have a favour to ask you, my family and friends, who will be voting next week on one of the most controversial, necessary and deeply divisive referendums Ireland has seen in recent history. Emotions are high, pressure is building and it may be difficult to decide which way to vote.
If I had the opportunity to vote in the referendum on May 25th on the repeal of the 8th amendment, I would vote yes for Savita Halappanavar, the 31-year-old dentist from India who died during childbirth in Galway University Hospital from septicemia. Her husband pleaded with the doctors to terminate the pregnancy but it was denied on the grounds of Ireland being a “Catholic country”. I would vote yes for Ms. X, and all of the other women who have ever been and who ever will be suicidal because of a pregnancy. I would vote yes for Ms. Y, and all of the other pregnant women who move to or seek asylum in Ireland and who are forced to accept that their life is now no longer of primary importance.
I would vote yes for the nine women every day who travel abroad from Ireland in order to access abortion services, for the varied and immensely personal and difficult reasons women choose to terminate their pregnancy. I would vote yes for the three women every day who can’t afford to travel to England, and so buy abortion pills from the internet, not knowing of their legitimacy or safety and who are forced to take this risk to their life because they have no other option.
I would vote yes for the women in my life who are closest to me who have had to travel to England to terminate their pregnancies, and who had the strength to speak about their own experiences with abortion in a country where we are told time and time again that it is a murderous and shameful act. I would vote yes for the women in my life who are closest to me who have had to travel to England to access abortion services, and due to the stigma and shame imposed on them by Irish society, have never been able to tell anyone about it.
I would vote yes for my sister, cousins, mother, aunts, childhood friends, schoolmates, work colleagues, my sister’s friends, my brothers’ girlfriends, the barista at my favourite coffee shop, the woman sitting next to me on the bus, Irish women who are living abroad, every single woman currently in Ireland, and all future generations of Irish women.
I would vote yes because I believe that it doesn’t matter what my personal opinion on abortion is, and because I believe that it doesn’t matter what your personal opinion on abortion is. I would vote yes because this referendum is not about whether we would ever have an abortion ourselves. I would vote yes because I trust women, and I believe that women are the only experts in their own lives. I would vote yes because I believe every woman should have the right to decide what she does with her own body.
I would vote yes because I believe that Irish women have been the underclass in Irish constitutional law, but have slowly gained equality with the overturn of other laws and amendments. I would vote yes because I believe that the repeal of the 8th amendment would be one step closer to the full emancipation of Irish women.
For the past two years I have been living, working and playing on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish people, known more commonly as Vancouver, Canada. It’s been a truly incredible two years so far but one downside of moving abroad is that you lose your right to contribute to the political system of your home country, even if you plan on moving home and the law continues to directly affect you. As such, to my bitter disappointment I will not be voting in the upcoming referendum on the repeal of the 8th amendment. At least not directly. I have done what I can from here: organized and attended solidarity events and rallies, raised campaign funds, tweeted and shared and started conversations with people on the topic. But the thing that matters most is your vote.
So, I have a favour to ask you, my beloved family and friends. I am asking you to please consider being my Yes vote. If you are on the fence about which way to vote next week, please vote yes for me, and all of the women who I would have voted yes for. Be my yes, so that I and thousands other expats can return to Ireland and be proud of our home for voting for equality. Be my yes on May 25th, and contribute to bringing about positive and tangible change in Ireland.
“I am not free while any women is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” — Audre Lorde”
The link to Syllona Kanu’s blog is here – https://syllonakanu.wordpress.com/
Guys, please be smart with your very important vote today. Please know that it is a life saving vote you are casting for the women of Ireland, women whom you love, cherish and adore, girls who are not women yet and cannot vote for their future, women who have been wronged in the past and women who deserve the right to choose the best for them and their family.