Home to Vote

I feel a little strange doing this, but it’s potentially worth it for the cause, so…

Some of you may have noticed a few posts I’ve made regarding Irish abortion law.  To give you some background, in 1983, the Eighth Amendment to the Irish constitution was passed, enshrining the equal rights of the mother and an unborn child from the moment of conception.

It is a terrible law.  Not only does it prohibit abortion, it also has an impact on the medical treatment received by all pregnant women, or women who could be pregnant – a restriction that is believed directly led to the death of Savita Halappanavar in 2012.  It means Irish women who need an abortion have to travel to the UK or Holland to get them, a stressful, exhausting and expensive process, that effectively puts abortion out of the reach of women who are poor, disabled, or unable to travel due to visa restrictions.

Ireland still has abortion, of course, somewhere between 3,500-5000 per year, but the women who have abortions have to have them alone, and have to recover from them without proper medical aftercare.  Not only that, but because of the difficulty of arranging for travel to another country, Irish women are forced to delay their abortions until further on in pregnancy, when the procedure is more invasive and even more expensive.

The sentence for procuring an abortion in Ireland is fourteen years.  The sentence for rape is usually five to seven years.

There will be a referendum on whether to repeal the Eighth Amendment on 25 May.  If it is repealed, the government intend to bring in new laws which will allow unrestricted abortion up to twelve weeks.

I mention this because many of you (I would assume most) have read the fanfiction I’ve written over the last few years (and hopefully enjoyed it).  I would never dream of soliciting donations for myself, but this cause is so important that I am going to sacrifice my dignity and beg.

Unless you are an Irish citizen, you cannot donate to the Repeal campaign (that would be fraudulent).  However, there are many people out there who are desperate to get back to Ireland to cast their vote for Repeal, and donations can be made to their individual campaigns.  (It is extremely difficult to obtain a postal vote under Irish law, meaning it’s not an option for many people).  

I do not have a vote – I lost it eighteen months after I left Ireland – which means I have no voice in this decision.  I’m doing my best to support the campaign, and am donating where I can to help fund other peoples’ journeys home to vote.  Every vote counts, I cannot emphasise that enough – the divorce referendum in 1995 passed by only 9,114 votes.  If even a few hundred people get home to vote who otherwise couldn’t, it could be enough to tip the balance.

So, I guess, what I’m asking is, if you’ve read some of my writing over the last year or two and enjoyed it, and you can afford it, it would mean a lot to me if you could donate to one of the campaigns below.  Every vote matters.

Rob Moloney

Lesvos Voices

Emma Burke