Campaign group Together for Yes launched their nationwide tour last Sunday in Athlone.
The ‘Get Together For Yes’ tour is a series of events and conversations taking place across the country, which aim to create a space for open and honest discussion about the 8th Amendment. It will visit 22 locations during 12 days. The group was joined in Athlone by Dr Peter Boylan, chair of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
Launching the tour, campaign co-director, Orla O’Connor said: “This is not a vote on abortion – we already have abortion in Ireland. This is a vote to decide if we will regulate it, make it safe, and care for the women of Ireland.
“The Eighth Amendment is broad and unforgiving – it affects women and families in every community, every village, every town and every county in Ireland. Between 2012 and 2016, over 18,000 women gave Irish addresses at UK abortion clinics, according to the Department of Health and Social Care in the UK. This doesn’t count those who didn’t give addresses, or who went to other European countries for the care they needed.
“We know that abortion is a difficult topic to discuss sometimes, but we also know that sometimes a personal and private matter needs public support. Our ‘Get Together For Yes’ conversations tour recognises this, and it is why we are visiting 22 locations across Ireland over the next 12 days, so that we can help people start that conversation and open up that discussion.
“We know that the people of Ireland want to treat each other with kindness and compassion, to ensure that women and families can access the care they need, when they need it. There is one way we can do this – by voting Yes on May 25.”
Speaking at the launch, Dr Peter Boylan said: “The 8th amendment is a failed experiment. Abortion is here already. The vote on May 25 is not a Yes or No vote to introduce abortion because it is already here in Ireland. In the last year alone, 2,000 women imported illegal abortion pills from online providers.
“These pills are very safe when used under medical supervision. However, if taken in the wrong dosage or at the wrong time they can cause serious, potentially fatal problems such as uterine rupture and haemorrhage. We cannot ignore today’s reality and risk waking up one morning to the news that a woman has bled to death, alone in her bathroom.
“The fact is that as long as we have the Eighth Amendment, we can do nothing about fatal fetal anomalies, pregnant rape victims, or some cancer patients. The Constitution is no place for regulating the complexities of medical care, but nothing at all can change unless the Eighth is repealed. For care, for compassion, vote Yes on May 25”.