Thousands of Irish have traveled home to vote in Ireland’s Friday referendum that will determine if abortion remains illegal in the country.
Many of these voters, especially youths, will vote “yes” to repeal Ireland’s Eight Amendment that outlaws and penalizes those who attempt to or successfully abort an unborn child. Abortion advocates have called for the amendment to be changed, calling it “archaic and dangerous.” Those who violate the law can face up to 14 years behind bars. (RELATED: Young Americans Fight To Keep Abortion Out Of Ireland)
Others are excited to affirm their commitment to life by voting “no” on the referendum.
“There’s a lot of people in Ireland that have been raised by the Catholic Church to be very much pro-life. I just feel like there will be more pro-life support,” 24-year-old journalist Niamh Cavanagh told The Evening Standard. “It’s the first time in my life I’ve seen a vote in Ireland like this.”
“It’s causing a lot of stress to a lot of people,” she added.
“I think the unborn baby is entitled to life … this legislation that the government are proposing goes far beyond that and I think goes way too far and will be detrimental to Irish babies and mothers,” 20-year-old Eoin OLoughlin told reporters at Dublin Airport.
A multitude of Irish have also come home to vote “yes” to ensure that women can have abortions rather than traveling out of the country to abort. “Yesterday, we travelled because we wanted to. Today, we vote for the women who travelled because they were forced to,” Lynn Enright wrote in a Friday op-ed in The Pool.
“All the #hometovote celebrating feels like a response to all the silent, secret journeys that went the other way. Whatever the outcome of the referendum, the silence is broken,” author Jane Casey tweeted Thursday. (RELATED: Facebook Bans Foreign Ads On Irish Abortion Referendum)
— Together for Yes (@Together4yes) May 24, 2018