The #HomeToVote campaign is taking over social media and further highlighting the global importance of #RepealThe8th and #VoteYes
In Ireland, the polls have opened today to let the nation decide whether to repeal the Eighth Amendment.
This 1983 addition to the Irish constitution granted equal rights to the mother and the unborn, and all but banned abortion. This law means that 11 women a day are forced to travel overseas to secure safe and legal access to treatment, which is a total of over 154,000 since 1980.
That is why the nation is coming out to vote today.
However, for an Irish citizen to be able to vote in this historic referendum, you must have lived in Ireland in the last 18 months, and votes must be cast in the country.
That is why Irish citizens are coming #HomeToVote.
The campaign was inspired by the 2015 referendum on marriage equality, when Irish people living in the UK caught the ferry from Holyhead back to Dublin, in order to vote in support of marriage equality.
After the 2015 success, the campaign has turned its attention to the abortion referendum, encouraging Irish citizens living abroad to get #HomeToVote, and ensure that the 8th Amendment, which the Abortion Rights Campaign says ‘infringes on the human rights of women in Ireland and goes against international human rights norms’, is repealed once and for all.
The hashtag has taken social media by storm, and the stories are remarkable, not to mention incredibly moving.
Here are some of the highlights:
Flights all over the world were filled with #RepealThe8th supporters
Some of the #HomeToVote tweets showed the kindness of strangers
Some reminded us of Savita Halappanavar, whose tragic death was the catalyst for the referendum to be called
Irish citizens who weren’t eligible to vote in the referendum were also offering their support
Even airport security is #TogetherForYes
From Vietnam to LA to Australia, Irish citizens living all around the world are coming home to vote on this historic occasion.
For all those who were able to come #HomeToVote to #RepealThe8th, thank you for making the journey so others don’t have to.