8 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP #REPEALTHE8TH
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has confirmed that he plans on holding a referendum on the Eighth Amendment, Article 40.3.3 of the Irish Constitution, in May or June of 2018.
With only a few short months to this monumental vote, many might think that this is already in the bag or that there is not much that they can do to help if you're living abroad. The opposite is true - there has never been a better or more crucial time to get involved.
If you find yourself asking how you can get involved, how you can help to get this vote over the line, take a look at our list of 8 Things You can do to Help Repeal the 8th!
1. #HomeToVote: Find out if you are eligible and registered to vote in the referendum
Whether or not you’re eligible to vote depends on how long you have been living outside of Ireland. You are vote eligible if you have lived in Ireland in the last 18 months. Check out our #HomeTovote website and start planning your trip home!
It’s important you check if you are on the register; you can’t vote otherwise! You can do so by going online to Check The Register. If you are registered, that’s great! You can also speak to family and friends to make sure they are on the register and their details are correct.
If you have any questions regarding your details or why you are not listed, please take a look at the FAQ page here.
2. Talk to your TD
It’s vital that TDs hear from their constituents so they can be in no doubt that people all over Ireland support change. Please contact your TDs and encourage your family and friends to do the same. Let them know that you support a referendum to Repeal the Eighth and legislation based on the recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Committee.
Before a referendum takes place, the Dáil and Seanad must vote in favour. You can easily find out your TD’s position on Repeal via the Irish Times tracker. Even if your TD is in favour, it’s still worth contacting them to reinforce your support and encourage them to stay committed to their position.
3. Talk about Repeal with your family & friends
Don't assume that you friends and family back home will vote the same way as you would - call, skype or Whatsapp them and start the conversation.
We know it can be daunting, but here are some tips and talking points to get you started.
Many of us “like” and “share” comments online, feeling happy to show support that way. But if the marriage equality referendum taught us anything, it’s that we need to speak to people directly and take the conversations offline, onto doorsteps and into people’s homes wherever possible.
Put together a plan today to identify your family and friends who are not yet committed to Repeal & start contacting them. Send an article about Repeal in a Whatsapp group and ask people what they think.
4. Write letters to local and national newspapers about Repeal
A good old fashioned letter to the papers is a remarkably easy and effective way to get your pro-choice voice heard across the country.
TDs pay particular attention to those letters in the papers in their constituency, so it’s especially important that they see a strong stream of pro-choice letters being published.
If you’re not sure how to start or where to start, check out our letter writing guide for Irish people abroad here.
5. Make Repeal Visible (Online and In Real Life)
Add Repeal the 8th to your Facebook profile.
Put a luggage tag on your suitcase (or handbag for day to day visibility)
Put a sticker on your car bumper, letter box, notepads, laptop
Like and share their posts about Repeal - this will help more people to see the posts on social media
Use hashtags such as #Repealthe8th #TrustWomen #HomeToVote #HealthcareNotAirfare
6. Donate for Repeal
Any donation big or small can help get our message out there and bring about change.
7. Connect with your local pro-choice group
The Repeal the 8th movement is all over Ireland, and around the world, so find your local group and get involved…
Contact ARC regional groups and find out how you can use your skills to help your home town’s group from overseas. The Coalition to Repeal the 8th has a number of regional and specialist interest groups that may also be of interest, like Midwives for Choice and Doctors for Choice.
If your country or city doesn’t have its own solidarity campaign group, start your own. Organise your first open meeting, or rally, and spread the word on social media. Encourage Irish people abroad to talk to their friends and family at home about repeal.
8. Be informed
Knowledge is power. Facts and personal stories are what change people’s opinions. You only need to look at people’s testimonies from the Citizens' Assembly and TDs Simon Harris, Jonathan O’Brien and Micheál Martin to see it’s true. Become informed on the facts and on the personal stories of women who have made the journey and use these to help you have conversations with people you know.
Please note: Personal stories can be tough reading and listening, but they are the reason we are fighting for Repeal.
Everyday Stories: Personal testimonies highlight the impact of the 8th Amendment
First Hand Experiences: Listen to 6 experiences re-told in the Citizen’s Assembly
The Irish Journey: Stories from Irish women who have travelled