On May 23rd, many of you will cast your vote and decide which candidates will represent us on the local councils and in the European Parliament.
Some of our election candidates are part of political movements currently waging attacks on health and rights in Ireland and Europe by preventing us from accessing free, safe and legal abortion on request (or by attempting to roll back on legislation in countries which currently provides for abortion.)
Often, it’s not immediately obvious where a candidate stands on the position of women’s health and rights, including access to abortion. But our potential elected representatives must be accountable for their views on this issue.
We are asking people to question their candidates in the local and European elections. They need to know that dangerous anti-choice views do not represent what the majority of the public think. We need to show them that abortion access is an issue we care about. They need to know that we will not give political support to a person who is not willing to demonstrate their commitment to working to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution so that full reproductive health services, including abortion, can be made available in line with best medical practice.
These are some questions you can ask when a candidate or a member of their team knocks on your door and asks for your vote.
- What have you done for women’s health and rights?
- What is your position on abortion?
- Do you agree that there should be a referendum to repeal the 8th amendment?
- What have you done on the issue of abortion access for women in Ireland?
- What will you do in the future on abortion access for women in Ireland?
Some politicians cannot answer a direct question – Often they will ask you questions or change the subject a bit. When this happens you can also raise a few important points with them, so that they understand the reality and that abortion rights in Ireland is an important issue to you.
The legislation passed over the summer does not provide access to the vast majority of women in Ireland who and need abortion access.
Women’s life, health, rape, incest, birth control failure, personal wish, fatal foetal abnormality: all reasons women should have access to abortion, and not things the state should be in charge of mediating.
Women need abortions for a wide variety of reasons and needs and only they can and should decide for themselves.
- There is no reason to invoke the slippery slope argument that providing access means women will use abortions as birth control. Women don’t stop using birth control when abortion is available. Women use contraceptives with then need contraceptives and abortion when they need abortion.
We’ve created a handy little checklist you can print out and have next to your door for those coming calling! Your voice matters, so thank you for standing up for women at this critical time.