Politics

Irish People Around The World Are Flying #HomeToVote For Abortion To Be Decriminalised

If this doesn't make you cry, there's something wrong with you.

#HomeToVote Ireland

Later today, the Republic of Ireland will hold a historic referendum on abortion rights that  might finally pave the way for abortion to be decriminalised. And all over the internet, the #HomeToVote hashtag is full of Irish people flying home from around the world to vote in favour of the right to choose.

They’re flying home because Ireland requires people to be in the country to vote in referendums, unlike other countries that allow overseas voting. Some people are flying for hours, at a cost of thousands of dollars, to be there and support abortion rights.

People are coming from as far as Australia, Vietnam and Argentina. But as so many have put it on Twitter, one flight home is nothing compared to the many overseas flights Irish people have had to make in order to access basic reproductive health care.

Just look at this show of support. I’m not crying, you’re crying.

In many cases, people’s flights home were funded by donations, or by Irish people who’ve been out of the country too long to retain voting rights. People have been donning jumpers and shirts reading “repeal” or “yes” on their flights, and Dublin airport is absolutely full of groups of new friends united by their support for the campaign.

The referendum itself is on the question of whether to repeal the eighth amendment to the Irish Constitution, which criminalises abortion in nearly all circumstances by making the right to life of the unborn essentially equal to the mother’s right to life. It’s still looking like the vote will be quite close, which makes these flights home all the more important.

Fingers crossed it passes. The world is watching, and we’re rooting for you.