After Ireland’s Historic Abortion Vote, Calls Grow for Abortion Rights in Northern Ireland

In a resounding win for reproductive rights, the Irish electorate voted in overwhelming numbers to liberalize the country’s highly restrictive abortion laws on Friday. Two-thirds of those who went to the polls voted yes on a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment of Ireland’s constitution, which granted equal rights to a woman and an unborn child. But Friday’s vote will not change abortion access in British-ruled Northern Ireland, where 19th century laws barring the procedure remain in place. We go to Dublin, Ireland, where we speak with Grainne Griffin, co-director of the Together for Yes campaign and co-founder of the Abortion Rights Campaign. We also speak with Annie Hoey, the canvassing coordinator for Together for Yes and former Union of Students in Ireland president.


AMY GOODMAN: Wyvern Lingo, “Out of My Hands.” This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González. But it was certainly in their hands this weekend, a historic vote on abortion in Ireland. Our guests are Grainne Griffin, who is Together for Yes abortion rights campaigner, Annie Hoey, also with that group and former president of the Union of Students in Ireland, both speaking to us from Dublin, Ireland. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Annie, I wanted to ask you if you could discuss some more the grassroots, door-to-door campaign that you launched. In this digital age, you really decided to go door to door to try to convince the Irish voters, especially in terms of personal stories of women who would be affected by the change in the constitution. Could you talk about that?

ANNIE HOEY: Yes. I mean, one of the huge, big parts of Together for Yes was that — and one of the core tenets of it was that we wanted to ensure that women’s stories, their real-life experiences, were front and center. So, when people were going door to door, and whenever I was doing any kind of canvassing training, I would have always…

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