100 Voices For YES: Irish Artists Speak Up For Repeal

Over the coming days, as we move closer to an historic opportunity for the people of Ireland to get rid of an archaic part of the Constitution, we'll be sharing the words of singers, artists, filmmakers, authors and more, who are urging people to vote for Repeal.

41. Phillip McMahon

Playwright

Speaking to friends outside of Ireland, they are struck by how engaged people, especially young people, are in politics on this island. That feels like a recent development, but one which has happened for a few reasons. There has been a generational shift. Big Religion has lost its grip on the everyday business of society. But moreover we, as citizens, have come to realise that because we live on a small island with direct access to our politicians, change is possible.

This referendum, for which I’m advocating and campaigning for a Yes vote, is similar to the Marriage Equality referendum in 2015 – we are voting for the Ireland that we collectively want to live in. The status quo is not working, and we have an opportunity, and a duty, to re-imagine our country for the future.

• I’m voting Yes for equality – why should I have full freedom and control over my own body, but not my neighbour, sister or friend? • I’m voting Yes for fairness – who am I to say what is right for someone else and their life?

• I’m voting Yes for safe healthcare – abortions happen already. We need to deal with that fact – they just happen elsewhere and often unsafely.

• I’m voting Yes for compassion – nobody wants an abortion, but the fact is some people need one. This country has systematically failed women since the foundation of the state and before. We can’t rectify that, but we can make sure it doesn’t continue.

• On May 25, we are voting to create an Ireland that trusts and respects women. I want to live in that Ireland. I’m voting Yes.

42.Jinx Lennon

Musician

I feel life is sacred and I’m really pissed at the way the government seems to be throwing all their strength behind this issue, instead of equally facing up to homelessness and the third world state of our hospitals. Saying all that, I do feel that women should have a choice, and Ireland should face up to abortion in this land, instead of dumping it on England’s lap and pretending to be sanctimonious and holy.

43. Gar Byrne

The Riptide Movement

I am 100% behind the Repeal movement and the Together For Yes campaign – they show a real sense of community, care and actual support for the women of Ireland. Every woman has the right to decide what is best for her and the right to safe and secure abortion care. No woman should travel for such a sensitive matter, and no woman should have to go through this alone without proper care. My heart goes out to anyone in a situation like that and I urge the people of Ireland to put this behind us for once and for all and to vote yes on May 25.

44. Col Patterson

The Vinylheads

No woman should suffer ever again like Savita Halappananavar. Women should have the right to make their own decisions with help from their doctors. Ireland has shown that we have matured as a country in many other decisions. Let’s show our women that we respect them and their rights. Vote Yes!

45.Tom Woodlock

zhOra

The case to repeal the 8th Amendment is less about the middle class, and more about women who are disadvantaged. The poor, the homeless, the infirm, rape victims and the young who have their futures threatened by a crisis pregnancy deserve to have the choice to take their lives back on their own terms. There is no moral victory in forcing a pregnancy to term because of dogma rooted in inequality and anti-science beliefs.

46.Wayne Soper

The Hot Sprockets

For too long, we have turned our backs on so many women in their moment of need. It is time to give families the support and healthcare they require at home. I look forward to having a family and when I do, I want to know that my wife’s life is in good hands. No one chooses abortion lightly, it is a decision that is struggled over for so many complex reasons. As a country, we’ve come of age and we can no longer send our problems abroad. Vote Yes, Repeal the 8th.

47.Ronan McQuillan

The Enemies

I will be voting Yes. This vote is for my daughters, my wife, my sister, my mother and all the other great women in my life who deserve better.

48. Lisa Hannigan (pictured)

Singer & Songwriter

With this referendum we have an opportunity to make Ireland a more compassionate place. The 8th Amendment is an incredibly blunt instrument that has let our country and its citizens down again and again. A No vote prevents nothing, but ensures that 12 Irish women a day continue to have more unsafe and later abortions, and continues to punish those in the most traumatic of circumstances. A vote for choice is the middle ground, leaving each woman the dignity of making her own decision in a crisis. That’s why I’m voting Yes on May 25.

49. Nicola Coughlan

Actress

Earlier this year I was asked to take part in an event for the Women Of The World festival, on the Southbank in London. I was asked to read a famous speech from a woman in history, and I chose one delivered by Constance Markievicz. One part of her speech really stuck with me: “A Free Ireland with No Sex Disabilities in her constitution should be the motto of all Nationalist Women. And a grand motto it is.” One hundred years since the first women got the vote, 100 years after Markiewicz became the first woman elected to Parliament in the UK, we still have an Ireland that has ‘sex disabilities’ in our constitution. Please vote for an Ireland that looks after women, and doesn’t send them away in shame. We all need to stand together – this is the moment for change.

50. Carl Eccles

Hot Cops

Repealing the 8th Amendment is extremely important for current and future generations of women throughout Ireland, who may suffer unwanted pregnancies. Abortion is always going to happen and the best thing we can do is to make it safe and legal. Contraception is never 100% effective and the preaching of abstinence to combat abortion is rooted in the misogynistic policing of women’s bodies and sexuality. We were part of a compilation album of Irish and international artists released last year in support of choice, with all proceeds going directly to the Abortion Support Network.

 

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