5 things you can do to help Save the 8th
Posted by Alithea Williams on 11 May 2018
LondonIrish U4L taking part in the St Patrick's Day Parade.
It is just two weeks before Ireland votes on whether to repeal the right to life for unborn babies from the constitution.
As more and more people discover the truth about what is being proposed, the polls are narrowing, but those fighting to retain the Eighth Amendment in Ireland need all the help they can get to win this, especially after the news that Google is banning all paid adverts relating to the referendum.
I know I am not alone among pro-lifers in the UK in being deeply invested in the outcome of the referendum. Many of us have strong personal connections to the Emerald Isle, and for decades Ireland has been a shining example of a country that defends the right to life of the most vulnerable. The result is also likely to have significant implications for the fight against abortion in other countries. But what can UK pro-lifers do to help?
I spoke to Karen and Louise from London Irish United for Life, a group that is urging eligible Irish people in London to go home to vote to retain the Eighth Amendment. They said: "With all of the main political parties, all mainstream media outlets and a variety of celebrities such as Saoirse Ronan and Bono vocally browbeating and bullying the public into a YES based on vague fluffy concepts of compassion, choice and care without addressing what the proposed Bill actually is, we are fighting a David vs Goliath battle. From speaking to people at home, being in Dublin last weekend and recent polls, there is a huge swathe of undecided people who are confused and do not know what they are voting on."
They gave five ways people here can help:
1) Letter write & participate in media
This is a very effective way of reaching undecided voters in a way that will not be censored. Write letters and contact local papers and radio in Ireland to see if they will take an article from you or interview you.
A key point to remember is that people still have no idea what the Government is actually proposing to do in the event of a Yes vote. The proposed legislation can be found here. The main proposals are abortion on demand up to 12 weeks, on vague mental health grounds up to viability (around 23-24 weeks), for so-called "fatal foetal abnormality" up to birth. Repeal would remove ALL rights protection from the unborn.
LondonIrish UFL have created guides to media and letter writing, as well as media contacts, which you can download here.
2. Talk to friends and family in Ireland
Start the conversation ahead of the vote on May 25th. Inform them of the situation in the UK and that you don't want Ireland to go down the same road. Tell them that over 9 million babies have lost their lives since abortion was introduced in 1967. This news story on the 2016 abortion statistics gives some of the horrifying facts - babies aborted because they were a twin, or because they had Down's syndrome, or for any reason at all under unproven mental health grounds. (For a fuller picture, see our new book, Abortion Matters).
3. Follow us on social media
London Irish United for Life are on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @LdnIrishU4L. Like, share and retweet (particularly in the final week) with the hashtags:
You can also support the campaign groups in Ireland itself - the main ones are Save the 8th and Love Both.
4. Rally with us
Join us on Friday 18th May at Tower Bridge at 18.30 for a photoshoot- a last Rallying cry in support of the 8th Amendment and a NO Vote. We need a huge show of prolife solidarity 1 week before the Irish abortion referendum!
Meet at The Scoop, Queen’s Walk SE12DB; check our Facebook page for further updates. There'll be drinks afterwards! If you have any other ideas for activities we can do in the next two weeks, get in touch to find out about our next meeting.
Lastly but most importantly! If you are a person of faith we ask you to storm Heaven with prayers for guidance and enlightenment for the Irish people with this vote. Urge your parish priest to mention it in Prayers of the Faithful, organise Holy Hours and Rosaries for Ireland in this month of May.
I'll end with these words from Karen and Louise:
"We urge you to do what you can to stand in solidarity with Ireland's pro-life movement at this defining moment in our History. This would be the first time a country would vote to strip away a constitutional right to life of the unborn child, effectively voting to enshrine abortion as a right in our Constitution. Every other country with legalised abortion had it legalised by the courts or government. The stark and shocking consequences of a Yes vote are horrendous.
If you had the chance 50 years ago to speak out against injustice, against this brutal and barbaric practice, would you do things differently?"