The Irish Referendum on Abortion
On Friday May 25th the Republic of Ireland voted to overturn the country’s longstanding abortion ban. With a 66.4% voting majority, the win was celebrated as a monumental landslide victory for reproductive rights.
And along the way, in the days leading up to the vote, something else monumental was brewing on Twitter: the hashtag #HomeToVote began trending globally as Irish citizens from around the world embarked on their homeward journeys to vote in the referendum.
Call us biased, but there are few things that will restore your faith in humanity as quickly as a scroll through the #HomeToVote thread. Bravery, solidarity, and compassion were on full display for the world to see, and it was nothing short of magical.
We were so taken by the power of #HomeToVote that we decided to dedicate a full blog post simply to capturing some of it’s magic. Below are a few of our favorite tweets, and why we think that they’re emblematic of the movement.
From donated plane tickets to coordinated ride shares, #HomeToVote wasn’t going to leave anyone behind. Not only were these acts of generosity moving, they were smart: nine out of ten Irish emigrants surveyed were voting to overturn the ban.
Nearly missed my flight from Heathrow panic bought a ticket to Belfast in case. Anyone want it? Home to vote its at 15.15. On the plane now. will leave deets with @simonmulholland #hometovote lifts are being given from belfast— Alison Spittle (@AlisonSpittle) 25 de mayo de 2018
For many, Friday’s vote was not only about abortion. It was testimony to a larger coalition of allies working to support each other’s right to autonomy, safety, dignity, and freedom. #LoveWins #TransRights
We voted together for the marriage referendum so he could marry his love! My baby brother flew back from Switzerland to vote for me, for his nieces and all women of Ireland! #ivotedyes #HometoVote pic.twitter.com/Fnd8FAkp4b— vanessamarshdraws (@vanessamarsh) 25 de mayo de 2018
a HUGE shout out to all the trans people who have voted/will vote today and have to use identifying documentation that outs them/does not align with their true self – THANK YOU for using your vote #heroes #transrights #repealthe8th #togetherforyes #ivotedyes ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🖤— Albha Foley (@AlbhaFoley) 25 de mayo de 2018
Much Needed Homage
#HomeToVote reminded us time and time again of the real cost that women had to bear under the Eighth Amendment. Not only have legal restrictions pushed an estimated 170,000 Irish women to seek abortion abroad since 1980, but it’s cost many women their lives.
As Ireland goes #hometovote to #RepealThe8th today, please remember Savita Halappanavar who died of sepsis after being denied an abortion for a pregnancy even after doctors said miscarriage was inevitable. Her death was a catalyst for this referendum. She was 31. pic.twitter.com/EcZm95xrEl— Charlotte Morabito (@MorabitoCM) 25 de mayo de 2018
Parents For The Win
All the posts on #HomeToVote tugged at our heartstrings, but it was the parents and grandparents who pushed us over the edge. Thank you for helping to ensure a safer, freer Ireland for future generations.
So I forgot my repeal jumper when I first started my travels in January and now my mam and dad are after showing up at Dublin airport with the jumper in hand and I just 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 #HomeToVote #Together4Yes #repealthe8th #VietnamToIreland pic.twitter.com/lJ7yGvg5YO— the cute hoor (@HoorayForNiamh) 23 de mayo de 2018
A Way With Words
Whether quoting poetry or sharing their own poignant perspectives, many of the posts on #HomeToVote proved that the Irish truly do have an unparalleled way with words. And we just couldn’t get enough of it.
Today, countless women around the world have flown home to Ireland to vote on a referendum and ensure that no person in that country should ever lack reproductive rights and access to abortion care. May it always be said that women are goddamn amazing.#HomeToVote #repealthe8th— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) 25 de mayo de 2018
I view voting the same way I view abortion.— Sarah Wright (@ihiccupalot) 25 de mayo de 2018
As early as possible, and as late as necessary.
Give your X for YES, and play your part in making history. #repealthe8th #together4yes #hometovote pic.twitter.com/7NDAbsIKJf
Irish citizens weren’t the only ones tracking #HomeToVote. The international community was abuzz with messages of support and solidarity, making the Irish repeal a truly global victory.
The #hometovote tweets are making me cry like a baby. As a Peruvian woman who doesn't have a say over her own body I just want recognize the struggle Irish women have gone through to get this historic vote. Best of luck sisters! #repealthe8th— Mariella De la Cruz (@ella_92_1) 25 de mayo de 2018
Incredibly inspired by all the young people flying #HomeToVote in Ireland to #RepealThe8th.— Nathan H. Rubin (@NathanHRubin) 25 de mayo de 2018
It’s looking like Young People will make the difference in this referendum, and it gives me such hope for the US in November.
The young people will win. #Onward
‘Standing With An Army’
#HomeToVote was many things: witty and heartwarming; tender and provocative; honest and unashamed. But above all, #HomeToVote was massive. It tracked a mass migration of citizens as they travelled home to protect the right to bodily autonomy. We are honored and grateful to have been taken along for the journey.
We both know what they say about us— Maria Cancan (@mariacancan) 26 de mayo de 2018
But they don't stand a chance because
When I'm with you
When I'm with you
I'm standing with an army
- Army, Ellie Goulding
(📷 Alastair Moore)#hometovote pic.twitter.com/VlLMK6pTzc
Thank you, Ireland, for voting to repeal the 8th amendment. As a country where 78.3% identify as Catholic, you reminded the world that safe abortion is a human right worth fighting for, no matter what institutions say otherwise.
Now we move onward, together.
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