University student Bláthín on why she's coming #HomeToVote: "For the women of Ireland past, present and future; for my nanny, for myself and for my future daughters."
This referendum is both historic and pertinent.
It is an opportunity for Ireland to rid itself of its oppressive Catholic past that has treated Irish people, and most particularly Irish women, so appallingly and with such malice. The 25th of May is a chance for our country to move forward and to be a modern, progressive society that is full of acceptance, equality and respect. It means liberation.
I want to be proud of my country, and for it to be the best it can be and so, I am going home to vote Yes.
Voting Yes means better healthcare for women. Currently, Irish women who find themselves pregnant have medical doors shut in their faces when it comes to their options and are left feeling confused, alone and abandoned, forced to seek healthcare and advice in an entirely different country.
This is wholly unacceptable.
These women deserve better, they deserve medical care, and they deserve options. I don't want any woman to face shame for needing or wanting an abortion. I want the women of Ireland to feel welcome in their country, to have full healthcare, to have a choice and to feel trusted and respected for their personal and private decisions.
I am travelling home to vote with the hope that my one journey from the UK to Ireland will help prevent the 3,000 journeys taken every year by women travelling for abortion services abroad, because their own country turned them away.
Repealing the Eighth Amendment means freedom and justice for Irish women of the past, present and future. In the early sixties, my grandmother had a fatal foetal abnormality at six months but was told she had to carry to term. She had absolutely no say in the matter even though it pertained to her own health. She did not have the freedom or right of choice.
My nanny was denied bodily autonomy.
She should not have had this experience, and over 50 years later, women of Ireland should not be currently having this experience. No Irish woman in the future should have this experience, no matter the circumstances of her pregnancy.
I am coming home to vote Yes for the women of Ireland past, present and future; for my nanny, for myself and for my future daughters.
About Bláithín: I’m 21 years-old and from Dublin, Ireland. I have been in London since September 2017 as part of a study abroad programme. I am a History and Politics student at UCD and studying at UCL for the academic year.