Saturday 26 May 2018

National Women’s Council of Ireland launches 'Who Needs Your Yes' campaign

(l-r) Orla O'Connor, Director, National Women's Council of Ireland, Co- Director, Together for Yes, Noreen Byrne, Louise Lovett, Simon Harris TD, Minister for Health, Frances Fitzgerald TD and Ellen O Malley Dunlop, Chair, National Womens Council of Ireland PICTURE: MAXWELLPHOTOGRAPHY.IE
(l-r) Orla O'Connor, Director, National Women's Council of Ireland, Co- Director, Together for Yes, Noreen Byrne, Louise Lovett, Simon Harris TD, Minister for Health, Frances Fitzgerald TD and Ellen O Malley Dunlop, Chair, National Womens Council of Ireland PICTURE: MAXWELLPHOTOGRAPHY.IE

Kyle Ewald

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) said in two weeks’ time, voters will have the opportunity to make Ireland a safer place for women.

The NWCI launched its “Who Needs Your Yes” campaign this morning to highlight the impact of the 8th Amendment on women over the past 35 years, as well as the families and friends of those who have received abortions.

NWCI Director Orla O’Connor said the campaign encourages people to think about the women in their life when they hit the polls on May 25. Speaking to Independent.ie, Ms O’Connor said: “We might not know the person because of all the shame and stigma that surrounds abortion in Ireland, so we are asking people to think about the women in their lives.

“There is a woman either now or in the future in your family or your circle of friends who the issue of abortion will affect.”

The campaign launch included a film featuring the voices of family members of women who were forced to travel abroad for abortion care because of current 8th amendment restrictions.

The film features the sister of Arlette Lyons, co-founder of Terminations for Medical Reasons Ireland (TFMRI ), who travelled to Liverpool six years ago to receive an abortion following the heart-breaking news that her daughter had developed a fatal foetal abnormality.

Ms Lyons’ said that it is important for herself and her family to talk about their story to show that abortion affects more than just the person terminating the pregnancy:  “My sister is in the video and she is supporting me as I had to go to through a termination over in Liverpool six years ago.

“We’re a small country of 4.8 million and 200,000 have had to travel and unfortunately a lot of them can’t talk about it for very obvious reasons , so I think it’s very important to see faces behind the real stories and I am one of them .”

Ms Lyons also said she hopes the campaign makes people realise that people terminate pregnancies for more reasons than just convenience, including fatal foetal abnormalities.

The TFMRI co-founder said such sad cases as fatal foetal abnormalities are only intensified and by the extra travel: “To be given the news that your baby is going to die is absolutely horrendous and so heart-breaking but then to be forced to travel for the care, compassion and kindness that you needed here, it adds layers of absolute torture on top of it.”

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