Local campaigners on both sides of the Eighth Amendment debate took to the streets this week to spread their message. 

Pro-life and pro-choice groups have set up stands and held demonstrations to share their views with voters ahead of the upcoming May referendum.

A Cabinet meeting is taking place today (Tuesday) to discuss the draft referendum bill in the upcoming vote to repeal the 8th. A final decision on the wording of the referendum is due to be made in two weeks’ time.

In recent days, the Abortion Rights Campaign Donegal branch and the anti-repeal LoveBoth project have held local events.

Local organisers with Inishowen Abortion Rights Campaign have welcomed an increase in interest at their latest Information Stall in Buncrana on Saturday, 17th February.

ARC information stall in Inishowen, Co. Donegal

ARC volunteer Bauke Roof said: “Local engagement on the issue is certainly increasing since we held our first stall in August of last year, and we had some very positive, thoughtful, measured conversations with people who were interested in learning about the reality of the range of adverse effects the 8th amendment has on the lives of Irish women.”

Ms Roof said that while some people have their minds made up on the issue, there is a large number who are undecided and confused on the matter.

She added: “People are genuinely concerned and they want to do the right thing. The reality is that the 8th Amendment has not had its intended consequences and it is time to deal with that in a mature, realistic way that respects women.”

“We intend to run information stalls as often as possible in advance of the Referendum to ensure the correct information is available to as many people as possible. Saturday was a great step, but there’s still a job of work to do.”

ARC Information Stall, Buncrana, 17th February

Meanwhile in Letterkenny, pro-life campaigners with the LoveBoth project staged a demonstration on Main Street on Monday, 19th February in a bid to save the Eighth amendment.

Young and old gathered to hold up a paper chain and displays as part of the national #LivesSaved tour ahead of the abortion referendum this May.

The paper chain is said to represent the 5,000 children born in Ireland each year due to the Eighth Amendment, an estimate based on analysis of abortion rates in other European countries. The group claims that 2,800 babies have been born in Donegal due to the criminalisation of abortion in Ireland.

Former UCD student union president Katie Ascough led the demonstration at Market Square:

Katie Ascough at the Save the 8th Campaign Event in Letterkenny on Monday evening. Photo- Clive Wasson

Amy Harkin McNulty, and Katie Ascough at the Save the 8th Campaign Event in Letterkenny on Monday evening. Photo- Clive Wasson