Leading members of the Donegal Together for Yes national group spent last weekend preparing to ask the people of Donegal to vote Yes in the abortion referendum.
Following Saturday’s training session in Ballybofey, Donegal Together for Yes will be running an intensive canvass that aims to reach every town and village in the county in the weeks running up to the referendum, which is expected to be held on 25th of May.
The referendum will ask the people to vote on the removal of the Eighth Amendment and to insert a new clause that will allow the Oireachtas to legislate for the provision of safe, limited and regulated abortion healthcare in Ireland.
Spokesperson Nora Newell said: “Donegal people are caring and compassionate, and believe that everyone should have access to all necessary healthcare in Ireland. The Eighth Amendment means that a woman who needs to end her pregnancy because something goes wrong must travel to the UK or elsewhere in Europe to access abortion services. This compounds the tragedy for her, and her family, adding unnecessary stress and heartache to an already distressing situation.
“By voting yes we will be allowing a woman who has problems with her pregnancy or with a diagnosis of fatal foetal abnormality to access abortion here in Ireland with the advice and support of her doctor.”
Donegal Together for Yes point out that of the 3,265 women who travelled to England and Wales to access abortion, 63 were from Donegal.
They added that there is an unknown number of women who purchase abortion pills over the internet without medical support or supervision.
Last week the Dáil passed the Bill for the referendum by a clear majority. Donegal Together for Yes described local TD Pat The Cope Gallagher’s opposition to the vote as ‘disappointing’.
The training was attended by a wide range of people, some of whom had been involved in canvassing against the Eighth Amendment in 1983. Local TD Thomas Pringle attended the training along with members and representatives of political parties that will be joining and supporting the canvass.
“Anyone wanting to get involved in Donegal Together for Yes can contact them on their Facebook page,” a spokesperson said.