The #HomeToVote campaign is up and running ahead of 8th Amendment referendum 1 year ago

The #HomeToVote campaign is up and running ahead of 8th Amendment referendum

A similar campaign took place during the marriage referendum.

A new campaign has been launched to get Irish people living abroad to travel home for the planned referendum on abortion.

#HomeToVote aims to get the estimated 40,000 Irish people living overseas, who are eligible to vote back for the referendum in May.

The campaign is recycled after having been used previously during the 2015 same-sex marriage referendum, with a website being set up by the London Irish Abortion Rights Campaign.

The main intention is to inform and advise every potential voter on how they can contribute to the campaign, whether they are living in Ireland or abroad, and eligible or not.

#HomeToVote also encourages people to connect with the broader Repeal network, which has Irish pro-choice groups in several locations, including New York, Berlin, London, Liverpool, Manchester, Brussels and Melbourne.

According to the Central Statistics Office, it is estimated that over 30,800 Irish people emigrated between April 2016 and 2017. In the second half of 2017, it was estimated that a further 20,000 moved overseas too.

#HomeToVote will be seeking to mobilise this huge portion of the population and emulate the phenomenal surge in ex-pats returning home as was seen during the same-sex referendum in May 2015.

Last week, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the referendum would ask voters if they wanted to repeal the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution and replace it with new wording to allow the Dáil to legislate on abortion in the future.

The Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment has also made the recommendation that unrestricted abortion should be available up to 12 weeks of pregnancy and felt this should be achieved “through a GP-led service”.