I hopped on the bus down to Strokestown for the launch of Roscommon Together For Yes, it’s one I have done a few times to Strokestown it’s not even a 3 hour trip which is always nice to sit and read and relax for.
I was still invited down to attend the launch and to meet the members of Roscommon Together For Yes, who had been Ros for Choice part of the Abortion Rights Campaign region groups before they re branded for the referendum.
I meet up with them in the bar of the Percy French Hotel were the event was on later. We chatted about posters, the campaign, how they hoped the launch would mean more people would sign up to canvass, about when posters would be up and the add they placed in the local paper about the event. They were delighted to find out I have been a frequent visitor to Strokestown.
There were exhibitions in the room as well, one was this amazing display of 20 shoes, one for every person we know traveled to the UK to have an abortion in 2016.
And the amazing http://everydaystories.org/
Which was set up by an amazing Rocommon native who also founded Voices for Choice Choir.
Everyday stories is an exhibition which is currently traveling and if any group wants to host it please get in touch with them. There is also a discussion workshop which can be sent out to people to run.
- Any groups or individuals may host an event. Workshops have been held in cafés, pubs and living rooms – whatever space you feel comfortable in.
- A phone + internet / mp3 player is required to play the audio. A speaker is recommended if your group is larger than 4 people.
Please get in touch if you would like to host an event.
The speakers at the Roscommon Together For Yes were wonderful.
The Minsters Speech was powerful, I still get very moved when TDs and Minsters speak about the Harm the 8th Amendment causes and how we need to remove it for compassionate healthcare here in Ireland. It is so wonderful that so many of them are on board and echoing what we have been saying for the last 6 or so years.
Nurse Polly spoke about how she can not do her job and how legally there are things which she can do to a pregnant person while they are giving birth with out their consent that in any other context would be assault and how this has to change and how she wants to be able to care for all her patients.
Tracey from Terminations for Medical Reasons spoke about being are parent with 3 children already who had deal with a fourth pregnancy which ended tragically after a diagnosis of a Fatal Featal abnormality. How she and her husband had thought naively after the diagnosis was confirmed that she would be induced here at home.
Instead she has to take on trying to get an appointment in Liverpool women’s hospital and make all the travel arrangements which took weeks, all the while people were asking the types of questions they do, about when are you due, are you hoping for a boy or a girl, are your other kids excited to get a new baby.
She spoke of the compassion, dignity and care she experienced there and how that was lacking here due to the 8th amendment.
The we hear from Dr Mark Murphy who explained what a medical abortion with pills is like, how drs and all medical staff will be able to opt out of providing abortion services same as they do with contraceptive services using the conscience clause.
That no form of contraceptive is 100% and even when people are doing all they should do, unplanned pregnancies can still happen, drs deal with this everyday and most of the people who have an abortion are already parents.
The Roscommon Together For Yes were amazing and live tweeted the meeting you can read it on thier account if you want to know more. https://twitter.com/RosForChoice
I want to give a special thanks to Nurse Polly stepped up to be a speaker at the launch when I had to step down. I have no doubt we will be sharing a platform soon at other meetings around the country.
The Welcome I got in Roscommon was wonderful and if there is time over the next 5 weeks I will absolutely be back, maybe to do something in the north of the county.
Again thanks to all those who supported my gofundme which made this possible.