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Minister for Health Simon Harris is aiming to remove VAT from condoms and menstrual cups, and we want to squeeze him with hugs for life.

Harris called for a review of Ireland's tax approach on menstrual products and the barrier contraceptive ahead of last year's Budget, but no changes were carried out.

His position appears to be the same this year, and he'll be asking for VAT on these goods to be scrapped in October's Budget.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The reduced rate of VAT of 13.5 percent applies to condoms at the moment, but the minister hopes to remove it entirely according to The Journal.

The Irish Pharmacy Union has also called for condoms to be VAT-free, with a pack of 12 condoms currently pricing at between €13 and €20.

Contraceptive gels for use with the barrier method also have a 13.5 percent rate applied. The oral contraceptive pill, the implant and injection currently have 0% VAT.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Harris wrote to Finance Minister Paschal Donohue about the work to reduce crisis pregnancies, saying that the VAT rates;

“Runs contrary to our work for people to practice safer sex and avoid crisis pregnancies and STIs”.

The letter  was released under the Freedom of Information Act, and states that the aim of the Sexual Health Strategy is to “improve sexual health and well being and to reduce negative sexual health outcomes”.

Harris writes in the letter that the cost of condoms could stop people buying them. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The importance of using condoms is also to protect against STIs, including HIV, as well as contraception.

While he pointed out that consumer expenditure is widely subject to VAT, Harris claimed that “there is a strong case for excluding non-oral contraception from this tax”.

"Such a tax may inevitably discourage people from purchasing non-oral contraception due to cost concerns. This runs contrary to our work for people to practise safer sex and avoid crisis pregnancies and STIs. Both of these outcomes have a negative impact on the people concerned and their immediate family."

The health service loses out in the long run if STI rates are high, due to the cost "involved in treating people who contract HIV".

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Harris has also called for the VAT rate on sanitary products to be reduced to 0% also, such as the VAT rate of 23 percent on menstrual cups.

“The issue that now needs attention is the position with newer products. Newer products (e.g. menstrual cups) that were not available at the time of these agreements are subject to the standard rate of VAT 23 percent.

“There is a cogent argument for removing VAT on these and any newer sanitary products and aligning them with the zero-percent VAT rate applicable to tampons and sanitary towels,” he said.

The minister currently is attempting to overhaul the cost and availability of contraception in Ireland.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The government announced that it hopes to increase free contraception nationwide, and Harris plans to reduce the cost of the morning after pill.

Last Monday, Harris announced that condoms would be distributed across third level colleges this year.

A public consultation is currently underway on how to increase access to contraception in the hopes to reduce abortion rates, STIs spreading and crisis pregnancies.

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Helping our sisters up in the North of Ireland in their fight for reproductive healthcare can take just a few minutes; all you have to do is email your MP. 

We can remember the emotional distress and pain endured one year ago, when the 8th Amendment was repealed by 66 percent in a groundbreaking referendum which shook the nation.

It's hard to believe that a whole 365 days have passed since that moment, and even though the new reproductive healthcare measures are experiencing teething problems, we've changed the law forever.

With Alabama and Georgia passing hugely restrictive anti-abortion laws in their states over the last few weeks, the people of America are rightfully scared at the blatant attack against Roe v Wade. The state has criminalised abortion in any stage of pregnancy, including in circumstances of rape and incest, and is punishable by up to 99 years in prison in six months time, when the law is enforced.

This 1973 landmark decision of the US Supreme Court changed America's reproductive healthcare in the Constitution. The ruling that the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment provides a fundamental "right to privacy" protects a pregnant women's freedom to choose abortion or not.

Right-wing, conservative governments in the Southern states of America are targeting this ruling, and it's causing a Handmaid's Tale effect. Rightfully, focus has shifted back to Northern Ireland, which has even stricter laws.

On May 25, 2018, Ireland voted to pull it's women up and out of a criminalisation system surrounding their bodies and choices. Our hearts break for Alabama, but the North is still part of our home, our island. They deserve a choice too.

The 8th Amendment outlawed abortion in virtually all circumstances; Northern Ireland's laws would put a woman who had an abortion in prison for life, as well as the healthcare provider. 

Women in the North have zero access to legal abortion services unless they travel abroad, and are charged a large fee if they enter the Irish HSE system, despite being next door. Exceptions up North are only made in extreme medical and mental circumstances, but not for pregnancies as a result of rape.

Prison is the punishment for medical staff who perform abortion, unless the procedure is approved by two doctors. More than 900 women travelled to England and Wales in 2017 to 2018  to seek termination.

Alliance For Choice in Northern Ireland have written an emotional letter to the people of Alabama fighting back against this Draconian Trump-era law, which has led to widespread protest.

"We have begged and pleaded with the UK government to hurry up and address these human rights abuses in Northern Ireland for decades. We are still being ignored, so we really hope, like us, you get to the ear of some great politicians and great people on your side as we know how relentless and tiring the whole thing is. Don’t give up hope."

Their message was to fight with everything they had; get arrested, risk having their flat searched, create good relationships with online pill providers and healthcare practitioners, but most importantly to represent the people. Sharing information that is factually sound to the most amount of people is vital.

Grassroots movements are the reason why the 8th was repealed; not a single politician or party. Those 25 white men in Alabama who created this monster don't realise how powerful a group of people who want bodily autonomy can be. While the North has a smaller population than Alabama or America, the Republic is on their side.

While the Alabama laws cannot yet be enforced, up North there are heartbreaking cases which are still ongoing. One Northern Irish woman was reported by her GP for procuring safe but illegal abortion pills for her then-15 year old daughter, and is now embroiled in a legal battle. Things aren't looking good for their political situation.

At the moment, they are over 850 days without a functioning government after Stormont's 2017 collapse, and no legislation has been passed in over two years. The state is being left behind, and so are the women.

Notably, women-of-colour, those from the LGBTQ+ communities, migrants, those with mental health issues and those from lower economic backgrounds are the worst affected. Their lack of funding and policies relating to sexual violence and marriage equality are worth noting, clearly human rights abuses aren't on their list of priorities.

Westminster needs to act to impose fit-for-purpose abortion legislation for NI, seeing as their government is virtually non-existent. The people of the North contribute to the NHS as much as their UK counterparts, and deserve healthcare that represents the needs of their world.

The fears of upsetting the fraught relationship with the DUP and their ultra-conservative ideals are holding the Tory government back from taking this all-important action. In 2017, Labour's Stella Creasy instigated a rule that gave Northern Irish people access to free abortion care if they travel to England.

The costs of travel, emotional and domestic stress of uprooting and stigma-soaked journey to access this healthcare is hugely traumatic. Your own home is uprooting you, your own country is telling you that they don't believe you have the right to make a choice about your body.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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We urge you all to write to your MPs through #NowForNI, as well as donate to groups like Alliance for Choice and Abortion Support Network. 

Don't leave the North behind; it's the power of the people that will complete the final push in this battle, just like Repeal.

Feature image: inews.co.uk 

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The helpline which was set up by the HSE to offer information on unplanned pregnancies to women was reportedly "busy but not overwhelmed" on it's first day yesterday.

The HSE set up the MyOptions helpline in order to act as the main referral path for women seeking abortion services.

On the first day of operation services available nationwide, 20 women sought an abortion according to GPs who have agreed to carry out the services.

The exact level of demand will not be known yet for another number of weeks.

The Irish Times reports that it will be next week at least until the first terminations can be carried out, as a result of the three-day 'cooling-off' period.

The first cases which were referred to doctors ranged from upwards of four weeks' gestation.

In terms of cases which are close to the 12-week limit, they will be facilitated with same-day appointments at the nearest maternity unit.

The flow of Irish women who are travelling to the UK for abortion services is expected to continue, though at a reduced level, as abortions over 12 weeks are not permitted under Irish law except under highly limited circumstances.

The Minister for Health will be notified of the amount of terminations performed within 28 days. 

A number of minor teething issues have arisen involving blood testing procedures and ultrasound provision.

Simon Harris has said;

“The level of preparedness varies, but the initial experience with the HSE’s helpline has been very positive."

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The Bernard Shaw is a well-known site for political activism: murals dedicated to Savita Halappanavar, the Repeal Movement and the homelessness crisis have appeared in recent times alone.

This week saw a spark of anger which turned into a flame following a controversial Cork rape trial in which a female barrister named Elizabeth O'Connell used a 17-year-old woman's underwear as evidence against her.

As a result, #thisisnotconsent protests took place all over the country, with women and men marching with 'I Believe Her' banners in the air.

The Bernard Shaw's latest activist art piece is dedicated to the young woman whose 27-year-old alleged attacker was acquitted of rape following Elizabeth O'Connell's finishing statement.

The barrister urged the jury of eight men and four women to consider the woman's underwear, which happened to be a lace thong, claiming that the woman "was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone".

The Richmond Street South mural shows painted images of various shapes and sizes of underwear, with each branded with the words 'Not Asking For It.' The work was created by Emma Blake, a street artist and graphic designer, also known as Estr.

The mural's appearance is in support of the solidarity rallies which took place this week, urging the government to change the way in which rape trials are conducted.

Women's rights group ROSA wrote that the judicial consideration of the girl's underwear  as evidence was a "disgrace".

ROSA also stated: "These lines of character accusation and victim blaming are unfortunately a common tactic used in cases before the courts relating to sexual violence."

"The judiciary has proven itself time and time again to be utterly damaging to survivors of sexual violence to seek justice."

 Let's hope these crucial protests lead to the necessary changes to Irish law regarding sexual violence.

Feature image: Channel NewsAsia

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Not many of our peers can say that we have read the full Irish Constitution, and yet it’s the most important political document in a country’s legislature.

Following the removal of the article regarding blasphemy, and of course the 8th Amendment, it’s time to turn back to the Irish Constitution, and examine what is left to be done to bring this document straight into the 21st century.

To start, the sexism, elitism and reductionist standards are alien to modern life, and the Irish people deserve a legal document which accurately represents all of its citizens.

In case we have forgotten from secondary school political history classes, Bunreacht na hÉireann was drafted way back in 1937, by the hugely conservative Éamon de Valera, who perfectly represented the conservative Catholic Church-state environment of the era.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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By writing a new Constitution, de Valera embarked upon a very risky political strategy considering Irish political life at the time was hugely volatile. It replaced the Irish Free State Constitution of 1922, and therefore erased Article 3 which guaranteed “discrimination without distinction of sex.

He revitalised his dream of Catholic women serving good, Catholic men in the home. Religious leaders also had a far-too-big input into the Constitution, including men who are now recognised as protecting child abusers.

Now, of course the entire religious community of Ireland weren't involved in abuse scandals, but it's important to note that a large group of them were, and were protected for years to the detriment of abuse survivors.

The Constitution has caused many a controversy, among them is the X case, where a young woman who was raped was denied the right to travel to the UK for an abortion. This was changed officially in 1992, as the 14th Amendment.

The right to divorce was only ratified in the mid-1990s, and even then partners had to be officially separated for four years. An annulment was next to impossible to get, even for those who were stuck in situations of abuse.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The protection for the life of the unborn still causes turbulence, seeing as it dramatically impedes female healthcare even outside of reproduction.

The legislation repealing the 8th has yet to come into practice, and is showing no sign of entering the healthcare system anytime soon despite it's valuable victory which took in 66 per cent of votes.

The right for members of the LGBQ+ community to marry was only passed in 2015. You cannot run for President until you turn 35, which would have ruled out some of Ireland’s major political candidates in the 1930s.

As recently as 2015, a shocking 73.1 per cent of the population voted against reducing the age to 21. Irish law appears to believe that age brings wisdom, rather than actual experience.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Many members of Irish society struggle with the union of the Catholic religion with the Constitution. It’s completely saturated with it. The opening lines to this day read:

“In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred, We, the people of Éire, Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ.”

The oath sworn by the President of Ireland is “under almighty God.”

Article 44 on religion enshrines freedom of worship, but also notes that “The State acknowledges that the homage of public worship is due to Almighty God. It shall hold His Name in reverence, and shall respect and honour religion.”

So there’s not much room for expansion there, to say the least.

I mean, seriously? Four million inhabitants on the island, and the Constitution fails to separate Church and State, fails to acknowledge that there is another religion besides Catholicism, and other nuanced beliefs and practices.

Ireland is a diverse place, an Emerald Isle of nationalities and cultures, yet this piece of paper essentially only benefits elite, Catholic men in upper class positions. Like Éamon De Valera. Who had ZERO LAW EXPERIENCE.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Éamon De Valera cast a shadow over Irish women when he drafted it by ignoring pleas from Irish women’s councils to aid in writing the charter.

One of the most intensely problematic, not to mention out-dated articles is 41.2 the infamous ‘women’s place in the home’ section of the Constitution. By now there are zero doubts as to the sexism surrounding the enshrined words.

It reads as follows:

In particular, the State recognises that by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved.

The State shall, therefore, endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home.”

This essentially claims that women are needed to carry out their housework duties and care for children so that the real work (by men) can be carried out elsewhere, i.e. running the damn country. The duties of the home are elevated far above labour outside of domesticity.

Image: Oireachtas

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan says that the issue of Article 41.2 is primarily one of gender equality, and it’s next to impossible to disagree with him. The article limits the role of women entirely, and completely rejects the notion of men as carers and fathers, which is also unfair.

Men must take responsibility as carers of those who are vulnerable in society, not simply children. The elderly, disabled people, sick relatives and friends are all part of this category, which places most of the burden on women alone for their seemingly ‘nurturing qualities’.

The contention surrounding the article is whether or not to replace it with an alternative, or just delete it altogether. We’re thinking… DELETE.

The emotional and difficult referendum on the 8th amendment has had a clear impact on Irish society, especially on Irish women, who have recognised the inequality which still plagues our country, such as sexual assault and violence, discrimination and unequal pay.

The Constitution Bill (38th Amendment) must make its way through both houses of the Oireachtas before the Irish people can have their say on Article 41.2 via a referendum.

Independent TD Clare Daly said in response to Charlie Flanagan that she “feels like laughing, to think that you see yourself as a champion of gender equality given some of the decisions of your government.”

Image: Oireachtas

Another Independent representative Mick Wallace added his own negative comments to the pile:

“I find it interesting that you speak of gender equality in the workplace when the greatest barrier to that equality is the cost of childcare and your government has done bugger all about it.”

Ireland has the second highest-price of childcare in the OECD, meaning that it is still mostly women who struggle to return to work following pregnancy as the costs of childcare make the situation impossible.

Orla O’Connor, acting Director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland, later added that Article 41.2 “has not supported the home and family, and in our opinion has diminished the position of women” in Irish society.

Dr Laura Cahillane of the University of Limerick’s school of law described the Article as “an embarrassment”, as well as “effectively useless in law”.

A Constitution is meant to embody the moral and legal aspirations of an entire country and it’s individual citizens, we shouldn’t forget this. Women have the most to gain from changes to the Constitution.

All of the civic service committee members which Éamon de Valera employed in order to help him draft the document were men.

Archbishop of Dublin John Charles McQuaid as well as the head of the Supreme Court were two major influences, both male. Only three women were TDs during this time, and none of them said a word during the Dáil debate on the matter.

Essentially, we aren’t part of this document, and this document isn’t part of us. We make up half of this population, and yet not a single word of the parchment portrays the female experience.

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On Saturday, the people of Ireland voted overwhelmingly in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment, thus allowing the government to legislate for the legal termination of pregnancy. 

Following the historic result, Minister for Health Simon Harris revealed that the new legal framework to replace the Eighth Amendment will be drafted during the summer, with hopes that it will be in place by the end of the year. 

According to The Herald, the cost of an abortion in Ireland is expected to be somewhere in the region of €300, with medical card holders being able to access the service free of charge.

It's also understood the process will require two or more GP appointments, each of which will be more expensive than a typical consultation. 

Abortion pills, which are expected to be used in the vast majority of cases, will come under the drugs payment scheme, which sets a limit of €134 a month per household for any prescribed drugs or medicines.

As set out in the Government's draft heads of a bill published prior to the referendum, women will be able to request an abortion through a GP or primary care service such as the Well Woman Clinic.

After the initial appointment, they'll be required to wait for a 72-hour "consideration" period. Once this time elapses, they'll return to their doctor for a second consultation where the drug will then be dispensed.

The expected legislation will make abortion available for women who are no more than 12 weeks pregnant. Women won't have to give a reason for their decision and will need a GP to clarify that they are not passed the twelfth week of pregnancy. 

Termination will be allowed past 12 weeks if:

  • The woman's health is in danger or her life is at risk

  • The foetus has not reached viability

  • It is appropriate to carry out the termination of pregnancy in order to advert that risk

As it stands, Irish women who seek abortion services in UK must pay upwards of €510 for abortion pill treatment and €570 for surgical abortion, before factoring in the price of travel. 

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Yesterday, Ireland voted by 66.4 percent to 33.6 percent to abolish the eighth amendment from our Constitution.

The turnout for this referendum exceeded that of the marriage referendum in 2015. Over 2,159,655 people came out and voted, with 1,429,981 people voting in favour of repealing the eighth amendment.

The results have been welcomed by the public with hundreds gathering in Dublin Castle to hear the official results. The crowd erupted when it was revealed that the Yes side had succeeded. During the moving moment, the crowd started chanting ‘Yes We Did’.

Speaking of the landslide victory, Leo Varadkar said: “Today is a historic day for Ireland. We’re saying as a nation that we trust women and that we believe women should be respected in making the decisions they make.”

Minister for Health, Simon Harris, who has been hailed a hero for his support of the Yes side shared: “Yesterday our country said to women, we stand with you. We said to women -take our hand, not the boat. It has been incredible to stand shoulder to shoulder with you as we work to create a country which treats women with compassion. I will always be in your corner."

Following the Yes side’s victory, Simon Harris revealed that the new legal framework to replace the Eighth Amendment will be drafted during the summer.

He hopes that it will be in place by the end of the year.

The expected legislation will make abortion available for women who are no more than 12 weeks pregnant. Women won't have to give a reason for their decision and will need a GP to clarify that they are not passed the twelfth week of pregnancy. 

Termination will be allowed past 12 weeks if:

  • The woman's health is in danger or her life is at risk
  • The foetus has not reached viability, and
  • It is appropriate to carry out the termination of pregnancy in order to avert that risk
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The parents of the late Savita Halappanavar have thanked the people of Ireland after yesterday's historic result, which saw 66.4% vote in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment. 

Speaking at their family home in south west India, her father, Ananappa Yalagi, said he has "no words to express his gratitude to the people of Ireland."

Savita died of sepsis in a hospital in Galway in 2012, after she was denied an abortion because Ireland was a "Catholic country."

Mr Yalagi acknowledged the struggle that has faced Irish women and suggested that the new law is named after his daughter.

“I want to thank you so much. I want to say ‘Thank you’ to our brothers and sisters in Ireland for voting Yes. It is very important. There has been really a lot, too much struggle for the Irish ladies,” he said. 

“We are really, really happy. We have one last request, that the new law, that it is called ‘Savita’s law’. It should be named for her.”

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Good news alert: USI expects voter turnout for young people to be larger than Marriage Equality referendum in 2015!

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) – which represents 374,000 students across Ireland – has said that the student turnout to vote ‘Yes’ to remove the Eighth Amendment will be the largest youth voter turnout for any referendum in the history of the state.

Speaking ahead of polls opening tomorrow, USI President Michael Kerrigan explained: “Students know that their future is at stake here. We directly registered 26,979 new student voters in the lead up to this referendum to remove the Eighth Amendment, and we know from our two week roadshow on campuses that students are united on the issue, and will be voting ‘Yes’ for a more caring and compassionate Ireland.”

“Students’ Unions have held referendums on campus on the Eighth Amendment, and up to 92% of students across campuses voted ‘Yes’ for their Students’ Union to campaign to remove the Eighth Amendment.

"We’re expecting student turnout to be bigger than the Marriage Equality vote in 2015. With almost 125,000 new voters on the register, we expect the majority to be first time young voters.”  

USI is the national representative body for the 374,000 students in third level education on the Island of Ireland, and is a member of the national civil society campaign, Together For Yes.

USI has been campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in Ireland since 1979. In 2015, USI mobilised students to vote in Marriage Equality seeing the largest youth voter turnout for any vote in the history of the state.

Use your vote tomorrow guys. The women of Ireland deserve better. 

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The final countdown to the referendum to Repeal the 8th Amendment to the constitution is on, with just three sleeps to go before Ireland gets the opportunity to maintain or do away with the legislation which prevents women from legally acquiring abortion healthcare on Irish soil. 

If you are planning to vote in the upcoming referendum (which we encourage everyone to do so) then there are a few things to keep in mind before your stroll, drive or public transport commute to your polling station. 

The polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm so make the time to get down there before or after work, or during lunch time. 

 

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First up – do not wear a Repeal or Save the 8th jumper, or any clothing, badges or accessories with the words yes or no on them.  

Clothing with campaign slogans could be seen as canvassing, and canvassing at a polling station is considered an offence. 

It's up to the discretion of the presiding polling station officer to decide if your jumper or badge is 'canvassing' but just to be safe, leave them at home. 

Next do not forget your polling card, as having your allotted card with you on the day speeds up your check-in process while also allowing you to vote. 

Photography by Saibh Egan | Galway Pro-Choice members at the Abortion Rights Campaign

If you don't have a polling card, a passport, a drivers license, a student ID containing a photograph (student travel cards not accepted) or a public services card will suffice. Age Cards are not listed as accepted. 

Bring a form of the above ID even if you have a polling card, as there is a chance you will be asked.

Don't take any pictures in the polling station, and DEFINITELY don't take any images inside the booth, of either you or your vote. 

As for the vote itself, make sure it gets stamped by polling station staff. 

 

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The question will read: 'Do you approve of the proposal to amend the Constitution contained in the undermentioned Bill?'

Put an X in the box for Yes or No and don't doodle on the paper or write any messages. There should be two pen strokes on that paper making up your X and that is is, or you risk spoiling your vote. 

And just put and X to indicate your vote, not a tick and don't colour in the box you want. 

If you make an honest mistake, you can ask for a new ballot slip as long as you haven't already put it in the ballot box. 

Show the back of your ballot paper to the local [polling official, fold it in half, and place it into the sealed ballot box. Job done. 

You can take your selfie in your campaign merch when you get home and share words of encouragement to others online about how they need to get out and vote that day. 

The day after the vote, the ballot boxes will be opened and counted. 

Feature image: Photography by Saibh Egan | Galway Pro-Choice members at the Abortion Rights Campaign

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Cillian Murphy has been an active advocate for a 'Yes' vote in the upcoming abortion referendum, lending his voice to various campaigns supporting the repeal of the Eighth Amendment. 

And now, the Peaky Blinders star has given one final salute to the Yes side in the form of a delicious chocolate cake. 

As a way of thanking campaigners for all their hard work, Cillian sent the good folk over at Together for Yes a well-deserved treat. 

A tweet on the Together for Yes Twitter page read: ''Cillian Murphy sent us in cake! Fantastic to have support from men around the country to will stand with us and vote YES on Friday May 25th''.

The cake was accompanied by a hand-written note signed by the man himself.  

 ''Thank you all so much for your hard work on the Yes campaign," it read. 

''Together for change, for equality, for love. Together for Yes! Best wishes, Cillian Murphy''.

What an absolute gent! 

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With less than a week to go until polling stations open on May 25, two opinion polls suggest the 'Yes' side still leads the way. 

Commissioned by the Sunday Times, a poll of 935 people between May 3 and 15 showed a five point increase for those in favour of repealing the Eight Amendment in urban areas. 

A 12 point increase in Dublin means that 67 per cent of voters in the capital plan to vote yes, while 54 per cent of voters in the rest of Leinster plan to do the same.

Meanwhile, a Sunday Business Post poll of a thousand adults between May 10 and 16 shows the 'Yes' side up three points to 56 per cent, while the 'No' side is up one to 27 per cent. 

It seems however that the figures shifted somewhat when people were asked what way they thought their friends would vote. 

Political Editor Michael Brennan, explained:  "Interestingly, Red C – our polling company – has done an analysis asking people how do they think their neighbours or their friends [will vote] and [from] listening to the campaign, what they think the outcome will be… we get a much tighter vote.

"The result from that type of polling – known as the 'wisdom of crowds' – is 56% Yes, 44% No."

The Eighth Amendment referendum will be held on Friday May 25th.

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