AWARD-winning Clonakilty author Louise O’Neill addressed the West Cork Together for Yes launch.
The group is part of the national campaign for a Yes vote in the May 25th referendum. The local launch took place in Organico, Bantry where regional co-ordinator for West Cork, Lucy Jane Boland, told how she lost one of her two children to Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, a rare condition unique to identical twins.
‘After both of my pregnancies, I have suffered with severe post-natal depression. Four years after my last pregnancy, I am still on anti-depressants. Another pregnancy would seriously impact upon my mental health and I would be unable to be the mother I need to be for my two children.’
Louise O’Neill spoke about female sexuality and the attitude towards it and abortion in Ireland: ‘When I go to other countries, they ask what informs my work. Growing up in a country where women did not have the right to make decisions about their own reproductive destiny. That our bodies did not actually belong to us, they belonged to the Church and they belonged to the State. How could I write fiction that is not influenced by that?’
Evie Nevin spoke about the difficulties people with disability have accessing abortion: ‘A recent study of 11 EU countries shows Ireland has the largest deprivation gap between the able bodied citizens of Ireland and those living with disabilities. Too many of us live in poverty. This means procuring an abortion abroad is next to impossible.’
Dr Mary Favier of Doctors for Choice explained that the Eighth Amendment is unworkable and that it has not stopped Irish women from having abortions.
Vanessa O’Sullivan, People Before Profit (PBP) candidate for Cork South West, said in a statement that it was disappointing that more politicians were not engaging with the campaign. She added that PBP were the only ‘openly pro-choice’ party in Ireland.
Local councillors Paul Hayes, (Sinn Féin), and FG’s Mary Hegarty also attended the Bantry launch.