Should men vote for Repeal - a canvassing story from Navan


"Yesterday on the street in Navan, I had a rather fascinating conversation with a very intelligent, articulate young man. The first time he passed by, he didn't take a leaflet or engage, but when I offered him a leaflet as he passed by a second time, jokingly telling him that he had escaped the first time, we ended up having a long, if rather frustrating, conversation.

"The young man told me he was sick of people not respecting each others' opinions, and that he had spoken to a No campaigner the day before who had walked away from him in disgusted disagreement at his point of view. I promised him I would respect his opinion no matter what, and he proceeded to tell me that he believed no woman should be forced to be pregnant against her will, that it was a form of slavery and not worthy of a free society.

"I happily told him that I agreed 100% (I think he initially wasn't sure what side I was on, which is common enough). So I said, great, just make sure to vote Yes on the 25th, then. However, he insisted that he shouldn't vote at all. He said it was a woman's choice, that there shouldn't be a vote on the matter, and that he shouldn't have a say in it.

"Gesturing to the men populating the No stall just next to us, I pointed out that whereas of course it IS a woman's choice, in a voting matter there are plenty of men who are going to vote against women having that choice. I asked him to get out on the 25th and vote for the women in his life, which he wouldn't commit to. We eventually parted on good terms.

"Interestingly, men saying that they shouldn't have a say in this matter and are therefore not voting at all, is probably the most common thing I've heard in my public engagements on this campaign.

"The good thing about voting to repeal the Eighth amendment is that you can continue to see the world as you currently do. Nobody will force their own values or beliefs on you. Your attitude to pregnancy and babies won’t have to change in any way and your approach to life, love and sex can stay the same. You get to live and act the way you always have in this area, and if it’s repealed, all your female relatives and friends will get to do likewise."

Almost all our members have spent the last weeks canvassing - we are ahead in the polls buts it's very close and votes like those of this man may be the difference between Repeal passing or failing on the 25th.