PEI

P.E.I. woman hopes to help end Ireland's abortion ban

Amy FitzGerald believes so strongly in a woman’s right to choose that she is flying back to her home country of Ireland to vote in Friday’s referendum on abortion.

Amy FitzGerald to vote in referendum on Friday

Amy FitzGerald's husband, Padraig, bought her a ticket to Ireland for her birthday so she could vote in the referendum on abortion. (Submitted by Amy FitzGerald)

Amy FitzGerald believes so strongly in a woman's right to choose that she is flying back to her home country of Ireland to vote in Friday's referendum on abortion.

Ireland currently does not allow abortions unless the mother's life is in danger. The Eighth Amendment to its constitution, passed in 1983, gave "the unborn" and mothers an equal right to life. Friday, Irish voters will decide whether to repeal that amendment.

"I'm afraid if it's very close, every vote will count so that's why I want to go," FitzGerald said.

FitzGerald, who now lives in Cornwall, P.E.I., is eligible to vote because she has not been away from Ireland for more than 18 months. Her husband, Padraig, bought her the plane ticket to Dublin for her birthday last Thursday.

Irish women go to England for abortions

FitzGerald said many Irish women go to England or another country to have an abortion. But by doing so, they are breaking the law.

"I'm hoping that people will just say this isn't a compassionate thing to do, to export women to England and Holland and places like that," she said.

I'm hoping that people will just say this isn't a compassionate thing to do.— Amy FitzGerald

"And if they need an abortion for whatever reason they should be able to access it in their own country with their family and their friends to support them."

FitzGerald expects it to be a close vote, and though she's hoping the Yes side wins, she's not taking anything for granted.

"I also thought Hillary Clinton was going to win and I never thought Brexit would happen," she said.

The results are expected on Saturday. FitzGerald flies back to P.E.I. on Sunday.

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With files from Laura Chapin

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