Anti-abortion campaign urges students ‘not to vote blind’

#OurFuture says it will argue case for protecting Eighth Amendment in ‘concise, fact-based way’

A screen shot of #OurFuture website which is targeting younger voters

A new student-led anti-abortion campaign is calling on younger voters “not to vote blind” in the abortion referendum on May 25th.

The #OurFuture campaign, which describes itself as a “young, secular voice for keeping the Eighth Amendment”, seeks to challenge some of the “misconceptions around what a repeal would mean” and to educate students on the State’s abortion legislation, says campaign spokeswoman and former UCD Students’ Union president Katie Ascough.

Ms Ascough says the #OurFuture campaign aims to present the case for protecting the Eighth Amendment in “a concise, fact-based way” and then to leave it up to people to make up their own minds on the issue.

"We've found that when presented with the realities of repeal and when the soundbites of the Yes campaign are challenged, people are really concerned about exactly what the introduction of abortion into Ireland would mean."


The website, which is designed by Belfast-based design group Studio Stereo and is funded by the Pro-Life Campaign Ireland, is divided into a series of pages with questions such as "What is the case for repeal?", "What does the Eighth Amendment do?" and "What will happen in the days and weeks after a yes vote?" It features a number of black and white images of individual faces, crowds of people and Irish scenery distorted by large brushstrokes of white paint.

‘A bit edgier’

“We wanted to create something a bit different that didn’t look like any other campaign,” Ms Ascough said. “Our main target audience is the younger, undecided vote so we wanted something a bit edgier that would stop people from just scrolling on to the next campaign.

“We figured the white paint was a really good effect. It portrays our message of ‘don’t vote blind’, look past the rhetoric and the soundbites and ask yourself what are we really being asked to vote on.

“It’s a drastic proposal. We want to challenge how terms like healthcare are being misused in the lead up to the referendum. A child losing their life is not healthcare, it is quite simply losing a life.”

Ms Ascough says the campaign plans to promote a number of messages around the abortion debate to younger voters over the coming weeks through social media.

“It’s so important that we reach out to the middle ground and engage with undecided voters. A lot of voters are still unsure about the issue that we will be voting on in just a few weeks’ time.”

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak is an Irish Times reporter and cohost of the In the News podcast