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On the eve of Ireland’s abortion referendum, artists contemplate the outcome

Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment courtesy Eva International

Irish artists are mulling over the highly divisive referendum to be held in Ireland tomorrow (25 May) when the country goes to the polls on the country’s Eighth Amendment, which gives a foetus the same rights as the woman carrying it. The amendment was introduced in 1983; Ireland is one of the few countries in Europe that subsequently bans abortions in cases of rape and also if there is a risk to the mother’s health. We asked figures involved with the Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment about the possible consequences if voters decide that the Eighth should not be repealed. “I don’t think there can be any return to the way things were. The journey to this point has been long and arduous and we will not lie down and take it for another 35 years. We will not be quiet,” says Rachel Fallon. Alice Maher, another campaign artist, says that “the struggle for our rights is ongoing; reproductive rights is an issue that has become visible through this campaign, and it's not going back in its box.” Testimonies by individuals affected by the Eighth, along with the archive for the Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment, are on show at Cleeve’s Condensed Milk Factory, as part of the 38th Eva International biennial (until 8 July).