Ask A Broadsheet Reader


How do you counter this (above)?

Worried in Dublin West writes:

My area is awash with no posters and it’s really getting to me. I’ve decided enough is enough.

I don’t have big money to be buying posters so I’ve resolved to design and have printed some YES stickers and put them on lampposts, consenting lapels etc. around my area.

The problem is, I’ve been racking my brain for the last 48hrs and I find it difficult to sum up such a complicated issue as abortion into a slogan. It works fine for the ‘no’ side [viz: fear, scary, look at this foetus, Jesus can see you in the ballot box].

However, apart from ‘my body my choice’ and possibly ‘if you don’t like abortions, don’t have one’ is there a catchy, short slogan I can fit onto a sticker in support of YES?

I’m trying to find something that will be non-exclusionary, constructive, and (crucially) appealing to swing voters currently being targeted by the no-side who wish to sow the seeds of doubt and make moderate yes voters feel confused and decide to stay at home on polling day.

I still passionately believe that Ireland has a majority of voters that are compassionate and respect women enough to make choices about their own bodies.

Any suggestions welcome.




143 thoughts on “Ask A Broadsheet Reader

  1. Shane Duffy

    Really? A month to go and you’re asking for a catchy slogan? Was that rock you crawled out from under heavy?

    1. Bob

      This. Together for Yes seem like the way to go.

      Also posters need to be taken down after the vote, stickers would be difficult to take down, and are very likely not allowed.

  2. SamSharp

    Mind your own business…Vote Yes.

    Make good decisions… Vote Yes.

    Look to the future…Vote Yes.

  3. The Ghost of Starina

    “My body my choice” is always a classic, though it mightn’t win over any No’s!

    I’ve been thinking the same. Plan was to to have a graphic of a woman holding a sign saying…something. “Not just an incubator”? “I’m human, too”? “I deserve full healthcare”? “I deserve my life”? “if you don’t trust me to make reproductive choices, how can you trust me to raise a child”?

    You could also make a sticker saying “if you have to lie to make your point, it’s not a very good point”, and then place it underneath every No poster :)

    Ideas, errybody?

    1. Anon

      > “I’m human, too”?
      > “I deserve my life”?

      You sure you are pro choice? Those two slogans could go the other way entirely.

  4. KM

    There’s no catchy slogan but meet them with YES.

    Yes for compassion, Yes for Respect, Yes for Women.

    Don’t fight them on their toxic level. They’ll drag you down and beat you with experience. Get in contact with your nearest Together for yes and get canvassing, doing stalls, handing out flyers etc.

  5. Sheila


    I was only thinking this, this morning after I spotted a YES EQUALITY badge in da house.

  6. gav

    That line “don’t bring this to Ireland” gives the obvious response sticker question of “Send ours to England instead?”, since the total hypocrisy and lies of the NO campaign seems to be tricking people into thinking if NO wins, then no babies get aborted, when in reality it just means they go to England as they always have.

    1. Cian

      in big letters
      “1 in 20 Irish babies are aborted in England.”
      in smaller letters:
      “The 8th isn’t working.”
      In superbigdoubleplus letters:

      1. newsjustin

        The 8th is not an answer to everything. But I’d prefer 1 in 20 babies than 1 in 5 babies. That’s just simple maths.

        1. Cian

          I agree. It is too high. But my point is that the 8th doesn’t stop abortions. That 1 in 20 is just England and Wales. There are more that go to other eu countries (But these aren’t published at country level). And there are women buying abortion pills online. So the real number is higher. And possible a lot higher.

    1. newsjustin

      I’ll take 20 more years of saving thousands of human lives a year vs Irish abortion rate trending up towards the UK level.

      1. mildred st. meadowlark

        You’d also rather that women in need of abortion ship their little problem over to England too. That’s effectively what you’re asking for.

        1. newsjustin

          As you well know Mildred, any woman who needs an abortion can have one in Ireland (and do) under our current legislation.

          1. mildred st. meadowlark

            Well that’s a complete falsehood.

            Women can access abortion under very tight guidelines and only under very specific conditions. It’s a fairly narrow group of women who can access abortion if they need it.

          2. The Ghost of Starina

            love how it’s always lads who know how to judge what constitutes a woman needing an abortion

          3. Patrick

            It’s not. However the figures of uk abortion are designed in such a way as to impart the same information whether read by a man or a woman!!! What is need? FFA? Physical Health? Result of Rape? All catered for. Rape and FFA make up 2% of UK abortions. Also you could argue that with FFA there is no NEED since the outcome is predetermined. Seems odd when the solution to the thing a mother fears most (a child dying) is ending the child’s life prematurely!

        1. newsjustin

          I do support the right of women to travel anywhere they wish. I would prefer to see a world where abortion, save those required to save the life of the mother, we’re not available anywhere. I have no say over the laws of other countries. But I support pro-life organisations in other countries.

          1. realPolithicks

            Are you campaigning for the repeal of the 13th and 14th amendments to the Irish constitution?

          2. newsjustin

            Not at the moment. Daisy and I have agreed to convene and considers these after the threat to 40.3.3 has passed.

          3. realPolithicks

            But these amendments allow Irish women to travel abroad to have abortions, why is the anti choice side not campaigning to repeal the 13th and 14th amendments.

          4. realPolithicks

            Your lack of concern about women traveling abroad to have abortions suggests that you’re not concerned about whether Irish women are having abortions merely that they should not have them in Ireland.

          5. newsjustin

            You’re confusing my lack of desire to scan and detain women at airports and ferry terminals with a lack of concern for the unborn both hete and abroad.

            As ever, I apologise for not living up to the stereotype pro-life ogre you have envisioned.

          6. Patrick

            You’re a clever man Justin. Many of the yes side think that voting in a certain direction in referendums MAKES them clever. Ideologically possessed!

          7. realPolithicks

            Your refusal to address this in a serious manner speaks volumes. You post a lot of emotive comments like:
            “I’ll take 20 more years of saving thousands of human lives a year vs Irish abortion rate trending up towards the UK level.”
            when in actual fact you’re quite content to condemn Irish women to the inhumane practice of having to travel abroad for medical care. Your “care” for “human lives” rings hollow.

          8. Brother Barnabas

            is that fair? i wouldn’t agree with much or anything that newsjustin says but he’s the most reasonable and rationale NO voice i’ve heard over the past month or so. and his comments are informed and interesting imo

          9. Patrick

            People travel abroad very regularly for medical care. In fact we actually have a treatment abroad scheme. Where are your placards for that? Get an education

          10. ReproBertie (SCU)

            Patrick people travel abroad under the treatment purchase scheme because the health service is under resourced and over subscribed, not because the treatment is illegal here.

          11. Patrick

            Sometimes they travel abroad for care that is NOT available here and you know it. Also euthanasia is illegal here. Should it be legal for children who are suffering with bone cancer or who have terminal illnesses? Isn’t that oft stated reason for prematurely ending the life of a baby with FFA? No point in suffering!

          12. realPolithicks

            I think it is fair, he makes a virtue of his “care” for the unborn but doesn’t display the same respect for woman. The only thing this referendum is about is freedom for women, freedom from the attempts to control them and their bodies by people like newsjustin and freedom to receive healthcare in their own country when they need it, the same sort of freedoms that men enjoy and wouldn’t dream of giving up.

      2. Cian

        Wrong. The current Irish rate is 1 in 20 – just in the UK.
        So in 5 years we would be the same. But, as already mentioned, we have a much higher rate. It is just not known how high

      1. Rob_G

        I know that you were merely trying to make a rhetorical point, but no isn’t: a medical doctor can’t perform a lethal injection, they would be struck off. Prison authorities in the states are finding it harder and harder to acquire the drugs necessary to carry out lethal injections, as drugs companies are refusing to sell them to them.

        Neither of the above applies to abortion.

  7. filly buster

    there should be plenty of money for posters from the repeal jumpers. i have no idea what they used that money for.. the site says it ‘goes towards the campaign’ .. with no extra detail. Anyone i ask accuse me of tryna degrade the movement and just ask what have id one. i am a yes voter, but I don’t like people trousering money from it when it’s needed to win this ref.

    1. Nigel

      I can’t imagine why accusing people of trouser in funds would not be treated as a good faith query.

  8. realPolithicks

    “I don’t like people trousering money”

    Do you have any proof that this is happening?

    1. filly buster

      this is what im asking .. and what i have been asking .. and no one has answered. i’ve just been told it “goes towards the campaign”

      i asked the same thing here before and got this same response. then follows “what are you doing to help?” .. basically no one knows where it has been spent or where its gone. but get real shirty when asked. being a nation of naturally corupt and greedy people, it seems like the likely answer is that someone is on the make. if theyre not, it would be easy to prove. yet no one can.

      1. Nigel

        Um why here? Why the hell would you expect official answers and info on a random comment section?

          1. Cian

            Thanks. But I can’t find any on this. Although if I’m honest I didn’t try particularly hard.

          2. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

            Come on, Cian! #PullingACian. It’s a hashtag, fer Chrissakes, so you have to do it.

      2. realPolithicks

        So you make random accusations providing no proof whatsoever, then criticize people for not proving you wrong. You have a very interesting way of thinking.

        1. filly buster

          @realpolithicks .. theyre not random accusations. it’s one specific accusation.. not even an accusation, it’s an enquiry, and as for proof, it’s not u to me to provide proof. if i had proof i wouldnt be asking. and i havent accused anyone of anything, AGAIN, from the top.. I. AM. ASKING. .. and no one is answering.

          Anywhere I ask I get this same response. ridicule. this attitude is common enough amongst a lot of repealers, and its worrying because if this is how you talk to people who might ask you genuine questions about the actual subject of the ref, then they aren’t going to rush to see your side of things.

          1. ReproBertie (SCU)

            Have you tried ringing Together for Yes or the Abortion Rights Campaign and asking them?

          2. filly buster

            REPROBERTIE .. together for yes seem to be the only ones actually visibly putting the money back in to the campaigh, at least theyre out there putting up posters and what not. what i want to know is where the 1000s of euro raised thru the repeal jumpers etc. has gone. and i have asked them, and just got sent to the site for “info” which simply says “all proceeds go towards the yes campaign” .. which isnt an answer.

            (ps. im not voting no, just yer one is pissing me off)

          3. ReproBertie (SCU)

            How detailed an answer are you looking for?

            I’m not in any way connected to the campaign but it could be that they don’t know. For example, if all proceeds from sales go into the campaign account how can they trace exactly what money goes to posters, ads or whatever?

            Not having a go at you for asking BTW.

          4. filly buster

            ReproBertie: I’m not even looking for detailed accounts. Just something. So far I haven’t gotten one answer. Not even “posters” .. and that’s because there was none until ‘together for yes’ came along. 1000s of jumpes were sold, for 30/40 quid, and i can’t see where that has gone. Other than social media, there is virtually no yes vote public presence. other than together for yes posters and stickers.

        2. filly buster

          actually ya know what, REALPOLITHICKS? forget it. I’ve asked a simple question… “where has the money raised been spent?” … and i ask because so many people have worked hard to raise money or to contribute, and i just want to see where it has gone. and i just get people like you responding with ridicule. so fupp it. im voting no.

          1. ReproBertie (SCU)

            You’re dead right filly, you absolutely should punish current and future generations of women in Ireland because people aren’t taking your random internet question seriously.

          2. Nigel

            Voting no because Broadsheet commenters can’t provide audited set of accounts for the jumpers they had absolutey nothing to do with. Good grief.

          3. filly buster

            nigel, im not voting no. i was just tryna scare realpolithicks into not treating people like idiots and thusly putting them off. a lot of no voters are actually voting no just because of how people like her talk to them. and thats the kind of thing that could mess this all up.

          4. Nigel

            Oh thank God you are not allowing the failure to get an answer to your repeated questions in a place where nobody has the actual answer you’re looking for influence your decision.

          5. filly buster

            it’s a completely open and public forum. one which most of the online using population know about and look at. it’s likely someone could know. you’re an idiot.

  9. Pookakie

    Mary didn’t have access to abortion so she had to make up that immaculate conception nonsense to Joseph and look where that got us.

  10. Liam Deliverance

    I think it has been a tiresome campaign of dirty trick from both sides. Please don’t put up stickers on lampposts unless you are willing to take them down afterwards.

  11. Hmmmm

    The Yes campaigns messaging has been far too vague and in some cases too abstract for much of the population – slogans about ‘Shame’ are only likely to hit a chord with clear yes voters

    An emotional angle on what would happen in cases of Rape would have been a better angle – cases of rape and worst case scenarios

    Taking the higher ground and not using strong messages doesn’t win elections – I fear another Brexit (a badly fought campaign with no clear message as well)

    1. Cian

      Picture of a young girl, crying, holding a teddy bear
      “Pregnant thorough incest?
      Forcing her to give birth is child abuse.
      Vote YES “

    2. Patrick

      Except that rape accounts for maybe 0.5% of all uk abortions. Isn’t that the sort of emotional blackmail the yes campaign often accuse the no campaign of?

      1. Janet, I ate my Avatar

        .5 ! Would you be happier with a larger figure ?
        How much suffering do you need for empathy ? What percent ?

        1. Patrick

          Your comment is ridiculous. If you’re providing reasons why abortion should be available and the argument is rape, then you don’t table a open ended 12 week no questions asked abortion regime. UNLESS rape has nothing to do with the real agenda. Even the UK is more restrictive than this proposal

      2. Cian

        Yup – but this isn’t a clean fight.

        The NO posters are a mix of some truths, some lies and many mistruths and emotional blackmail. So why should the YES posters be different?

        Fight fire with fire[1].

        [1] metaphorically speaking

  12. SOQ

    BAN THE BOAT .!.

    By associating abortion with modes of travel it states the reality, that it already happens.

  13. Alors

    If we vote No, it all stays the same.
    Dead women will be kept alive as foetus rots
    Girls will keep going to England
    Raped refugees will again be refused abortion
    Girls will take abortion pills, all alone
    Mothers with cancer will be refused treatment
    Women like Savita will die again

    1. mildred st. meadowlark

      It sickens me that because of the 8th, women can be denied treatment for cancer. That is enough of a reason for it to go, no matter how you feel about abortion.

    2. Patrick

      Savita didn’t die due to the lack of an abortion. She died of sepsis that went undiagnosed to to bad medical care.

      Those in need of cancer treatment get it, even if it means putting the foetus at risk. By the way studies have shown chemo presents no risk to the foetus

      Rape is provided for under the protection of life during pregnancy act.

      You’ve clearly educated yourself on the topic before voting!

      Anymore waffle to add to the debate?

      1. Frill the 8th

        On being told the pregnancy was no longer viable
        Savita asked for an abortion
        And was denied
        with words from a Midwife “this is a Catholic Country – no abortion here”
        Sepsis then set in

        so now
        lets talk about waffles
        I’m not a fan meself

        1. Patrick

          2 + 2 = 5. Have you read the report because I have. Despite what the nurse said, had she said it or not, the result would have been the same. An abortion would not have saved her. Perhaps you should hear from women who had sepsis during pregnancy and didn’t die.

      2. Cian

        “Savita didn’t die due to the lack of an abortion. She died of sepsis that went undiagnosed to to bad medical care”.

        A half-truth.

        The doctors couldn’t preform an abortion on Savita until her life was at risk. The doctors had to wait for either the (unviable) foetus to die, or for sepsis to set in and put her life at risk! Due to bad medical care they initially missed the sepsis – and the delay in treating this killed her.

        Someone compared this situation as not being allowed put on a seat-belt until you are actually in a car-crash.

    3. Patrick

      Also about Savita, it’s probably worth you knowing that 12 women die of maternal sepsis each year in the UK. Abortion doesn’t cure sepsis!

        1. Patrick

          Ah yes. Categorisation. I must religious or at least categorised as such in order to cast me aside as discredited. Hate to break it to you but I’m not!! I know the lefties live that tactic, along with dehumanising, 2 steps of the 5 involved in every genocide in history. Not passing a judgement. Just a fact!

          1. mildred st. meadowlark

            What are the 5 steps? Is there a program I can sign up to?

            And also, genocide refers to the killing of living beings. Not embryos or foetuses.

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      Well if people used the “back yard” they wouldn’t be pregnant in the first place.
      Hmm. Maybe you could run a slightly different campaign?

  14. Hansel

    Glad I’m not the only one who saw the “it’s women’s choice” posters. Again, that is NOT going to sway undecided men: you want more people at the ballot box, if you’re campaigning for yes.

    I keep saying this, but the “yes” campaign is in serious danger of being an echo chamber

    Here’s a more constructive idea: “Give us a choice: vote Yes”

    1. rotide

      I have to agree. ‘Trust women’ and the healthcare angle aren’t going to swing anyone who is undecided if aborting a foetus is murdering a baby

      1. Brother Barnabas

        someone i work with told me this morning that he’s changed his mind from no to yes – and what made him question his original position was seeing the sort of people campaigning for a no vote (john waters, david quinn…). that alone convinced him that he must be wrong.

        so how about: “do you really want to be a CU ‘n’ T?”

        1. Patrick

          Well that’s the most stupid reason I’ve ever heard. Your friend is obviously a moron. There are d**khead’s on both sides.

  15. Eoin

    Hey ‘Worried in Dublin’! You are disgusted and have had enough? Well your attitude is just as repulsive to a No voter. They think you are pro killing babies.

  16. Iwerzon

    “Give women the benefit of your doubt – Vote YES”

    Or, photo of a shoe-box on a distressed woman’s lap as they drive onto a ferry.

  17. insert ridiculous internet pseudonym here

    Abortion is murder. It stops being “your” body when another person starts living in it.

    1. mildred st. meadowlark

      That’s not how bodily autonomy works. And it really is none of your business if I take a pill to induce abortion just as it’s none of your business if I miscarried.

    2. Janet, I ate my Avatar

      No, no it doesn’t
      not until I have made it a person capable of life outside my womb independently
      until that point still all mine

  18. Jack

    You reаlise what Pastor Johansson informed us on Sunday is that God really likes woгship.
    Dady added.

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