'Savita!': why the Irish abortion vote touched women the world over
Finally, a woman’s death at the hands of an old madness did not mean nothing
Wed 30 May 2018
The photograph from the Irish referendum that brought me undone was of white-haired men in the street holding a yellow banner. It read “Grandfathers for Yes”. It came across my phone as I traversed Melbourne in the 86 tram only a couple of days before the vote, like a lobbed bomb of hope and love, relief and change. I sobbed aloud.
It struck with specific weight because there’d been another photo circulating a week earlier of Irish men the same age in a sadly more familiar scenario. “Vote NO” read their own pink signs, “Support women, protect babies, save lives.” That one had left me not in hot tears but a cold rage.