Some pro-choice men are considering not voting in the repeal referendum... but they need to 1 year ago

Some pro-choice men are considering not voting in the repeal referendum... but they need to

There are a few reasons why a person would decide to not vote in favour of liberalised abortion access.

One of those reasons is because the person in question is anti-choice.

They don't believe that women in Ireland, or anywhere, should have the option to decide whether or not they want to give birth.

Another one of those reasons is because the person just can't be bothered voting.

The issue of abortion, of human rights, is of little importance to them - so much so that they can't be bothered making the short journey down to their local polling station to tick a box and make their voice count.

As of late though, another reason not to vote in favour of liberalised abortion access has surfaced - one that sees openly pro-choice men committing to not voting because they don't believe the choice should be theirs.

These men have apparently been approaching abortion rights stalls and telling pro-choice campaigners that the decision is not theirs to make so they're opting not to make it.

And understandably, people have some concerns.

Recognising that abortion is technically not a choice that men should have to make shows an understanding of the struggles that Irish women have faced for years.

It proves an acceptance that the choice to have or not have a termination is the choice of the pregnant person alone.

On one hand, it's admirable. And on the other hand, it's really not at all.

After years of protests, marches, fighting, and deaths, we've finally been given the chance to vote on this.

Abortion rights organisations and countless campaigners have worked tirelessly for years to secure this referendum, and although some people may not feel comfortable deciding the fate of the millions of people in this country who can become pregnant, we'll all be far more uncomfortable if this law stays the same.

Deciding not to vote because you don't care enough is questionable, but deciding not to vote because you want to prove a point is just stupid.

A ssimilar thing happened during the lead up to the marriage referendum.

I remember having a sickly feeling in my stomach that the rights of thousands of people were left in the hands of the public and, more specifically, me - a person who would most likely never experience the pain and rejection of being told that I wasn't permitted to marry the person I loved.

I hated that this was a decision that I was being told to make, but like the countless others who recognised how important the referendum was, I made it.

Primarily because not doing so would have pointless - if you're going to take a side you may as well take it on paper - but also because not voting would have been, essentially, one of the most selfish things I could have done.

It's been 35 years since the eighth amendment was enshrined in the Irish constitution.

That decision came about because of a referendum not dissimilar to the one we're facing this May - the only difference now is that most of us are actually eligible to vote in this one.

If you're a man and you believe that abortion should be a choice, then you need to vote, plain and simple.

And if you're a man and you believe that abortion should be a choice and you're planning on voting, you need to tell your other male friends to vote too.

The eighth amendment is often described as a women's issue, one that men should not and do not have say in, but being an ally doesn't mean standing back, doing nothing, and seeing what happens because it's not your problem.

It means listening to women, amplifying their voices, and using your own when it's needed.

And most importantly, right now, it means voting.