Hollywood A-listers and stars of the small screen have joined forces to call for a yes vote on the May 25 Eighth Amendment referendum as part of a video campaign launched last night.

Stars including Saoirse Ronan, Cillian Murphy, Tom Vaughan Lawlor and Victoria Smurfit publicly said they are supporting the yes campaign as both sides of the debate began nationwide tours.

In a star-laden video, the Hollywood actors and Irish stars of the small screen said they believe the Eighth Amendment needs to be repealed.

Reading from a shared script outlining their views, they said: “In Ireland today, if the woman sitting next to you is pregnant she does not have full rights over her own body.

In Ireland today, women who find themselves in crisis pregnancies, be it a scared 15-year-old who has been sexually abused or a terrified woman who has been raped, are forced to carry the pregnancy to term.

“This must stop. In Ireland today, things can change. This is a once in a lifetime vote. Please vote yes.”

The video was launched in tandem with a Together For Yes national campaign which will see pro-choice activists travel to 22 counties across Ireland over the next 12 days to urge a yes vote on Friday May 25.

The bus tour will be rivaled by a similar campaign by the pro-life Love Both group, which left from Dublin City Hall on Saturday.

Group spokeswoman Katie Ascough said: “The bus tour for the next three weeks will take us to towns and villages all over the country where we will do street outreaches and canvass blitzes, all with one purpose - to let people know that a vote for repeal would hand complete power over to the Government to make our abortion laws.

 

Meanwhile, Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney will be among a number of politicians to take part in a cross-party pro-choice Cork Together For Yes event in Cork City at midday today.

The event has been organised to highlight the level of cross-party support for a yes vote, despite the fact a significant number of TDs are also opposed to repealing the eighth amendment.

Speaking on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics, Fine Gael TD and junior minister for mental health Jim Daly said the time has come for Ireland to stop giving women Ryanair and Aer Lingus tickets instead of helping them when it is needed.

However, on the same programme, Independent TD for Cork South West Michael Collins said even in rape cases he knows of women who have had “beautiful” babies and said women travelling abroad for abortion is like people travelling abroad for health issues such as cataracts.

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