Campaigners in Ireland and across UK unite in #RepealThe8th pro-choice protests


Irish women strike to overturn ban on abortion rights 

THOUSANDS OF PROTESTORS are gathering today across Ireland and the nations of the UK in solidarity with the campaign to repeal the 8th amendment of the Irish constitution. 

The pro-choice movement wants Ireland to join other countries in guaranteeing abortion rights as part of the national healthcare system. Currently the most recent abortion legislation in Ireland includes punishment of up to 14 years imprisonment for those who carry out ‘unlawful abortions’. 

The ’Strike for Repeal’ movement called on women to stop work today (Wednesday 8 March) on International Women’s Day to demand action from the government for women’s rights. Specifically, the campaign demand a referendum to overturn the 8th amendment.

A major march is taking place in Dublin, alongside 26 solidarity protests – including events in Glasgow and Aberdeen. 

The movement for abortion rights was most recently spurred into action by the death of Savita Halappanavar in 2012, who died as a result of complications in a septic miscarriage after being denied an abortion.

In the run up to the 2016 Irish election Sinn Fein, Labour and the Green Party all committed to a referendum to repeal the 8th amendment. However, the government is waiting for the outcome to a Citizens Assembly process of consultation. 

Students at Aberdeen university gathered in support of the movement. 

“The global element of ‘Strike 4 Repeal’ is so important. We want women in Ireland to feel supported by those abroad.” Glasgow protest organisers

In a post explaining her support, Jenny Killin, Welfare Officer at Aberdeen Students’ Association, said: “I’ll be supporting the Strike For Repeal because our sisters in Ireland and across the world have a fundamental right to choose what happens to their bodies, to access free healthcare and to access safe abortions. 

“The alternative is simply not unacceptable: it means people dying because of maternal complications; serving 14 years in prison for administering their own abortions, or having to take loans to have them administered elsewhere.”

Hundreds of people are expected to gather in George Square, Glasgow, tonight (8 March) in solidarity. 

Organisers stated: “The global element of ‘Strike 4 Repeal’ is so important. We want women in Ireland to feel supported by those abroad. Abortion rights may seem like an archaic issue to those living in Britain but it is truly a reality for the people of Ireland.”

The Fine Gael Minister for Health Simon Harris previously said that he will wait for the Citizens Assembly recommendations, but hopes that the public “will be given the opportunity” to consider a change in the laws.

Picture courtesy of Strike 4 Repeal

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