Saturday, September 24th marked the day the largest march in Dublin, Ireland to this day. On that rainy Saturday, thousands of protesters gathered to put pressure on the Irish government to repeal its’ extreme abortion laws. Women and men marched and chanted sayings such as “My body, my choice”, “Abortion on demand, now”, and “Repeal the 8th”. The latter is referring to the 8th amendment of the Irish Constitution which the Abortion Rights Campaign says is a “dangerous and archaic law which infringes on the human rights of women in Ireland,”. The amendment is
In 2013, the Irish government changed their policy from a complete and total ban on abortion to allowing it only in the case when the mother’s life was in danger. The amendment imposes a serious burden on the women of Ireland, forcing more than 100,000 women every year to leave the U.K and travel overseas to England to be able to legally receive an abortion.
Part of the issue, as many point out, is that Ireland is mainly a Catholic country where religion has a big impact on social issues such as this. However, last year, Ireland became the only country to legalize gay marriage as the result of a popular vote. The protesters in Dublin, as well as many other major cities in the world, demanded on Saturday for a referendum to repeal the restrictive laws. Unfortunately, the Irish government will not be able to host a referendum until the end of next year.
Until then, supporters of reproductive freedom will continue to voice their opinions and opposition about the current abortion laws.