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News release

Issued by the Abortion Rights Campaign

Tuesday 15th September 2015

For immediate release

COMEDIAN TARA FLYNN TO MC AT 4th ANNUAL MARCH FOR CHOICE

– Flynn says ‘real women’s stories’ must take the place of silence and stigma –

Comedian and writer Tara Flynn, who last week spoke publicly about her experience of travelling to Holland to have an abortion, will MC at the fourth annual March for Choice, in Dublin at 2pm on Saturday 26th September, 2015, organised by the Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC).

Speaking about the March For Choice, Flynn said: “Scaremongering and abstract arguments, as well as shaming tactics and stigma, have dominated this narrative for too long. It’s time to acknowledge real women’s stories – women we all know – and actual facts: hundreds of thousands of women have had to travel and will continue to travel for healthcare they need, or put themselves at risk. Silence has got us nowhere. It’s time to talk.”

During a discussion at Electric Picnic, entitled ‘My Body My Rights’, Flynn revealed that she had travelled to Holland for an abortion some years ago, saying she would rather not have made it public, but wanted to put a face to the statistics. She subsequently wrote about her experience in Monday’s Irish Times:

www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/tara-flynn-you-don-t-talk-about-ab…

Other speakers at the march will include Clare Daly TD, as well as representatives from the Abortion Support Network, Aims Ireland, the Trade Union Campaign to Repeal the 8th Amendment, Akina Dada Wa Africa and Speaking of Imelda.

Janet O’Sullivan of ARC said: “The landslide vote for Marriage Equality and the passage of the Gender Recognition Bill this year demonstrate clearly the huge appetite for change in Ireland. This will be the last March for Choice before the general election, so we want to make it clear – to get our vote, politicians must make a commitment to Repeal the 8th Amendment, so we can take a step closer to securing free, safe and legal access to abortion in Ireland.”

The march will be joined by many of the 215 activists from Alliance For Choice Belfast who signed an open letter in June admitting they had broken Northern Ireland’s abortion laws by using or supplying abortion pills. The activists are “inviting prosecution”, to challenge the law under which a woman in her 30s has been charged with procuring an abortion pill for her teenage daughter. Police have so far refused to prosecute any of the activists.

One of the signatories, Kellie O’Dowd, said: “We at Alliance For Choice Belfast will be bringing a bus of supporters to march with our sisters in the South on a day that marks the decriminalisation of abortion. We know that change in one jurisdiction on the island would benefit everyone, and we will continue to campaign for free safe and legal abortion across the island of Ireland.”

Janet O’Sullivan of ARC said: “This year we will be joined by a cohort of MEPs who will bring the inhumanity of Ireland’s laws to a global audience. A delegation from the European Parliamentary Committee for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM committee) has chosen to use one of their European parliamentary Turquoise weeks to visit Ireland, to highlight the outstanding areas of gender inequality written into law in Ireland.”

The march will start at 2pm in Dublin at the Garden of Remembrance (assembling from 1.30pm), and ARC is asking supporters to bring wheelie cases “to make heard the sound of the thousands of women forced to travel abroad for abortions every year”.

The March for Choice on 26th September marks two dates in the pro-choice calendar – Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion and International Day of Action for the Decriminalisation of Abortion, both on 28th September.

ENDS

Contact:

Email info@abortionrights.ie

Phone: 089 226 2048

Email info@abortionrights.ie Phone: 089 226 2048

www.abortionrights.ie

www.facebook.com/abortionrightscampaign

Twitter: @freesafelegal

– See more at: http://www.abortionrightscampaign.ie/2015/09/15/news-release-issued-by-the-abortion-rights-campaign-tuesday-15th-september-2015/#sthash.HEr9o1w3.dpuf

January 3 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Travelling art exhibition highlights urgent need for reform of Ireland’s abortion laws
At least 10 women and girls each day travel to the UK to access abortion services

DONEGAL, January 3 2017 – Today, an innovative art project which highlights the harrowing journey experienced by women and girls forced to travel outside Ireland to access abortion services will visit Letterkenny. The project, which is led by artist and activist Will St Leger and supported by the Abortion Rights Campaign and Amnesty International Ireland, will visit six counties over its six day tour. The exhibition will also visit Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, Meath and Dublin.

Every year, at least 4,000 women are forced to travel outside of Ireland to access abortion services. This refers to the number of women who give Irish addresses. The real figure, which doesn’t account for women travelling to other countries or purchasing abortion pills online, could be much higher. In Donegal alone, 67 women and girls have travelled to the UK for an abortion in 2015.

“Ireland’s abortion laws do not stop women and girls from having or needing abortions, it simply forces them to travel abroad. The law, which is one of the most restrictive in the world, disproportionally affects certain women and girls, including minors, survivors of sexual violence, asylum seekers, women with health problems or those who are otherwise unable to travel. Travelling abroad for abortion is expensive (costing at least €1,000) which further limits abortion to those who can afford to travel.” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland. 

“Women in rural areas face additional obstacles when travelling for an abortion, such as infrequent public transport and longer journeys. ARC regional groups have engaged with these communities to break down the culture of stigma, shame, and fear that has pervaded the issue of abortion for too long. This project will build on the progress made by Abortion Rights Campaign regional groups and other local and community groups. It will continue expanding the dialogue on the urgent need for a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment, “said Taryn Gleason, Abortion Rights Campaign Donegal spokesperson. 

Life-size silhouettes representing women will be placed in various locations across the country to visually symbolise the fact that, on average 10 women and girls are forced to leave Ireland every day to access abortion services aboard.

“Many women who travel to the UK for an abortion describe the journey as traumatic and upsetting. The Irish state and health service effectively turns its back on them, forcing them to bear the psychological, physical and financial burden alone. Women forced to travel feel sense of exclusion from their health care system, the stigma of traveling, and the burden of secrecy, shame and fear that comes with knowing they are doing something that is a criminal offence at home. This project is designed to bring these women out of the shadows so that we can stand in solidarity with them,” said artist and activist Will St Leger.

Ireland’s abortion laws creates a two-tiered system where some women can circumvent the law by travelling abroad for abortions, while others are forced to continue with a pregnancy or resort to illegal and often unsafe means of accessing abortion, including the use of abortifacient medication bought online. Though this medication is safe, it should be taken with medical supervision which Irish law prohibits.

The exhibition culminates in Dublin this weekend, which coincides with the next meeting of the Citizens’ Assembly.

“Ireland’s abortion laws causes serious human rights violations to women in Ireland every day. The Irish Government is under an immediate obligation to bring Irish law into compliance with international human rights law, which requires the repeal of the Eighth Amendment. It cannot abdicate that responsibility to the Citizens’ Assembly,” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland. 

An independent Red C poll commissioned by Amnesty International in February 2016 found that 87% favour expanded access to abortion. 80% would vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment, either outright or if reasonable restrictions were put in place. Of the 5% of people personally opposed to abortion in all circumstances, half would still vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Amnesty International Ireland’s press office at:

Email: media@amnesty.ie

Telephone: 01 863 8300 or 085 814 8986

Or to contact the Abortion Rights Campaign at media@abortionrightscampaign.ie or by phone at:
087 995 2309

For further info and comment contact:
Linda Kavanagh – 087 9952309
Twitter: @freesafelegal

News release

Issued by the Abortion Rights Campaign

Tuesday 15th September 2015

For immediate release

COMEDIAN TARA FLYNN TO MC AT 4th ANNUAL MARCH FOR CHOICE

– Flynn says ‘real women’s stories’ must take the place of silence and stigma –

Comedian and writer Tara Flynn, who last week spoke publicly about her experience of travelling to Holland to have an abortion, will MC at the fourth annual March for Choice, in Dublin at 2pm on Saturday 26th September, 2015, organised by the Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC).

Speaking about the March For Choice, Flynn said: “Scaremongering and abstract arguments, as well as shaming tactics and stigma, have dominated this narrative for too long. It’s time to acknowledge real women’s stories – women we all know – and actual facts: hundreds of thousands of women have had to travel and will continue to travel for healthcare they need, or put themselves at risk. Silence has got us nowhere. It’s time to talk.”

During a discussion at Electric Picnic, entitled ‘My Body My Rights’, Flynn revealed that she had travelled to Holland for an abortion some years ago, saying she would rather not have made it public, but wanted to put a face to the statistics. She subsequently wrote about her experience in Monday’s Irish Times:

www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/tara-flynn-you-don-t-talk-about-ab…

Other speakers at the march will include Clare Daly TD, as well as representatives from the Abortion Support Network, Aims Ireland, the Trade Union Campaign to Repeal the 8th Amendment, Akina Dada Wa Africa and Speaking of Imelda.

Janet O’Sullivan of ARC said: “The landslide vote for Marriage Equality and the passage of the Gender Recognition Bill this year demonstrate clearly the huge appetite for change in Ireland. This will be the last March for Choice before the general election, so we want to make it clear – to get our vote, politicians must make a commitment to Repeal the 8th Amendment, so we can take a step closer to securing free, safe and legal access to abortion in Ireland.”

The march will be joined by many of the 215 activists from Alliance For Choice Belfast who signed an open letter in June admitting they had broken Northern Ireland’s abortion laws by using or supplying abortion pills. The activists are “inviting prosecution”, to challenge the law under which a woman in her 30s has been charged with procuring an abortion pill for her teenage daughter. Police have so far refused to prosecute any of the activists.

One of the signatories, Kellie O’Dowd, said: “We at Alliance For Choice Belfast will be bringing a bus of supporters to march with our sisters in the South on a day that marks the decriminalisation of abortion. We know that change in one jurisdiction on the island would benefit everyone, and we will continue to campaign for free safe and legal abortion across the island of Ireland.”

Janet O’Sullivan of ARC said: “This year we will be joined by a cohort of MEPs who will bring the inhumanity of Ireland’s laws to a global audience. A delegation from the European Parliamentary Committee for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM committee) has chosen to use one of their European parliamentary Turquoise weeks to visit Ireland, to highlight the outstanding areas of gender inequality written into law in Ireland.”

The march will start at 2pm in Dublin at the Garden of Remembrance (assembling from 1.30pm), and ARC is asking supporters to bring wheelie cases “to make heard the sound of the thousands of women forced to travel abroad for abortions every year”.

The March for Choice on 26th September marks two dates in the pro-choice calendar – Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion and International Day of Action for the Decriminalisation of Abortion, both on 28th September.

ENDS

Contact:

Email info@abortionrights.ie

Phone: 089 226 2048

Email info@abortionrights.ie Phone: 089 226 2048

www.abortionrights.ie

www.facebook.com/abortionrightscampaign

Twitter: @freesafelegal

– See more at: http://www.abortionrightscampaign.ie/2015/09/15/news-release-issued-by-the-abortion-rights-campaign-tuesday-15th-september-2015/#sthash.HEr9o1w3.dpuf

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