Members of the Abortion Rights Campaign will join the the annual May Day March taking place in Dublin today. Our struggle is part of the broader workers’ struggle for justice and equality in the workplace. Assembling at Parnell Square at 6pm
Access to free, safe, and legal abortion is absolutely essential to women’s economic and social independence. Barriers to reproductive rights are barriers to full social, economic, political and workplace equality. Our colleagues and comrades are denied this equality when they are forced to travel overseas to access abortion services or compelled to break the law and induce their abortions illegally here in Ireland.
Doctors and healthcare workers are routinely compelled to tell women who need abortions that they cannot provide them with or refer them for abortion services because there isn’t enough of a risk to their life. It should not be the case that doctors and healthcare workers are legally barred from providing medical treatment to women even if there is a risk to their physical or mental health or their emotional well-being.
Globally the trade union movement have been crucial in advancing women’s rights and defending reproductive rights when they have been attacked by regressive forces in society. Many trade unions in Ireland have a pro-choice position. We commend them for their stance and encourage them and their activists to concentrate their efforts and join the campaign to Repeal the 8th Amendment so that we can have free, safe and legal abortion in Ireland.
For too long Irish society and it’s institutions have remained silent on abortion, fearing censure from the church and the status quo. This silence adds to the suffering felt by those who follow their own consciences and choose abortion. In this time of austerity and anxiety, we need to show real solidarity with people who make difficult choices in order to live their lives as best they can. It is no longer enough to simply refuse to speak against abortion – now is the time to join our voices together in support of Abortion Rights in Ireland.
We call on Irish trade unions to look to their international comrades and be as staunch and vocal in their advocacy for abortion rights as trade unions are elsewhere.