In this series of blogposts, pro-choice people recount their first or favourite Abortion Rights March in order to encourage those who may be thinking about coming to their first March on September 27th.
There’s nothing like walking straight down the middle of the biggest street in Dublin in a throng of people who are all there for the same positive reason: they or someone they love would like bodily autonomy, and to gain this a change in Ireland’s abortion laws is needed. Even if the reason or need for the march comes from a negative situation, the atmosphere at a pro-choice march always has a special energy – the energy of the people who make a decision to come out and march, and show their support for the right of women to choose.
You may ask, why do I march? I remember years ago, being in the playground of my primary school, talking about the X case with my best friend and saying “She shouldn’t have been having sex if she didn’t want to get pregnant”. I was too young or too sheltered to understand that she hadn’t chosen to have sex. That was my first experience of how abortion was discussed in public, as if it was the decision of more than just the pregnant person. There was no free choice.
20 years later, I heard of the death of Savita Halapanavar after she was refused an abortion, and along with many others I felt I needed to do something. The gathering at the Dáil that night was sombre, but held a clear message: this should not have happened. This woman requested a medical termination, and her choice was not respected. That’s not right. That’s the reason I now go to any pro-choice rallies, marches, demonstrations I can. To stand up and be counted along with others who believe in choice, so the government can’t ignore the people’s appetite for change.
Join the March for Choice, starting at 2pm at the Garden of Remembrance, Dublin 27 September 2014