So we’ve repealed the 8th… but what’s next? Even though the referendum has finally been won (by a huge majority of 66.4%!) nothing practical has changed in Ireland. 10 people still travel for abortion care every day, while at least 3 more take pills at home that are safe but still illegal under our laws.
We’ve waited a very very long time for change, and now we’re still waiting for the government to pass legislation and introduce real abortion services.
That’s why the theme of our 7th Annual March for Choice is “Free, Safe, Legal”. We’ve marched behind this slogan for years but now, more than ever, it’s vital we show our support for stigma-free abortion access for anyone who wants or needs one, regardless of their financial or legal status.
At this year’s March for Choice we want to be clear: No one gets left behind.
This is a year to celebrate all the successes of the pro-choice, pro-change movement in Ireland.
We will take to the streets to rejoice in our victory, and acknowledge our achievements. But it’s also a time to honor those who lost their lives to the 8th Amendment, and to make a promise that we will continue to fight until abortion is available for all people on the island of Ireland, including our comrades and siblings in Northern Ireland, and those whose circumstances will not fall within the bounds set by the new law. We will make sure they’re not forgotten.
Free: Abortion must be free under our public healthcare system. A person’s financial situation cannot be a barrier to the care they need. We must not continue our current ‘two-tier’ system where those with means access care and those without must break the law or be forced to remain pregnant.
Safe: All medical care should be safe to the highest possible standards. This includes ensuring that access to abortion care is local. Women and people who are pregnant must not be forced to travel long distances pre or post-abortion. Safe means safe for everyone, including trans people, those with disabilities who may have extra needs, or those with precarious legal status such as asylum seekers, and safe means free from stigma. No one in Ireland should ever again feel ashamed for making the decision that’s right for them.
Legal: No one should risk a criminal record or imprisonment for accessing or providing the healthcare they need. Decriminalising abortion, and making it accessible, is vital to destigmatising this very safe medical procedure.
Free, safe, legal, local, accessible. No one left behind.
Join us on 29th September, gathering at 1.30pm at the Garden of Remembrance.