The Abortion Rights Campaign today held a rally today calling on the government to take urgent steps to address the gaps in abortion care provision in Ireland.
Speaking at the 10th Annual March for Choice, ARC spokesperson JoAnne Neary noted that despite the landslide victory of Repeal, there is a real lack of understanding of just how difficult it can be to access abortion in Ireland today, with only half of maternity hospitals and a small percentage of GPs providing access.
“We’re here today because there are simply too many barriers to safe abortion care across the island. We face criminalisation, mandatory delays, widespread refusal of care and strict gestational limits that amount to a violation of our human rights” said Ms. Neary
“The last 18 months have laid bare the deep inequalities in our health system and our society – those inequalities have the greatest impact on marginalised communities. We are calling on the government to ensure that this year’s legislative review delivers free, safe, legal and local abortion for anyone who needs it.”
Speaking at the march today is Jennifer Ryan, chair of LMC Bereavement Support, who has been supporting women, couples and families through their loss since her daughter Jess died in 2012. Ms Ryan stated: “Unfortunately we have discovered that the removing the 8th Amendment has not been enough to prevent people from travelling for abortions, in their darkest hour, even throughout this deadly pandemic. Badly written legislation, criminalisation of doctors and the hangover of a medical culture that enjoyed exercising control over pregnant women have led to a situation where people have to travel to lose their baby.”
Additional speakers at the March include Naomi Connor, co-convener of Alliance for Choice Belfast; Yvie Murphy from Together for Safety, campaigning for Safe Access Zones; Mabel Chah, who moved to Sligo in 2013 through the asylum system and founded the award-winning Sligo Global Kitchen in 2015; Isolde ÓBrolcháin Carmody, Leitrim-based artist and activist, member of Disabled Artists and Disabled Academics (DADA) and co-founder of Full Spectrum Ireland.
This year’s March for Choice has been organised as a static rally to facilitate social distancing. The rally will begin at 2pm.
The Abortion Rights Campaign recently launched a report into the experiences of those who have accessed abortion since 2019, available at “Too Many Barriers: Experiences of Abortion in Ireland after Repeal”
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