In anticipation of this year’s March for Choice on September 28th, we are inviting our supporters to share what this year’s march means to them as part of our ‘Why I’m Marching’ blog series. Today’s blog comes from Erin Darcy.
If you would like to contribute to the Why I’m Marching blog, please send us your written submissions (up to 700 words) or video blogs (up to 1 minute, including captions) to med[email protected] #ARCMarch19 #NoOneLeftBehind #FreeSafeLegal
Why I’m Marching: In These Shoes
It is the stories of those around us,
it is the individual experience,
and the collective diligence that has brought us to where we stand right now,
in these shoes.
It is the stories of our grandmothers, our mothers, and ourselves.
Woven through history, and yet remaining unheard,
When you told your story of abandonment in a country that governs your body,
when you became a medical tourist, or harbouring medication and a secret.
When you had nowhere to turn but to a stranger that would offer you compassion, a listening ear, help… and hope in the form of a pill, a procedure, an option.
When you shared your story – it moved a nation. It enacted a greater rise of action from those that wouldn’t often be involved in ‘that sort of thing’.
Your stories are an alchemy, a testament,
your stories are a healing balm,
when women have had to remain silent for fear of prosecution, when women have had to remain silent for fear of worse. When women have sacrificed their lives in institutions that this church and state have enslaved them to – we will not forget.
Your stories have reclaimed an erased history of women – writing ourselves into the very fabric of this country.
Our story was not over when we repealed the fucking 8th.
We stand together side by side, full of pride in ourselves and each other. We stand side by side with the North. On September 7th the streets of Belfast were filled with waves of purple – with banners marching, sisters and brothers and those that float in between, from North and South and all walks of life.
An Island united for free, safe, legal, local abortion in 32 counties.
We fight for this not just for ourselves – but for those that oppose us. We fight for their rights for reproductive freedom and justice too. We fight for those that claim to love both – because this is what we really do.
We are marching, so that no one is left behind.
With justice for the Magdalene’s, survivors of symphysiotomy, those suffering behind the CervicalCheck scandal. Misogyny is alive and well within our healthcare and judicial system – our story was not over when we repealed the 8th amendment. We have a long way to go, and no one will be left behind.
When I look at the people who rally with us, I see the embodiment of a freedom that has come from women risking their lives for centuries, for those that are to come. These are the shoes we continue to walk in, and in them we create new footsteps – we move forward together, rising, resilient, resistant, rebellious. We march on.
I am marching with your stories imprinted in the fibres of my bones. I am marching with the power of a thousand ancestors behind me, I am marching as a foreign sister to Mná na hEireann; one without a vote, but because of yours, I was not left behind.
I am marching for you – my sisters, brothers, and those in between. Marching for reproductive freedom and justice for all.
Ní Saoirse go Saoirse na mBan.