Interview - The struggle for safe, legal abortion on demand continues.


Official Ireland pretends that abortion doesn't exist, the estimated 100,000 women who have travelled abroad to terminate pregnancies since the 1983 amendment to the Constitution know different. Workers Solidarity spoke to Niav Keating from the new pro-choice youth group.

What is BODY?

BODY stands for Bold Open Decisive Youth. We are a diverse group of young pro-choice activists that are campaigning for safe and legal abortion services. We formed in October 2005, as a result of the launch of the Irish Family Planning Association's 'Safe and Legal' campaign. Our main objective is to push the Irish government to hold a pro-choice referendum. We are also interested in campaigning for free access to reproductive health care and contraception.

Why is the campaign for abortion rights important to you?

For me, abortion is a women's health issue. It is not a legal, moral or ethical issue. As an anarchist and a feminist, I strongly support a woman's right to choose. It's a woman's choice to decide whether or not to continue with her pregnancy. I believe all women who choose to terminate should be able to access free, safe and legal abortion services within Ireland. Currently, seventeen women are forced to leave Ireland every day to avail of abortion services outside the State. This is totally unacceptable.

There have been lots of campaigns for abortion rights in the last twenty years. We still don't have abortion in Ireland and it is an issue that burns people out. Why do you think BODY will be more effective than the other campaigns?

Although we still don't have access to abortion services in Ireland, in the last twenty years activists have campaigned for and gained the right to information and the right to travel. I think BODY could be more effective than past campaigns. Our first action outside the Dail in December 2005 received a very positive response. Activists from Grassroots Dissent, Alliance For Choice, Labour Youth and the Socialist Party participated including Joe Higgins TD. It also gathered a lot of interest from the media in terms of newspaper articles in the Irish Times and radio stations nationwide conducted interviews with activists from BODY.

How can people get involved in the BODY campaign?

For more information or to get involved with BODY e-mail or contact Louise 086 329 3741. Currently we are active in Dublin but we hope to form other groups based in Cork and in Galway.. If you are in a crisis pregnancy situation and would like information about all the options available to you - parenting, fostering, adoption, and abortion contact the IFPA on 1850 49 50 51 or visit the website:

From Workers Solidarity 90, Jan/Feb 2005
PDF file of WS 90