Pro-choice

Pro-choice struggles in particular in Ireland. WSM members have been centrally involved in and have written about the struggles around abortion rights and contraception access since the WSM was founded in 1984.

US ambush video crew at March for Choice turn out to be extremists who want death penalty for women who have abortions

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The March for Choice saw another another sinister anti-choice video crew in operation.  The last time on investigation they turned out to be an far-right crew who subsequently worked with Tommy Robinson, ex leader of the EDL.  This time the accents were American rather than British and on investigation we discovered they are an extremist anti-choice church, one of this crew has even told media they want women who have had abortions to be executed. [Video report]

As with the previous crew their method is to try and get participants to agree to be interviewed without revealing their extreme anti-choice views. As you will see in the video when challenged as to who they are they tried to vaguely pass themselves off as a TV studio and then Facebook stream.  When people agreed to be interviewed after a few sympathetic appearing questions they were suddenly ambushed with very hostile language in the hope that their targets either don’t notice or get flustered.  The goal is to then broadcast edited footage of flustered or hostile pro-choice people to try and dehumanise us and urge their own followers to fanaticism.

Rallying for Choice in Belfast 14th October 2017

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On 14th October 2017, Rally for Choice will march through the streets of Belfast. - Last year saw us counter protest the Rally for Life in the North of Ireland, for the first time we marched against their lies instead of our usual static demo. Our counter protest was a huge success, despite being organised at short notice and with only a handful of activists. The protest burst across our streets and convened at Buoy Park afterwards for speakers. We outnumbered the Rally for Life 2016 significantly.

This year, with heightened urgency, even more organisers have come together to have a stand-alone march. We do not need Rally for Life to galvanise us. We are here, in huge numbers, and we are angry.

  • Angry that we are ignored.
  • Angry that we face discrimination.
  • Angry that our sisters and other pregnant people are forced to travel for access to a basic human right.
  • Angry that we are being persecuted by the law and the media.

March for Choice 2017 - report & video

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Saturday the 30th of September 2017 will go down as a high point in the fight for abortion rights in the Republic, and that is a struggle that stretches back decades. Years of campaigning and maintaining a focus on the issue, saw a massive crowd of nearly 30,000 people take to the streets for the annual March for Choice as organised by the Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC). The calls are for action, and the need for Repeal of the 8th Amendment.

Pro Life is a Lie - dismantling the anti-choice spin

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When pro-choice militants argue that their struggle is the continuation of a historical fight against the oppression of women, they are met with a pro-life movement which attempts to symmetrically paint itself as fighting for the rights of ‘‘the unborn child’’, a category which would otherwise remain defenseless and be sentenced to life or death by their bearers.

But both sides are far from holding symmetrical views. For one thing, while people who can get pregnant initiated the pro-choice movement, there is no doubt embryos didn’t start the pro-life movement. No pro-life advocate would deny this trivial statement, if anything they would use the voicelessness of “the unborn” as an argument to emphasise the unfair nature of abortion rights.

While it is easy to understand why one group would be motivated to fight for their own interests, explaining why a group would me motivated to fight on behalf of another group is not as straightforward. Pro-life advocates would have us believe that they are fighting for the “unborn child” first and foremost out of a strong sense of empathy and out of an unremitting commitment to defend the human right to life. The problem is that this is demonstrably untrue. Far from being satisfying explanations, empathy and adhesion to moral principles don’t even qualify as partial explanations for the commitment of pro-life advocates.

New pro-choice group launched in Kildare

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A new pro-choice group has formed in county Kildare to campaign for the Repeal of the 8th Amendment. The 'Kildare Coalition to Repeal the 8th' is comprised of people new to activism as well as veteran organisers. Around 20 people attended the first county-wide meeting last Thursday.

The new group has already gotten up posters in north and south Kildare for the big pro-choice march this Saturday as well as having articles placed in local papers. Hundreds of leaflets have been handed out and a coffee morning was held in north Kildare to raise funds. They plan to affiliate with the national Coalition to Repeal the 8th Amendment.

The county wide group will be meeting monthly to coordinate the efforts of local pro-choice groups throughout Kildare. Look out for their county banner on Saturday.
If you are from Kildare and would like to get involved, you can contact them at this email address: kildare4Repeal@gmail.com

6th March for Choice 30 Sept - march with the anarchist bloc

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The 6th annual March for Choice takes place September 30th in Dublin and once more we are bringing together an anarchist bloc for the march - join us on the day.

It's going to be an important march as the government have promised a referendum next year but have not yet announced a date or indeed what we will actually be allowed to vote on.  There is a real danger that rather than a vote to delete the 8th Amendment they will seek to replace it with text that would still seek to deny bodily autonomy and allow abortion access in very restricted circumstances.  Some 12 people a day are forced to travel to access abortion and more use pills at home under the theoretical threat of a 14 year jail term, the danger is that many of these people would still be unable to access abortion and pregnant people would continue to find the 8th amendment denied them control in their own pregnancy.

The pro-choice & feminist movement in Greece with relevance to Ireland

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The legal right for abortion in Greece was established in 1986. Trying to find more info about this time and by digging into Greek feminist history, I bumped into that article about feminists and their struggles. I came out of my research feeling positive and empowered. Sometimes, when people get involved in struggles to bring about change, they forget that things don’t really change that easily. The articles I found made clear that that abortion rights were achieved in law only after years of women’s struggles. The same holds true in Greece, not only for abortion rights but for contraception and divorce rights. It is difficult now to imagine that only 31 years ago people were fighting for these basic rights.

Image banner says: "Get the laws off our bodies"

Lessons for Ireland from the Pro-Choice movement in Italy

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I moved to Ireland from Italy shortly after the Strike4Repeal of the 8th of March, a mass mobilisation on the streets of Dublin in protest of Ireland’s archaic abortion laws, which I followed closely on social media. While still in Italy, I had been involved in organising a successful feminist demonstration in the city where I lived, on that same date (International Women’s Day), and I felt deep sympathy and admiration for the Irish pro-choice activists and the amazing work they were carrying out. At first glance it was unbelievable to me that in a western-European country people still had to take the streets to demand access to abortion. While the Irish situation initially felt like something I could not relate to, I soon remembered where I was from and I had to think twice: despite abortion being legal in my home country, safe and effective access to abortion service is currently utopia.

The Personal and Political within Catholic Ireland

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Sci-fi is a genre that I’ve never been able to get into and have never had the desire to change this. I find myself in the strange position now, however, of wishing I was some kind of sci-fi expert so that I could easily find a term for something that is half alive and half ghost. If there were such a term I’d use it to personify catholic Ireland, an institution that is still alive but dying with a ghost that wields most of its power.

Catholic Ireland was a violent, brutal regime that existed – among many other reasons - to dehumanise, torture and inflict as much pain as possible on women. The church sexualised us from no age through instilling notions of modesty and chastity in us. They then shamed us and hid us away when we did have sex and the evidence was there to prove it. While in hiding they tortured us in laundries and traumatised us in Mother and Baby Homes.

Why YOU need to get out and March for Choice on the 30th Sept

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We are in the 4th decade of the struggle to get rid of the 8th amendment - no one under the age of 52 could even have voted for it.  But this year should be the year and that's why everyone should be on the March for Choice in Dublin, September 30th.

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