Solidarity and the prosecution of Belfast woman charged for supplying daughter with Early Medical Abortion pill


To those involved in left-wing or anti-establishment activism the word "solidarity" has a different meaning to those not involved in anti-capitalist or feminist struggle.

Among leftists it's not only an emotion, it's something that you feel in your gut. It's something that spurs you into action and that drives you forward even when the end destination is nowhere near in sight.

The most famous act of solidarity is probably the proclamation of the famous words "I am Spartacus". This of course refers to the scene in the movie "Spartacus" in which the defeated slaves are asked to identify their leader, Spartacus, as a reward for doing so their lives will be spared. They respond by announcing that they are all Spartacus.

In this case many of us are all the Belfast woman who has been charged for supplying her daughter with the Early Medical Abortion pill. Despite wishful thinking from Stormont's resident dinosaurs banning abortion does not stop abortions from happening; in fact they happen here quite regularly.

When a law takes away a person's rights the reaction should not be one of apathy but one of brazen defiance and resistance channeled into the form of direct action. In countries where abortion is illegal, upon pregnancy a person's bodily autonomy is reduced greatly and the bodily autonomy that they lose goes straight into the hands of the anti-woman politicians who have sentenced them to motherhood - voluntary or not.

In the very specific case of abortion direct action means helping people have an abortion if they want one. Alliance for Choice and other Pro-Choice activists engage in this type of direct action all of the time so why is one woman being used as a scapegoat for this? Over 200 people signed an open letter admitting to breaking the same law and we are yet to be contacted by the PSNI for further investigation.

If you are wondering why we are yet to be contacted it is probably because politicians (both sides of the border) do not want to come face to face with this topic.

For those who dare to we should be pushing this archaic anti-choice law to the limit, publicly and at all times; open defiance and mockery of this law is what will capture people's attention and bring women's rights back on the agenda.

Later today we will openly mock the law and will stand in solidarity with this mother by gathering outside of Musgrave Police Station in Belfast at 6pm to read out the letter that over 200 of us signed admitting to breaking the same law.

If you prosecute one of us, prosecute us all; we are not going anywhere, we will continue to defy anything that limits our freedom, we dare you to come after us.

WORDS: Fionnghuala Nic Roibeaird