Repeal 8th

The political and personal landscape of choice in Ireland

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It is all but impossible, both in theory and in practice, to legally obtain an abortion on the island of Ireland, both north and south of the imaginary border that divides this island. It is completely impossible to safely and legally obtain an abortion anywhere in Ireland;  the legal framework in the south specifically requires that in order to obtain an abortion without being criminalised for so doing, the woman who needs it must be ill enough to die; thus it is rendered impossible for her to be safe in access to legal abortion. 
 

Strike4Repeal - A Call to Action this January

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Strike4Repeal launched in January 2017, it exists currently as an ad hoc group of pro-choice activists, academics, trade unionists, artists and students. We directed a single demand towards the government: a national strike would take place on the 8th March unless a referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Constitution was called.

In December, we in Strike4Repeal came together once more to announce that a second strike action will take place if it becomes clear during Dáil debate that full abortion access will not be legislated for or if there is no straight repeal question on the ballot in the upcoming referendum. [ Video ] [Audio]

Delete the 8th - no restrictive wordings

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The delaying is almost over and a date for a referendum to finally overturn the 8th amendment has almost been confirmed. But - as expected - the government are now publicly threatening to present a wording other than the one needed - a vote to remove the anti-choice Article 40.3.3.

The media are reporting that the government are instead trying to somehow present a referendum that would include the terms abortion could be accessed under. Essentially the overwhelmingly old, male and conservative government do not want to follow the recommendations given by the very body they set up to avoid such responsibility. The creation of the Citizens Assembly was clearly imagined by the government as a way a new, very restrictive, anti-choice regime could be created in the aftermath of the referendum and presented as ‘the people’s will’.

However it turned out when 100 random people heard weeks of expert testimony they decided the reasonable moderate position was the one where restrictions on pregnant people would be removed or at least minimised. To the anti-choice extremists in power this was unexpected, they were only willing to concede movement on the very edges of the extreme anti-choice laws under which pregnant people and doctors face a 14 year jail sentence.

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.

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.

It was the X-case which politicised me - and I'll march again on the 30th

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Choice is a political issue.  I emigrated to the UK in the 80’s and when I returned to Dublin it was the X-case which politicised me.  It was incomprehensible to me as a 23 year old that this young 14 year old girl who had been raped was not allowed to leave the country.  
 
I was not the only one who felt strongly about this, and there were massive marches asking for the young woman to be let go to the UK to have an abortion. That was 1992 [in the picture I am there holding the placard on the left]. I felt like I had to leave this place to come back and see it with new eyes, and see how dysfunctional it truly was, and remains. 

RTE outrageously reports 10s of thousands at so called 'March for Life'

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Saturday saw the annual anti-choice parade and yet again RTE reported a grossly inflated figure of the number marching.  They headlined it as ‘tens of thousands’ and in the body of the article quoted the organisers claiming 70,000 without further comment, appearing to endorse it.  As we are going to show below at the very least that’s a tenfold exaggeration, in fact by our count about 5300 people took part.  And while that estimate might be out by 10 or even 20% its physically impossible for it to be out by up to 1500% as that would require ten people too fit into a one meter square space.

We use the same counting methodologies (see below) for almost every demonstration that takes place in Dublin, from huge anti water charges protests to smaller but still significant ones on a huge range of issues.  We do these sorts of counts more than a dozen times a year.  We don’t always publicise the numbers we reach - organisers always tend to overestimate somewhat, most often guessing a figure that is twice what actually attended.  Generally we agree with what the demands of a demonstration are so we don’t want to appear to undermine it by publicly providing real numbers.  But we do count, we do use those counts internally in the WSM and we often communicate them directly to organisers. 

March for Repeal - watch entire march leave Parnell square - video

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March 8th 2017 and International Womens Day sees an enormous mobilisation in Dublin to demand repeal of the eight amendment to the Irish  Constitution.  Thousands of people blocked O’Connell street bridge as part of #Strike4Repeal and then in the evening 11,000 marched on the Dail.

Irish Times publishes manipulative poll days ahead of 8th of March ‘Strike for Repeal’ actions

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The Irish Times has yet again made an entirely cynical intervention in its bid to force its agenda on the campaign to get rid of the hated 8th Amendment.  This time in the form of an opinion poll constructed to reinforce the idea that abortion is a constitutional issue rather than a medical one.

Opinion polls using complex questions have become a common method of political manipulation in our time.  The method is simple, the questions are used to frame the way the subject considers the issue and so direct the answer they give.  That directed answer is then presented as some ‘objective truth’ discovered by the person or group who framed the question.  A poll that simply asks ‘Should women control their own bodies’ is liable to get one response, today’s poll that instead gives a long set of options around the degree women should be judged under law was designed to give another.

8 reasons to 'Strike for Repeal' this 8th March

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The WSM are supporting and taking part in the ‘Strike for Repeal’ events on March 8th, intended to demand the government stop stalling and introduce a referendum to repeal the hated 8th amendment that denies access to abortion.  We have been fighting Ireland’s anti-abortion access laws since the 1980’s, a period when they meant books and magazines were being banned because they had contact details for clinics in Britain.  We continue to demand that access to termination be an option to be decided on by a pregnant person as part of a free health service.  The 8th amendment should never have been introduced, the referendum to repeal it should be delayed no longer. 

What follows are 8 of the reasons to take part in ‘Strike for Repeal’ events near you Wednesday followed by links to all the Facebpok event notices across Ireland and elsewhere.

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