Pro-Choice groups and individuals from across Limerick and neighbouring Clare have come together to organise a demonstration in Limerick city to coincide with the National Strike 4 Repeal Movement, which takes place on March 8th.
Strike 4 Repeal is a campaign based on non-traditional strike actions for human rights. People are being asked to: take the day off work, forgo domestic labour, wear black in solidarity and attend a demonstration in their area. The Strike 4 Repeal movement is demanding that the Irish Government call a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment by March 8th. If not, Ireland will strike.
The Limerick demonstration will take place on International Women’s Day, Wednesday, March 8th at 2pm on Bedford Row. The event will be child friendly, with entertainment and food along with speakers from Pro-Choice organisations. The organisations include: AIMS Ireland, Limerick Feminist Network, Limerick Pro-Choice, Abortion Rights Campaign Clare and ROSA.
Commenting on the event Yvonne Murphy, founder of the Limerick Feminist Network said “The Strike 4 Repeal movement is so important because it is bringing together people from all walks of life who have one common goal; that all people of Ireland have full reproductive rights and full bodily autonomy. It is 2017, we shouldn’t have to keep asking for these basic human rights, but momentum is growing and we won’t stop until we get them.”
AIMS Ireland Secretary Sinéad Redmond, said, “AIMS Ireland support repeal of the 8th amendment both in terms of needing abortion access within the maternity services, as is the case in almost every other country in the EU, but also as it impacts on the denial of bodily autonomy in continued pregnancy and birth. The 8th amendment needs to go to ensure not only that we can access abortion services where we live when we need to, but also so that we and only we have the final say on what is done to our bodies in continued pregnancy and in birth.”
Sarah McCarthy, Limerick Pro-Choice activist had this to say, “Everyday, 12 people in Ireland have to travel to another country to access basic medical care. Many of them will have to take at least the day off work, many will have to find someone to look after their children, all of them face the burden of being exported by a government who prefers to pretend they don’t exist. The Strike 4 Repeal action highlights the immense contribution those in Ireland make to a society that still treats them as second-class citizens.”
Eilis Murphy from Abortion Rights Campaign Clare went on to share her reason for taking part in the action, “In 2015, 598 women in Munster were forced to travel to the UK for an abortion. Many more bought abortion pills online. We are striking in solidarity with them – and the many others who could not afford access to an abortion.”
Final speaker Aprille Scully from ROSA commented, “It has been nearly five years since Savita Halapanavar died. Today, the same situation could occur because the 8th amendment has still not been repealed. We cannot and will not allow the government to continue to ignore our calls for a referendum and allow women’s lives and health to be compromised. That is why radical, militant action is necessary.”