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Friday 9 December 2016

‘It’s torture, women will die’- Thousands take to the street in protest of the 8th Amendment

Published 24/09/2016 | 16:23

Protestors taking part in the Repeal the 8th march. Picture; Gerry Mooney.
Protestors taking part in the Repeal the 8th march. Picture; Gerry Mooney.
The Repeal the 8th march makes its way past the National Maternity Hospital on Holles Street. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Protesters taking part in the Repeal the 8th march. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Protesters taking part in the Repeal the 8th march. Picture; Gerry Mooney
The Repeal the 8th march on Merrion Square Picture; Gerry Mooney

Tens of thousands of men, women and children from across Ireland marched the streets of Dublin today in protest of the 8th Amendment.

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More than 20 protests took place across eleven countries around the world supporting Ireland's March for Choice today.

Despite the rain and bus strikes thousands showed up at the protest chanting "Enda give us a referenda" and "keep your rosaries off our ovaries".

Singer Hozier and actor Cillian Murphy were among the celebrities who marched to show their support.

Paula Montesveoca from Belfast attended the march as she said Northern Ireland and the Republic are in solidarity about repealing the 8th Amendment.

“We came from Belfast to support the Repeal the 8th march because we have a similar situation in Northern Ireland. We represent minority ethic women and it’s so different for us because in our home countries we can decide about our bodies and it’s a shock for us,” she said.

Protesters taking part in the Repeal the 8th march. Picture; Gerry Mooney.
Protesters taking part in the Repeal the 8th march. Picture; Gerry Mooney.

Maria Lorenco from Belfast said Ireland's strict abortion laws have huge consequences for immigrants living in Ireland.

“Give us our human rights to control our bodies. There is an immigration issue here too because women who come from different countries can’t travel to the UK with restricted visas and so can’t go to the UK to have an abortion. If you are a non-EU citizen the cost would be twice or three times more expensive than if you were an EU citizen. It’s torture.

Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia
Sydney
Marchers in Nepal
Cambodian protesters
Marchers in rotterdam, Netherlands
South Korea
A march in Brussels, Belgium
London, England
Berlin, Germany
Glasgow protesters

“The government are going to have to listen. All these women here fighting and we’re going to continue to fight. It’ll take time but we’ll get there,” she said.

Patrick Martin from Dublin said he remembers the 1983 referendum on abortions and said he's "deeply saddened" that Ireland hasn't progressed.

“I’m old enough to remember the 1983 referendum and it was a terribly cruel campaign. It’s so sad that we’re here today in 2016. It’s cruel and viscous,” he said.

“The law is forcing people to travel, that’s it. It doesn’t stop abortions. Sadly I don’t think the Government will listen. They seem to have other prioritises and it’s awful. Women will die but they won’t listen. We’ll march until they do but I’m pessimistic about this government."

Paul Higgins from Dublin said he hopes this Government will listen to the protesters.

“I find it quite sad that we’re here this year and we were here last year. I hope we don’t have to keep coming year after year after year,” said Paul.

The Repeal the 8th march makes its way past the GPO. Picture; Gerry Mooney
The Repeal the 8th march makes its way past the GPO. Picture; Gerry Mooney

Jean, who is a mother of six said women shouldn't have parenthood forced on them.

“As a parent of six you need to want to have a child. It’s a lifetime job. It needs to be a choice you can make in your own country. It’s a not paid, undervalued job. Women should have the choice to be a parent,” said Jean who's two sons Ronan and Jude wore 'I'm a wanted child' sign.

The March for Choice also generated support online with people calling for the repeal of the 8th Amendment.

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