Protesters take to streets to demand repeal of eighth amendment
Published 21/08/2014 | 02:30
Protesters in Dublin joined people in London, Berlin and Auckland, New Zealand in taking to the streets to highlight the treatment of a teenage rape victim at the centre of an abortion controversy.
An estimated 3,000 people descended on O'Connell Street at 6pm yesterday, where a number of pro-choice groups also called for an urgent referendum to repeal the eighth amendment, which bans abortion.
Spokesperson for Choice Ireland Sinead Ahern said it remains "unclear" whether an appeals process was made available to the woman, # whose child was born by caesarean section on Wednesday August 6.
"It is unclear whether an appeals process was made available to her, or the grounds on which an order for her hydration was made by the courts once she went on hunger strike.
"The treatment of this woman at the hands of the state has been deplorable."
Protester Suzanne Lee (26) said she was forced to seek out the abortion pill in the North after she became pregnant in a previous relationship and could not afford to travel to England in order to have an abortion. "This legislation is the worse possible legislation that could have come into effect. Why is our government regulating our bodies? Why does our government have a say in this?" she said.
Vice president for equality and citizenship with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) Annie Hoey said: "We believe a woman has a right to make decisions about her own life and her own well-being. We don't think that men in suits, or people up in Government should be making decisions about what is right for an individual woman at any point in her life. The only way forward is to repeal the eighth amendment."
The groups will stage a second demonstration on O'Connell Street on Saturday at 2pm.