Wednesday 24 October 2018

Pro choice activists call a local strike for repeal

Pro-choice activists are demanding that the Irish Government call a referendum to Repeal the Eighth amendment by the 8th of March, if not they are calling on the people of Ireland to strike.

The strike which coincides with International Women's Day will not be an industrial strike in the traditional sense but can include taking an annual leave day off work, refraining from domestic work for the day, wearing black in solidarity or staging a walkout during lunch break.

The movement is inspired by women in Poland, who downed tools last October, refused to perform domestic chores and wore black in a successful campaign against the tightening of abortion laws there.

Various groups in support of the Pro-choice movement have signed on to support the strike including the local Sligo Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC).

Denise O'Toole Convener of Repeal the 8th Sligo ARC a regional branch of the National ARC is calling on the citizens of Sligo to support the cause:"We are participating in this strike in solidarity with pro-choice groups, activists and the overwhelming majority of people in Ireland who want access to abortion expanded and abortion decriminalised," said Denise.

"There has been a growing movement nationwide to Repeal the 8th, it is far from a Dublin based campaign as has been claimed; these claims are now easily refuted by seeing us out on the streets providing factual information in person every month in Sligo supported by our friends, families and the general public," she added.

On the day a 'To the beach" action will assemble at Strandhill at 2pm. It is a a solidarity gathering which will include symbolically sending messages in bottles to the Irish government.

"They are not listening to voices of women who have experienced abortion and in the process have been put under serious financial and mental pressure due to having to access health care in other countries far from home and often alone," added Denise.

A spokeswoman for the Pro Life Campaign in Sligo, Sile Quinlan said: "The #Strike4Repeal is just the latest in a long line of cheap stunts that are designed to garner publicity for the campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment, at the expense of real debate and any consideration for the health of women.

"Women who are facing unplanned pregnancy need the kind of support that will help them to identify ways in which they can keep their unborn child and not end his or her life while exposing themselves to the mental and psychological risks that abortion carries for every woman," she added.

38 women left Sligo in 2015 to avail of Legal Abortion services in the UK, according to statistics given by the UK Department of Health.

It is believed that at least 10 women and girls travel each day to the UK to access abortion services.

In the first month of 2017 approximately seventy women a week left Ireland to have an abortion with many of those from rural areas.

Sligo Champion