Source: Sam Boal

PHOTOS: Large crowds take to the streets of Dublin for this year's March for Choice

This is the first March for Choice since Ireland enacted abortion legislation in December.
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Large crowds of people walking down O'Connell Street in Dublin for the eighth annual March for Choice

Source: Sam Boal

A LARGE CROWD has turned out on the streets of Dublin this afternoon for the March for Choice, which has been organised by pro-choice groups. 

This is the first March for Choice since Ireland enacted abortion legislation in December. 

President Michael D Higgins signed the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill into law, making abortion services legal in Ireland, on 20 December. 

The Act allows for terminations of pregnancy up to 12 weeks. It also provides for terminations where there is a risk to the life or a serious risk to the health of the pregnant woman. 

Women who have been given a diagnosis of fatal foetal abnormalities are now be able to legally avail of early termination of pregnancy in the hospital they are being treated in. 

Today, ‘No one left behind’ is the Abortion Rights Campaign’s message. 

Crowds making their way down O'Connell Street during today's demonstration

Source: Sam Boal

A woman holds up a sign reading 'No one left behind' during today's march

Source: Sam Boal

This year marks the eighth annual March for Choice in Dublin

Source: Sam Boal

Speaking ahead of the march, Mara Clake of the Abortion Support Network said that the group hears from people “in dire straits”. 

“People who have just missed the 12 week cut off, including people who couldn’t get a scanning appointment in time, who were led astray by rogue agencies, or whose medication abortion failed,” she said. 

Spokesperson for the Migrants and Asylum Seekers Association of Ireland, Bulelani Mfaco, also said some migrants and refugees who arrive in Ireland “may be too scared or disorientated to ask right away for an abortion”. 

The ARC said it was also marching today for the people of Northern Ireland. 

If Stormont does not resume before 21 October, abortion may be decriminalised in the North. 

“We are currently the only part of these islands without free, safe and legal abortion access but that is going to change very soon,” Danielle Roberts of Alliance for Choice Belfast said.

The March for Choice kicked off at the Garden of Remembrance today at 2pm and finished at Merrion Square. 

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