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whistle-stop tour

'We'll do whatever it takes to change this' - Abortion pill bus arrives in Dublin

The bus was delivering abortion pills to women in Galway, Limerick, Cork and Dublin.

Video / YouTube

THE ‘ABORTION PILL Bus’ has arrived in Dublin and pro-choice campaigners have vowed that they will succeed in their campaign to repeal the eighth amendment.

The bus has been delivering illegal abortion pills to women across the country since yesterday and a rally was held today outside Dublin’s Central Bank this afternoon.

The Socialist Party’s Ruth Coppinger TD spoke at today’s rally and said that the bus was about making the best of a “bloody bad situation”.

“We don’t want to be organising remote dialogues and consultations with doctors as we’ve been accused of doing,” she said.

“This is the best of a bloody bad situation, because we have in existence a disgraceful, barbaric law.”

Somebody should be able to go to a doctor, have a consultation, get it prescribed and ultimately it’s their own decision to go to the chemist and take it in the comfort of their own home, knowing that they won’t be criminalised.


Video / YouTube

The bus arrived at about 4pm this afternoon with supporters chanting, “not the church, not the State, women must decide their fate.”

The group was in Galway and Limerick yesterday and in Cork and Dublin today.

They say that women with unwanted pregnancies can access pills on the bus after completing a Skype consultation with doctors from Dutch pro-choice group Women on Web.

Coppinger says that many of the women who’ve contacted them simply cannot afford to travel to the UK for an abortion:

We’ve been contacted by many women. I got a message myself through my Facebook page from a woman who said she’d booked an abortion in Cardiff on Monday morning but she now does not have money to pay for that abortion. And she said please could she access our service.

“That’s the profile of the women who are contacting us, most of these women can’t raise the money,” Coppinger added.

Slack for iOS Upload Ailbhe Smyth, convener of the coalition to Repeal the Eighth. / Nicky Ryan / Nicky Ryan / Nicky Ryan

The deputy labelled a counter-protest in Galway yesterday as “shocking and disgraceful” for claiming to protect women’s health in the city where Savita Halappanavar died.

Ailbhe Smyth, convener of the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment, lamented that 40 years after the ‘condom train’ to Belfast, Irish women are still campaigning for reproductive rights.

“An abortion is an everyday reality and fact for women’s lives,” she said.

We do not have our full reproductive rights and we want specifically the right to choose our decisions about our own reproductive bodies, we don’t want our bodies controlled and policed by the State any longer.

“We are prepared to take buses, to take trains, to take helicopters, to put up balloons. We are prepared to do whatever it takes to change this.”

- With reporting from Nicky Ryan

Read: Pro-choice campaigners take ‘abortion pill bus’ across Ireland >

Read: ‘In Ireland, Helen would go to jail’: Graham Linehan speaks of wife’s abortion after fatal foetal diagnosis >

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