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Today's March for Choice comes at a vital time for Ireland's abortion debate

It is the sixth annual march by the Abortion Rights Campaign.

Last year's marchers pass the Customs House in Dublin.
Last year's marchers pass the Customs House in Dublin.
Image: Sam Boal

TODAY’S ANNUAL MARCH For Choice is the sixth such march by the Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC) but its timing is probably the most significant to date.

In all likelihood this will be last annual march before next year’s referendum and organisers have placed the debate at the centre of today’s event, making the theme of the march “Time to Act”.

At a press-conference during the week, ARC again outlined that they are seeking a full repeal of the Eighth Amendment and not its replacement within the Constitution.

An Oireachtas committee is currently discussing the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly and have a Christmas deadline to deliver a report.

The government will then debate the contents of the report before deciding on the wording of the referendum, probably before the end of February.

At a press conference earlier this week, ARC spokesperson Linda Kavanagh said that the group will await the wording of the referendum before saying how they intend to campaign.

“We will reserve judgement on the announcement of a standalone referendum on the Eighth Amendment until we know the question that will be put to the people of Ireland,” Kavanagh told reporters.

“We have all waited long enough to finally be allowed to make decisions about our own bodies, it’s vital that the government get this right.”

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The organisers of today’s march say they are expecting about 30,000 people to attend.

The plan will see the marchers gather at Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance before a 2pm start that will see them make their way down O’Connell Street towards Leinster House.

Numerous campaigners will then deliver speeches to the assembled crowd.

Read: Second Dublin hotel cancels pro-life meeting after alleged death threats against staff >

Opinion: ‘This is not an abortion referendum, we need to stop calling it one’ >

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Rónán Duffy

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