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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 21 February, 2019
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Pro-choice march today will call for abortion referendum

The Abortion Rights Campaign says that the eighth amendment to the constitution passed 30 years ago is out of date.

Pro-choice protesters during the debate on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.
Pro-choice protesters during the debate on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

PRO-CHOICE CAMPAIGNERS will take to the streets today of Dublin today saying that no women of childbearing age in Ireland have had a chance to vote on the the eight amendment to the constitution which granted an equal right to life to the unborn.

The Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC), Catholics for Choice and numerous other pro-choice groups will march from the Garden of Remembrance to Merrion Square.

They will speak about what they term the “inadequate legislation” passed by the Oireachtas in July permitting abortion in circumstances of the threat to the life of the mother.

“We don’t want people to become complacent, “says Sarah Malone of the ARC. “This is very restrictive legislation and only provides abortion to a woman who will literally die if she does not receive one.”

There are still 12 women every day travelling to the UK to access medical care that the should be getting in their own country but they can’t because of our laws. We need to repeal that amendment to our constitution so that we can give women equality in our healthcare.

The ARC are also holding an exhibition at the Exchange in Temple Bar in Dublin which they say aims to remove the stigma surrounding those who have had to travel for a termination.

Malone says that those on the pro-life side who feared that the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act would lead to abortion being available on a wider scale have no foundation to their concerns because of constitutional protections that can only be overturned by a referendum.

“The only way that laws can be liberalised even further is if people decide that’s what they would like. So what they’re afraid of is the democratic process in Ireland,” she said.

The ‘March for Choice’ meets at the Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square at 2pm.

Read: Abortion laws may not commence until next year >

Read: Mater Hospital says it will comply with new abortion laws >

Explainer: What will Ireland’s new abortion law change? >

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Rónán Duffy

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