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(en) wsm.ie: #STRIKE4REPEAL DEMANDS THE REPEAL OF THE 8TH AMENDMENT
Wed, 12 Apr 2017 13:32:57 +0300
The WSM supported and took part in the recent ‘Strike4Repeal' on International Women's Day
(March 8th). The Strike's purpose was to demand that the government stop stalling and
introduce a referendum to repeal the hated 8th Amendment that denies access to abortion.
The Strike was hugely successful, resulting in an enormous, energetic mobilization, which
peaked at lunchtime to block off O'Connell St. bridge and shutdown Dublin city centre.
---- We anarchists of the WSM have been fighting Ireland's anti-abortion access laws since
the 1980's, a period when books and magazines were being banned because they had contact
details for clinics in Britain. We continue to demand that access to termination be an
option to be decided on by a pregnant person as part of a free health service.
The struggle to repeal the 8th amendment continues.
Here are 8 reasons why it should never have been introduced, and the referendum to repeal
it should be delayed no longer:
1. World-Class Tyranny
Ireland has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world more so than places
like Syria and Afghanistan. Only Malta is more restrictive within the EU.
2. Democracy & Equality
No woman of childbearing age has been allowed to have a say in her reproductive rights.
The last vote was in 1983. This country claims to be democratic yet denies women basic
medical services and control of their bodies. In the Irish law a woman's life is equal to
the foetus. This is not equality.
Up to 12 women a day travel abroad for an abortion but not every woman can travel. Migrant
women and asylum seekers, women with disabilities, minors and predominantly working-class
women are discriminated against here. The abortion ban only increases class divides and
helps to perpetuate the cycle of poverty.
4. Abortion Pills
The other option is to use abortion pills but it is illegal to obtain them, and
increasingly pills are being seized by customs. Women who take them are at risk of being
reported to the police if they have complications or need follow up care.
5. Trans, Non-Binary, & Intersex people
Trans men, non-binary people and some inter-sex people need access to abortion too. For
some trans men, being forced to carry a pregnancy to term (or at all) is in serious
conflict with their identity as men and can be traumatic as it forces them to do something
with their bodies that feels alien to them. Trans people are practically invisible in
Irish law and their struggle for bodily autonomy is a part of the struggle for
If a woman is raped in this country and is caught having an abortion she will do more time
in prison than her rapist. A woman faces a jail sentence of 14 years if she has an
abortion whereas the maximum jail term for rapists is 10 years. Women who are raped are
not entitled to abortions and face the trauma of being blamed for assault by a sexist
police which assumes that it's a woman's responsibility not to get raped (i.e. don't wear
the wrong clothes, don't drink too much, don't go out alone, etc.)
7. Fatal Foetal Abnormality
A woman is not allowed to have an abortion in Ireland even in cases of Fatal Foetal
Abnormality. Instead Ireland offers prenatal hospices where women can wait out their
pregnancies as they wait for the foetus to slowly die inside them. Moreover, unless the
pregnancy itself is a direct threat to the mother's life she may not have an abortion and
can be refused treatment for other conditions if it threatens the health of the foetus.
Pregnant women with cancer have been refused both abortion and chemotherapy at a doctor's
8. Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy against her will has been called ‘cruel, inhumane and
degrading' by the UN Committee on Human Rights. Abortion is legal in Ireland only if there
is a high risk of death to the woman. Suicide is grounds for an abortion but the woman has
to be assessed by up to 6 doctors. These doctors have the power to decide if a woman will
be allowed an abortion. These doctors must be HSE approved and this panel only includes 1
psychiatrist. And the Ms.Y case has proven that the ‘protection of life' provision offers
no protection at all to suicidal women.
More on Strike4Repeal
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