Thousands of people took to the roads to demonstrate for and against abortion in Dublin on Saturday. The annual march called for the protection of the “8th Amendment”, a constitution which prohibits and criminalizes pregnancy termination, which includes termination with abortion pills and surgery as well. The event ‘rally for life’ witnessed thousands of anti-choice supporters vacationing for the eighth amendment to be preserved.
This follows after the current Taoiseach’s announcements about a referendum that will be held on the abortive issue at some point in the next year, 2018.
The march was organized by various prominent anti-abortion groups.
Pro-choice supporters counter-rallied
Pro-choice groups which are in favor of repealing the 8th Amendment also organized a counter-rally at the Spire on O’Connell Street. The pro-choice groups had organized a column on the either side of the streets, which the march passed through.
Campaigners from each side exchanged slogans and chants while the gardai helped to maintain peace in between both the sides. It was estimated that around more 200 people had joined the pro-choice demonstration on Saturday.
Repeal or Protect
After five weekends of meetings, the assembly members chose that the Article 40.3.3 of the constitution should not be retained wholly and should be amended or replaced.
The assembly suggested that article should be exchanged with a constitution facility explicitly lawfully permitting the Oireachtas to lay down the law in order to discuss the abortion issue.
Members also called for the decriminalization of abortion, which includes the use of abortion pills, i.e. Mifepristone and Misoprostol, and the recognition and protection of women’s’ reproductive rights and bodily autonomy.
These recommendations will now be debated by the cross-committee party with a referendum expected to be next year.
These demonstrators – on the both side of the fences, told local news why they were inspired to come to the rally. Among a sea of pro-choice supporters was one 22-year-old Californian who commented that she had a personal abortion story to share. She had an abortion at just sixteen years old and being in California made her option of getting the pregnancy terminated easier due to access. Due to the lack of such services, many are forced to travel or buy abortion pills online, in Ireland and seeing the plight of the young unwantedly pregnant Irish women, she decided to carry on her protests in the Dublin City Center.
Traffic delays were as expected in the city center as the march made its way from Parnell Square to the Merion Square.
This march follows after when thousands of pro-choice campaigners marched throughout the city, two weeks ago.