Gender

Reduced numbers at 2019 March for Choice after referendum win but a big fight is coming in 2021

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The 2019 annual March for Choice in Dublin was smaller than the previous two marches as many assumed the abortion referendum that Repealed the hated 8th amendment had settled the issue.  In fact the legislation brought in by the Fine Gael government in the months after the referendum left some groups behind, in particular migrants and forces everyone to go through a medically useless 3 day waiting period.  Despite being warned about this and other issues including the trans exclusive language Fine Gael went ahead with the flawed legislation so some still have to travel and not everyone has the papers or resources to be able to do so.  The legislation is up for review in 2021 and the anti-choice organisations are gearing up to try and roll back the legislation, the pro-choice movement needs to not only stop them doing so but needs to try and force whoever is in power to remove the flaws in the legislation. [Video]

 

Ode to ARC - a video love story

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To mark International Women's Day 2019 we are releasing this video that celebrates the grassroots womens organising responsible for victory in the 2018 abortion referendum.  We'd heard the text at the ARC Christmas party and immediately felt it would make a fantastic video, hopefully you will agree.  The authors introduction is below, we've also recorded a background interview with her about the campaign which gets further into the grassroots organising themes expressed in the video, see link at end.

The author Mary writes "On International Womens Day two years ago we gathered on O'Connell  Bridge and in towns all around Ireland as part of Strike 4 Repeal, demanding that the government call a referendum on the 8th amendment. On International Womens Day last year, we marched under the banner of Votes for Repeal. We had a proposed referendum date, the structure of a campaign, energy, commitment and determination. But the result was far from certain. On International Womens Day this year, Ireland is free of the 8th amendment. Barriers to access remain and the work of ensuring free, safe, legal and local abortion care for everyone who wants and needs it continues. But we are in a place we did not think we would be a few short years ago. We have moved out from under the shadow of the 8th. We got here through collective action, hard compromises, exhaustion, friendship, compassion, determination and grit.

Was winning the Repeal referendum inevitable?

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The vote to remove the ban on abortion from the Irish constitution in May 2018 was overwhelmingly carried, with almost 2 out of every 3 voters voting Yes remove the ban. The margin of victory was such that some post-referendum polemics made the mistake of arguing that victory was always inevitable, that the campaign didn’t matter. Such arguments tended to be made by opinion writers who never liked the Repeal campaign and in some cases published pieces during the campaign arguing that unless whatever aspect they disliked was dropped the referendum would be lost.

WSM marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women at their strategy gathering

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The WSM took some time out from our future directions discussions session at Cloughjordan eco village over the week to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Video - all of 2018 March for Choice as it passes down the Dublin quays

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This video shows all of the 2018 March for Choice pass down the quays in Dublin.  This year we had won the refrendum but much is left to fight for in terms of the details of the legislation and standing down the inevotable anti-choice attempts that will be made once the lefislation comes in to intimidate doctors,  as welll as women and pregnant who will finally be able to access free, safe and legal abortion in Ireland. [video]

Moral philosophy and abortion

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The debate around abortion is sometimes characterised as an opposition between the morals of the church and personal morals. But is this an accurate description? Moral philosophy can broadly be defined as the branch of philosophy that contemplates what is right and wrong. It explores the nature of morality and examines how people should live their lives in relation to others. But a closer look at what characterises moral philosophy leads to the conclusion that while the expression “relying on personal morals” may come across as a useful shortcut to describe what the pro-choice stance is about, it is also a misuse of moral terminology which has the effect of casting a positive light on moral philosophy, rather than helping us come to terms with the deeply problematic nature of this field. As I hope to make clear, arguments in favour of abortion rights are rooted in anti-authoritarianism whereas moral philosophy can only exist as a rhetorical tool of authoritarianism (even when it is used with good intentions).

MERJ launch Reproductive rights of migrants and ethnic minorities in Ireland

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Last night we were at the launch of ‘We’ve come a long way; Reproductive rights of migrants and ethnic minorities in Ireland.’ The books a collection of 16+ pieces by authors from migrant or ethnic minority backgrounds living in Ireland written in the context of the successful decades long struggle to Repeal the 8th Amendment.

 

How my politics is intersectional - audio from panel at 2018 #DABF

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Panel from the 2018 Dublin Anarchist bookfair on the intersection between race politics, class and gender in Ireland with a particular focus on the current housing struggles and the Together for Yes referendum campaign / Repeal movement. [audio]

Processions in Belfast sees large pro-choice bloc

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Sunday 10th June saw Processions2018 take place in Belfast and three other UK cities to commemorate some women winning the vote 100 years ago.

The Belfast event saw quite a large pro-choice bloc under the Alliance for Choice banner which comprised more than half of the entire event. Calls were made for reproductive justice and choice to be enacted in the north.

UK Supreme Court says north ban on abortion "incompatible" with Human Rights

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Somewhat good news in the struggle for abortion provision in the north, the courts may refuse to act but grassroots activists are taking to the streets on Sunday. Pressure continues to build following the successful Repeal campaign in the south to introduce abortion law reform north of the border. Join Alliance for Choice as part of the Processions march on June 10th, Titanic Slipways at 12 noon.

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