Dublin pro-choice rally marks ABC case


Saturday 18th December saw activists from a number of pro-choice organizations including the WSM rally at the GPO in Dublin to mark the European Court of Human Rights ruling in the ABC case. The short rally which took place in the bitter cold had been called at just over 24 hours notice by the Feminist Open Forum but still attracted a few dozen activists who have been involved in campaigning against Ireland's ban on abortion in the last decades.

Shortly after the rally there was a gathering of anti-choice bigots at the office of the Irish Family Planning Association up the road from the GPO. The IFPA had supported the three women known as ABC in their case to the European Court of Human Rights. Anti-choice organizations have spent tens if not hundreds of thousands in advertising campaigns in the run up to the decision being announced but despite this they only mobilized roughly the same number as the FoF had pulled out at little over 24 hours notice.  

Angela Nagle has calculated that the You.Me.Everybody billboard campaign run by one such organisation may have cost as much as 200,000.  Quite whether those who finance the ads in the US are aware of just how ineffective their donations are at mobilising anti-choice bigots in Ireland are is unknown but at that sort of rate very much more people would have been 'mobilized' by paying 1,000 euro an hour to random people willing to be seen in public holding such offensive anti-woman material.

The anti-choice rally then went to the GPO where they lined the pavement with their traditional gory placards and shouted slogans directed against the IFPA in particular. It was noticeable that many passing shoppers were horrified by their presence and one young women went so far as to buy paper and markers to mount a one person counter demonstration with a placard that said 'When I was raped at the age of 18 my worry was that I wouldn't have the money to travel to England.' As their gathering broke up a significant number of the anti-choice bigots wandered down the street to take part in a Legion of Mary rally.

WORDS: Andrew

WSM coverage of ABC ruling