We will march for choice. Will you?

Date:

Ask yourself a question.

A relative, a friend, a neighbour, a co-worker or a stranger on a bus says to you that they were pregnant but exercised their right to choose and secured a termination. Would you then imprison them for 14 years? If you wouldn’t jail someone for exercising their right to choose, would you want to be associated in any way with their jailors?

If the answer to the above is ‘no’, then you might consider joining the 6th Annual March for Choice will take place in Dublin this Saturday, 30th September. We anarchists of the Workers Solidarity Movement will be assembling with thousands of other pro-choice people at the Garden of Remembrance on Parnell Square from 1.30pm, before we march on Dáil Éireann at 2pm.

We anarchists of the Workers Solidarity Movement think that access to abortion should be free, safe and legal. An anarchist society is one in which all people – men, women, trans* - are free to make choices about their own lives. This includes choices about whether or not to become pregnant, remain pregnant or to have children by any means.

Not yet an anarchist society, this island of ours has more than its fair share of religious organisations and individual bigots seeking to control people’s bodily autonomy. The history of Catholic and Protestant fundamentalism, North and South, has created a rigidly anti-choice regime, criminalising abortion in virtually all circumstances. Of course, there is no association between abortion’s legality and its incidence. Banning abortion does not stop the practice; it merely makes it more dangerous. Anti-choice politics boils down to power. If you can grab people by their genitals, their hearts and minds soon follow.

Ireland’s abortion laws deny the fundamental rights of people to live in dignity, to access healthcare, to self-determination and to avail of their rights without discrimination. Those seeking an abortion must carry the entire financial, practical and emotional burdens of doing so. Practically speaking, Irish women travelling abroad are likely to avail of the more invasive surgical rather than medical abortions as they cannot afford to remain near the clinic for 3-4 days. Irish women are also less likely to receive pre- and post-abortion medical and psychological care due to the time limitations and stigma.

The burden of anti-choice laws falls most heavily on minors, women on low incomes, as well as migrant women who are refused travel documents. Such women may not have the connections to access medial abortion pills and face difficulties finding the funds to cover the substantial cost of travelling abroad for an abortion. The Irish government is continuing to put these women at risk in its refusal to legislate for abortion access in this country.

So how will we respond?

We anarchist of the WSM will march for choice. We want to walk side-by-side with those who have exercised their right to choose. We want to demonstrate solidarity with those 4, 000 women who are forced to travel abroad for abortions every year. We want to demonstrate solidarity with all those who are denied their freedom to choose. We are the migrant who cannot afford to travel, the wife who cannot take time off work, the teen who is afraid to tell her parents. We want to say to them all ‘You are not alone’.

We will march for choice. Will you?

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