Thousands march across globe to repeal Ireland’s strict abortion laws (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)
Tens of thousands of people have marched in Dublin, Ireland demanding a repeal of the country’s restrictive abortion laws on Saturday, with solidarity marches taking place in London, New York, the Hague, Kathmandu and Wellington.
Ireland is seen as having some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world, largely because of its history as a staunchly Catholic country.
The rain did little to dampen the spirits of the impressive turnout which gathered at Dublin’s north inner city and snaked its way to the Dail, home to the Irish parliament.
Irish humor was on full display, despite the seriousness of the gathering.
Midwives, doctors, lawyers and people from various professions turned out to show their support for the need to address Ireland’s abortion laws.
The 'Repeal the 8th' movement has breathed life into the decades long debate surrounding abortion in Ireland.
Protesters are calling for a repeal of the 1983 Eighth Amendment to the Irish constitution which gave the life of an unborn child equal rights to that of the mother.
Under laws introduced in 2013, only when a pregnancy endangers a woman's life can an abortion be performed, with at least two physicians required to concur on the need for the procedure.
If a woman may die from physical illness as a result of a medical emergency, then only a single physician is required to make the decision to perform an abortion.
The procedure is not an accepted medical practice, however, in cases of rape, incest or fatal fetal abnormalities.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights ruled in June that some of the country’s citizens have been “subjected to discrimination and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” as a result of Ireland’s abortion prohibition laws.
We #marchforchoice because 54% of those accessing abortion are already parents, who make decisions in the best interests of their families— Parents for Choice (@parents_4choice) September 24, 2016
The campaign has prompted massive social media support as young and old come together to challenge Ireland’s Eighth Amendment.
March for Choice protests were organized in 25 locations in 13 countries on Saturday.
In London, 77 Irish women marched with suitcases to represent the roughly 10 Irish women who travel to the UK each day for abortion procedures.
The movement has been met with strong opposition from those who oppose abortion, often referred to as being pro-life.
Abortion campaigners do not wish to invoke an “abortion for all” system, but one that allows a woman to have options surrounding the autonomy of her own body.