Over One Hundred Join London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign in St Patrick’s Day Parade

Over One Hundred Join London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign in St Patrick’s Day Parade

 

The London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign marched for a second year in the London St Patrick’s Day Parade today. The campaign was joined by over one hundred supporters celebrating Ireland’s courage to hold a referendum this year on introducing abortion services, and standing in solidarity with the 10 women a day who still travel from Ireland to Britain for an abortion.

 

This year’s St Patrick’s Day parade celebrated the success and contribution of Irish women to coincide with #BehindEveryGreatCity marking London's role in the women’s suffrage movement. The London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign’s parade entry, titled “Behind every great county …” included ambassadors carrying wooden cut outs in the shape of each of the 32 counties on the island of Ireland but also displaying the number of women from each county who have travelled to Britain for an abortion.

 

Maeve O Reilly of the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign said “I am so proud to be Irish today, proud to say that behind every great county in Ireland is a number we will no longer ignore and hopeful that the Irish abroad like those at the St Patrick’s Day parade will travel home to vote to repeal the 8th Amendment in May.”

 

Thousands lined the route to Trafalgar Square cheering the London-Irish group and shouting “Repeal the 8th.” Political figures sent their support to the campaign including Emily Thornberry, Shadow Foreign Secretary who said “As a woman of Irish heritage I am proud to lend my support to the campaign to give women north and south of the border proper access to abortion; it is a cause whose time has come.” Conservative MP Sir Peter Bottomley also sent his support saying, “it is good that Ireland is considering more humane law. In time l hope hearts and minds will open too in Northern Ireland.”

 

The London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign, a 1000 member strong group, is behind HometoVote.com calling on the Irish abroad who are eligible to vote to travel home to vote Yes in the referendum to repeal the 8th Amendment. Visit HometoVote.com for more information.

 

Notes:

1.     The London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign brings people in London together to campaign for free, safe, legal abortion services across the island of Ireland. We launched in September 2016, with a march to the Irish embassy to represent the 77 women a week who travel to England from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland for abortion services. We are now 1000 strong and represent the Irish and Northern Irish diaspora in London. We are a member of The Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment, a branch of the Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC), and work closely with Alliance for Choice.

 

2.     The Department of Health for England and Wales cites approximately 3,200 women who accessed an abortion using an Irish address in 2016.

 

3.     2,000 women a year in Ireland accessed abortion pills on line without any medical support, or counseling, or supervision.

 

4.     At present, women can only get the abortion pill online. This is a criminal offence, carrying a sentence of up to 14 years in prison.

 

5. In January Irish Health Minister Simon Harris read into the Dáil (parliament) record the number of people from each county who travelled to Britain for an abortion in 2016 saying, “These are not faceless women. They are our friends and neighbours, sisters, cousins, mothers, aunts, wives.”

 

 

Please contact Eleanor Kelly 07557900697  for further information

 

Hannah Little