Three Reasons Why I’m Marching for Choice
By Katherine Nesbitt
As someone who's been pro-choice since my teens, you might imagine that I’d have taken part in the March for Choice before. But I haven’t. Saturday will be my first time.
I’ll be heading to the Irish Embassy in London, to stand in solidarity with our friends in Dublin. I know how easy it can be to make excuses for not to go along to a march or rally, even when you’ve had the best of intentions. So to motivate us, I’ve written down my reasons for going, and why I think taking part is so important.
1. Because it’s easy:
Despite being on two working groups with the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign, to my shame I rarely make the meetings. I work freelance and my availability can be unpredictable. But by giving up a couple of hours on a Saturday, I can do my bit too. If you have other commitments, then don’t worry. There are other ways to support via social media (using the hashtag #205ktravelled), or you can donate to the cause. If you can’t find any pals to join you, then don’t worry - come and say hi to me. We’re a very friendly bunch and we’d be delighted to see you down there.
2. Because we’ll be seen and heard:
When we get together en masse, we are visible, audible and undeniable. It makes it hard for politicians to ignore us and shows people in Ireland, Northern Ireland and around the world that we all want free, safe, legal abortion for anyone who needs it. We will drawing 205,704 chalk markings on the pavement outside the Embassy; to make visible the 205,704 women who have travelled to Great Britain from Ireland (North and South) for terminations since the imposition of the Eighth Amendment in 1983.
3. Because it works:
This will be the sixth annual March for Choice in Dublin. With a referendum due next year – and a growing pro-choice campaign in Northern Ireland – we hope it will be the last. Peaceful and creative protest by this movement has brought us to this historic point. But there’s still a long way to go to ensure we don’t have to gather again in September 2018. At Stormont, officials are refusing to release a report on abortion completed last year. Across the border, Leo Varadkar has stated that he doesn’t believe the Irish public would support the Citizens Assembly’s recommendations. We think he’s wrong, so it’s crucial that we keep up the pressure.
London March for Choice: 205k Travelled takes place at the Irish Embassy at Grosvenor Place at 2pm on Saturday 30th September. Please, please, please come along.