Bronagh Waugh: Why I'm marching in the St Patrick's Day Parade the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign

bronaghwaigh londonirishabortionrightscampain nowforni

Bronagh Waugh explains why she is joining the london-irish abortion rights campaign in the london St Patrick’s day parade. Bronagh, an actor from Northern Ireland, is commonly known for her characters in The Fall and Hollyoaks.

It is an honour to March alongside the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign this St Patrick's Day for a cause that is incredibly personal to me.

Northern Ireland remains the only country in the United Kingdom where abortion is still illegal. We are forced to travel, forced to find funds in crisis. We are treated like second class citizens and forced to wear our shame silently. Children as young as 12 are forced to seek an abortion elsewhere and travel. Even in cases of rape, incest & foetal abnormality, we are still forced to travel.

Women are being treated like criminals because they have had to seek abortion pills online. Abortion will happen whether people like it or not. Is it not time we made it free, safe and legal in N Ireland and end the stigma?

The British government has the power to make legislative change but because they are being propped up by 10 members of the DUP (Deomcratic Unionist Party), they continue to ignore us and ignore our human rights. If we are to be a part of the United Kingdom then we must be afforded the same basic human rights as everyone else in the UK.

We have now not had a government for 2 years in Northern Ireland, breaking a world record. During this time our rights have been denied and ignored both with access to free, safe & legal abortion and with the denial of marriage equality for our LGBTQ citizens. With Stormont collapsed, the British government has the power to right these wrongs and pass laws to legalise abortion and equal marriage and there is wide cross-party support for it. Stella Creasy MP (to name just one)has been fantastic and worked tirelessly to campaign for women's rights in Northern Ireland in parliament and we are so grateful to her and the other MPs that have supported reform.

We're marching on Sunday to try and get as many other people to come out and support us. Please join us, bring your family, bring your friends, help us end the stigma and shame and fight for change.

This year's St Patrick's Day parade starts at Piccadilly at midday on Sunday, March 17th. If you're interested in walking with the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign, Bronagh Waugh, Niamh McGrady and Siobháin McSweeney you can find more details here

Hannah Little