So you’ve seen people wearing the REPEAL jumpers, you’ve seen the stickers, the graffiti, the weekly news articles, the television debates, the Facebook statuses. But you’re still a bit clueless as to what it all means. Here are the basics.
What does Repeal mean?
When people refer to Repeal, they mean the repeal of the 8th amendment of the Irish constitution. What is the 8th you ask? The 8th amendment is a constitutional ban on abortion under all circumstances, except for when the pregnant persons life is in danger.
This makes abortion not only illegal, but it also criminalises those who have an abortion in Ireland. This so called crime is punishable by a 14 year prison sentence. Therefore, those who sport the Repeal clothing are in favour of having this amendment removed from the constitution by a referendum. People in favour of repeal, pro-choice people, support the idea of a *woman’s right to choose.
How the Repeal movement effects you
You probably know someone, or have heard of someone, who went to the UK to have an abortion. This person is not alone. 12 women a day travel from Ireland to access abortion abroad. As well as this, 3 women a day order abortion pills online from doctor led websites such as womenonweb.org. Working class women, students, migrant women, women who already have children, sick women etc can’t afford the €3,000 expense that comes with travelling abroad for an abortion, and so will risk the 14 year prison sentence. Not only is this a direct gender issue, it is also a social class issue. We shouldn’t be forced to land ourselves in financial debt or risk a prison sentence to access basic health care.
I support Repeal. Now what?
If you think women should have total control of their own bodies, without interference from the State or Church, then congratulations. You are in favour of Repeal. There are many ways you can get involved in the Repeal campaign. It can be something as simple as changing your Facebook profile picture, sharing an article like this to help spread awareness on the issue, attend the annual March for Choice or even join your local campaign group to become actively involved in the fight for choice.
So that’s it! Now you know what those black and white jumpers mean. They’re pretty stark in appearance but it accurately reflects the disturbing reason why the Repeal movement exists: we still have to campaign for basic human rights in the 21st century. We must remind the State and the Church that women are people and we deserve to have a choice. Women’t can’t wait, Repeal the 8th!
(*Women is interchangeable with pregnant person.)
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