Protesters gather in Dublin to oppose Texas abortion law

Event takes place to coincide with hundreds of similar demonstrations across the US

Protesters gather on O’Connell Street   to demonstrate against the highly restrictive abortion law introduced in Texas. Photograph: Alan Betson

Protesters gather on O’Connell Street to demonstrate against the highly restrictive abortion law introduced in Texas. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Protesters gathered in Dublin on Saturday to demonstrate against the highly restrictive abortion law introduced in Texas.

The Irish protest took place to coincide with hundreds of similar demonstrations across the US.

The Texan law effectively bans abortion before some women know they are pregnant, and there are no exceptions in cases of rape or incest. Enforcement is solely left up to private citizens, who are entitled to at least $10,000 in damages if they are successful in suing not just abortion providers but anyone found to have helped a woman get an abortion.

A large crowd gathered on O’Connell Street on Saturday, with demonstrators carrying placards and signs sending support from “Dublin to Dallas”.

Ailbhe Smyth: ‘We understand your struggle. We know your fight. We are here to do whatever we can.’ Photograph: Alan Betson
Ailbhe Smyth: ‘We understand your struggle. We know your fight. We are here to do whatever we can.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

Women’s rights activist Ailbhe Smyth told the crowd that Irish people understand the fear many women in Texas are feeling.

“We understand your struggle. We know your fight. We are here to do whatever we can. We have been through it and we do not want it to happen again,” she said.

Ms Smyth called the Texan law an “absolute abomination” and accused Texas of creating a “citizen police state”.Ms Smyth said activists should not be “complacent” about the situation in Ireland.

“Maybe we do need to write bodily integrity and the right to it into our constitutions, into our human rights law,” she said.

Abortion rights campaigner Rita Harrold, said the crowed was sending solidarity to other protests in the US. She said people should not have to travel to access abortion. – PA