‘Trust women to make the right choice’ pro-choice protesters say

Women and men from the Repeal the 8th rally share why they got involved with the march

Bad weather and bus strikes didn't deter thousands turning out for the fifth annual March for Choice rally in Dublin.

 

Rain and lack of public transport did not deter tens of thousands of people taking to the streets of Dublin calling for the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution to be repealed.

Some of the activists in the crowd spoke to The Irish Times to share why they had taken part in the demonstration.

Amy De Bhrun, Castleknock, Dublin

“I just think that women should have the right to choose. It doesn’t mean that you have to go and have an abortion, but I just feel like everyone has the right to choose what’s right for them.

I’ve had experiences in my family with fatal foetal abnormalities, and I just think that people should just have the choice.

People are doing it anyways, people are going across the water so I think it should be in all cases and just let the individual choose.

I’m sure there will be some pretty intense conversations but I think everybody’s coming from a point of people’s rights and being good and kind and sound.”

Tomás Heneghan (24), Galway

“The thing that really pushed me to get involved in pro-choice activism is when Savita Halappanavar died and that became a big story. Since then I’ve been going to every event I could.

It’s always been popular, but quietly popular behind closed doors. But now it’s people out on the street wearing repeal jumpers, that seems to be a major thing here. People are more open online and more willing to discuss things.

I don’t think the Citizens Assembly is the right place to deal with this, I think it needs to be a lot faster but I think [repeal of the Eighth Amendment] could realistically happen in the next two years.

I think once it’s put through a referendum it will be repealed, after that I don’t know. I think [ABORTION]should be free, safe and legal.”

Susan Smullen, Dublin

“I think the Eighth Amendment needs to go. It just holds women back, I think women should have a choice of what they want to do with their own bodies, particularly for women who are pregnant with fatal foetal abnormalities, it’s horrific what they have to go through.

It’s the fifth time this march has happened, it’s growing in momentum and I really hope they listen, because we need a referendum not a people’s forum.

They should trust women to make the right choice, full stop.”

Leo de Freyne (64), Drogheda

“I’ve been pro-choice all my life, but I’ve been a pro-choice activist since the death of Savita Halappanavar.

The movement has really grown in the last year, and it’s been growing continuously since the first march which was five years ago, before the death of Savita Halappanavar. It’s heartening and there’s a great buzz.

We’ll get a referendum when we get a referendum, but we’ll keep pushing because every day women have to deal with this.”