Dublin, Oct 1: Thousands of people staged a massive protest in Dublin, calling for an end to Irelands strict abortion laws, the media reported. Campaigners took part in the March for Choice in the capital’s city centre on Saturday, chanting: “Hey, hey Leo (Prime Minister Leo Varadkar), the eighth amendment has got to go” and carrying banners which read: “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries” and “Parent by choice for choice”, reports the Guardian.
Thousands protest against Ireland's abortion ban
This year’s march, the sixth in a series of annual events, was more significant than ever given a latest confirmation that there will be a referendum on abortion next year. The Irish government recently set a potential timescale of early 2018 for the referendum on the eighth amendment, the section of Ireland’s constitution imposing tight legal restrictions on termitions.
The amendment, which was voted into the constitution by referendum in 1983, affords equal rights to unborn babies and pregnt women and gives foetuses the right to life by law, the Guardian reported.
Termitions are only permitted when the life of the mother is at risk, and the maximum pelty for having an illegal abortion in Ireland is 14 years in prison. Thousands of Irish women travel to the British mainland each year to have a legal termition.
Anti-abortion activists staged counter events in the city and across Ireland to warn against relaxation of the current law, reports the BBC. A pro-choice rally was also staged outside the Irish embassy in London on Saturday, with campaigners highlighting the numbers of Irish women who have travelled to the UK for an abortion in the last three decades. (IANS)