New York: Activists in New York have organized a solidarity rally in the city to coincide with Dublin’s March for Choice. As part of Scarlet Brigade’s Global Gathering, pro-choice Irish ex-pats and New York residents will come together to show their support for the Repeal the 8th campaign in Ireland.

 The gathering in New York will be joining several similar events taking place in cities around the world, including MelbourneVancouver and Brussels. The aim of the gathering is to support those marching in Ireland, and to show the Irish government that this is an issue the diaspora is watching closely from afar.

At 8am the rally will begin at Dr. Emily's Women's Health Centre in the Bronx, to support the clinic escorts in defending abortion rights in New York. It will then move on to the Irish Consulate at 12 noon to reflect on the experience at the clinic, and discuss the similarities and differences between abortion access in Ireland and in the US. Information about the campaign will also be shared at this time, and attendees will have the opportunity to speak out about their own experiences with abortion and the struggle for reproductive rights in Ireland.

‘Repeal the 8th’ is the fight to get safe and legal abortion in Ireland. The 8th amendment of the Irish constitution equates the life of a foetus to the life of the pregnant woman, thus abortion is legal only if there is an immediate threat to the woman’s life. Abortion is illegal in instances of incest or rape, as well as in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities. Ireland’s strict abortion law was recently declared by the UN as ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading’. Marginalised women are disproportionately impacted by Irish abortion laws, especially women in poverty, migrant women and asylum seekers. A woman who has an abortion in Ireland faces a prison sentence of 14 years, and 4000 women must travel outside the country every year for the procedure.

According to recent polls, 80% of Irish people want to repeal the 8th amendment. Yet, the government has failed to call a public referendum on the matter. In Ireland people are taking to streets of Dublin to protest against the barbaric law, and the rally in New York aims to support them in their protest. All are welcome to attend, and all event details can be found here.