Women and girls are not criminals – Amnesty joins March for Choice

Demonstration ahead of International Day for Decriminalisation of Abortion on Monday 28 September 2015

 

Amnesty International Ireland and Northern Ireland will join with the Abortion Rights Campaign’s fourth annual March for Choice in Dublin today, to highlight the fact that criminalising women for having abortions is an abuse of their human rights.

 

Amnesty International UK’s My Body My Rights campaign has both Ireland and Northern Ireland as focus countries, because they both have extremely restrictive abortion regimes.

 

Women and girls are denied their human right to access safe and legal abortions, except in the most extreme of circumstances, namely where a woman’s life is at risk, and in Northern Ireland, where there is a permanent / long term risk to a woman’s physical and mental health.  Ireland’s laws criminalise women pregnant as a result of rape or incest, and in cases of fatal foetal impairment.  Northern Ireland’s abortion laws also carry the harshest criminal penalties in Europe – life imprisonment for both women and their healthcare providers if they have abortion outside of the very limited scope permitted in law.

 

Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland said:

 

“Amnesty is delighted to join today’s march. We are heartened to see so many people here speaking out and demanding respect for women’s basic human rights from Ireland’s lawmakers. It is beyond time for all parties here in Ireland to make clear political commitments to change Ireland’s abortion law.”

 

Grainne Teggart, My Body My Rights campaign manager for Ireland and Northern Ireland said:

 

“We’re proud to stand in solidarity with the people of Ireland as they March for Choice. For too long women and girls across the island of Ireland have suffered unnecessarily under abortion laws which simply are not fit for purpose and expose them to trauma and degrading treatment.

 

“Being able to make decisions about your own health, body, sexuality and reproductive life is a basic human right. But for hundreds of women across the island of Ireland, it’s a right that is violated daily.”

 

Note for Editors

 

On 28 September 2015 for International Day of Action for the Decriminalisation of Abortion, Amnesty International activists will be demonstrating outside the Embassies of Ireland in the following countries: Argentina, Austria, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

 

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