The crowd in Dublin was estimated to be over 10,000 people.
Yesterday was International Women's Day around the world, but here in Ireland it was also the day of Strike 4 Repeal, the latest protest in the movement to repeal the 8th amendment. Women took the day off work to join the march that moved through out Dublin with chants of "We can't wait, repeal the 8th!" There was an afternoon march for those who took the day off to participate, while those who couldn't spare the time away from work joined into the next march, which left from Parnell Square East to march past the Spire down through the city to Leinster House. Protesters chanted "Enda, Enda, where's the referendum," as well as "Not the church, not the state, women must decide their fate." According to the Gardai who were present at the march, estimates place the size of the crowd during the evening protest at between 10,000 and 10,200 people.
Ailbhe Smyth of the Coalition to Repeal the 8th gave a speech before the march headed off to Leinster House, saying, "The world is rapidly darkening for women's rights and human rights, and in Ireland, the Eighth Amendment is a profound source of discrimination and national shame." She made it clear that this is an issue that Irish people need to have addressed, saying, "Recent polls further strengthen our view that Irish people want the issue of abortion dealt with."
With the 8th amendment in place, Irish women who have abortions in Ireland can find themselves facing up to 14 years in prison, even in cases of sexual abuse and abnormal fetal conditions. Often Irish women are forced to seek safe options abroad. This is when it becomes a financial issue, as many women, especially younger women and teenagers, cannot afford to take time away from school or work or pay for the necessary travel expenses. Current estimates state that 12 women make the trip from Ireland to Great Britain every day, just for access to safe and legal health care. “They say airfare, we say healthcare” was another popular crowd chant, in reference to the women who are forced to leave Ireland for legal pregnancy termination.
Other demonstrations took place throughout Ireland, with crowds gathering in Cork, Mayo, Limerick, Wexford, Waterford, Kilkenny, and Meath.
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