- 16 Sep 16
The Hot Press Collective sends a message to the people of Ireland
IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of Brigid and the dead generations from which she receives her age-old tradition of fertility, healing and poetry, Ireland summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom once more, in the heart-felt belief that victory in the campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution will be a liberating and empowering one...
Here, in this special issue of Hot Press, we declare the right of the women of Ireland to the ownership of their own bodies and to the unfettered control of their own destinies. The long usurpation of that right by men of the cloth, by aspects of the law, and too often by numerous among the male of the species in general, has not extinguished the right nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of all women.
In every generation, women have asserted their right to bodily autonomy and freedom of choice. Standing on that fundamental right, and again asserting it in the face of widespread and prolonged official prevarication and denial, we hereby proclaim that Ireland will never be a Republic in the true meaning of the word until its laws and its constitution fully acknowledge and respect this right, and we pledge our lives and the lives of our comrades to the cause of freedom of choice and to the abolition of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, which requires that Irish women must travel abroad to secure a termination, even where pregnancy is the result of rape; there is a fatal foetal abnormality; or the woman is a victim of sex abuse.
The Irish Republic has claimed the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman. The Republic has also guaranteed religious and civil liberty, as well as equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens and declared its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all of its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally.
Until the words and the ideals of all those people who support women’s ineluctable right to equality, to autonomy and to freedom of choice, have brought the opportune moment for the establishment of a nation in which women are no longer forced to go abroad to exercise their inalienable right to control over their own bodies and their own fertility, it will remain the undeniable truth that the Republic has failed Irish women, and in turn Irish men.
That opportune moment is now at hand. No arms will be needed in pursuit of our just aims. What is required is for the government to initiate the referendum process and for the people to exercise their democratic right by voting.
Knowing this, we hereby, once again, place the cause of Irish women under the protection of the Republic, whose principles of liberty and equality we invoke, and we insist that no one dishonor those principles by abuse, prejudice, inhumanity, misogyny or rapine. In this historic hour, the Irish nation must, with valour, clear sightedness and discipline, and by the readiness of its children to take a stand for what is right, prove itself worthy of the august destiny it chose 100 years ago, on Easter Monday 1916, by finally acknowledging the rights of women to the ownership of their own bodies, and by the Repeal of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution (1983). Speed the day.
– The Hot Press Collective, September 15, 2016