Pro-choice protestors descended on the Irish embassy in London at the weekend, as they drew over 200,000 white marks outside to represent the amount of Irish women who have had to travel to the UK for an abortion since 1983.
The protest was in unison with thousands marching in Dublin city centre, as well as other campaigning events in Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Brussels.
— Taryn De Vere (@TarynDeVere) October 2, 2017
— RepealEight (@repealeight) September 30, 2017
— Womenscouncilireland (@NWCI) September 30, 2017
— S (@TheShiftyShadow) September 30, 2017
The campaigners are demanding that the government repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution, and comes after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed there would be a referendum on the subject next summer.
Members of the London Irish Abortion Rights, as well as children, made 205,704 chalk markings on the pavement outside the Embassy, in tribute of the 205,704 Irish and Northern Irish women who have travelled to Britain for an abortion since the introduction of the Eighth Amendment in 1983.
— London-Irish ARC (@LdnIrishARC) September 30, 2017
Among the chants heard were ’34 years since 83, stop sending women across the sea’ as well as ‘keep your rosaries off my ovaries’.
Campaigners fear that their desire to ‘repeal’ the Eighth Amendment will not be a choice given to voters, and that an amendment may be more likely, after the Taoiseach said he was unsure if the country was yet ready for abortion on demand.
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Varadkar told the Irish parliament that a national vote on whether to abolish the eighth amendment to the constitution would take place in summer 2018.