Three speakers talk about the pro-choice struggles in Ireland they were involved in over the last three decades. These include the 1983 anti-referendum campaign, the Womens' Information Network, the SPUC v students case, Dublin Abortion Information Campaign, X-Case, Repeal 8th Amendment, 1992 Referendum, Dublin Abortion Rights Group, Alliance for a No Vote, 1998 referendum, Choice Ireland and the D-Case.
Last night I gave a talk as part of a panel on pro-choice struggles in Ireland in NUI Maynooth. The venue was a good measure of the huge changes around that issue over the last 20 years, it would have been impossible to imagine a pro-choice meeting in what is the catholic priest training college back in the 1980's never mind one without even an anti-choice picket in sight. Later on someone told me that the Sociology building itself had once been used to house nuns.
For the last few months (2001) Irish pro-choice activists including members of the WSM have been preparing for the arrival of the Women of the Waves ship in Ireland. This has provided the strongest focus since the X case to resume the struggle for the right of women to control their own bodies, including the right to decide whether or not to continue a pregnancy.
Around 300 people marched through the centre of Dublin on Saturday 16th Feb 2002 to mark the 10th anniversary of the 'X' case and to support a No vote in the latest anti-abortion referendum. 10 years earlier in 1992 the courts placed an injunction of a 14-year-old rape victim in order to prevent her travelling to England for an abortion. At the time not only was abortion illegal in Ireland but many activists had been prosecuted simply for providing the phone number of British clinics to pregnant women.