“Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.” - Fannie Lou Hamer, civil rights activist.
Thousands of women every year are forced to travel for abortions by this ban, and many more face up to 14 years in prison for having an abortion in Ireland. Every person who can get pregnant is denied bodily autonomy in this state by the 8th amendment abortion ban. This is a continuation of the misogynistic legacy of a state that gave us symphysiotomy, the slavery of poor women in the Magdalene Laundries and mass graves of babies in Tuam.
Solidarity campaigns for full repeal of the 8th, and for genuinely pro-choice legislation that allows the pregnant people themselves to make the decision that is right for them, about their own bodies and lives. Neither the state nor church should be allowed to continue to dictate to pregnant people about about their private and personal decisions.
The backwoodsmen of the Dail
We cannot underestimate just how backwards the Dail is. Solidarity-People Before Profit is the only registered political party in there that has an explicitly pro-choice position. As Ruth Coppinger TD has explains in this video, we need bold tactics to build a movement from below, combined with the building of the Left politically, is crucial to pushing for abortion rights.
It is most marginalised who face the most restrictions on their travel and hence are most harshly affected by the abortion ban. Solidarity believe abortion should available free on the public health service to ensure equality of access. We also stand for proper investment in public housing, healthcare and childcare to make going through with a pregnancy and raising a child a feasible choice for all those who wish to.
Separate church and state
We need a principled Left government that would not only guarantee abortion rights, but fully separate Church and State in Ireland. That means ending church control of state hospitals and but also schools, to allow for progressive, LGBTQ inclusive sex education.Religion is a private matter: to practice any religion or none is an important civil right. However, religious institutions have no business being enmeshed in public entities.