Why the March for Choice is Still Relevant

It has been over a year since Ireland made a momentous decision. The country moved away from a history of shaming those who had decided to have an abortion to a place of compassion and understanding. The island has had a tumultuous history with the issue. Progress it can be argued has taken many years but huge strides have been made. The struggle for female reproductive rights is however not over. 

The author Frances Cole Jones says “As with anything, the first step to creating effective change is awareness.” Many people looked at the statistics when deciding which way to vote on the issue. This is often quite unemotional which is at odds with an issue full of emotion. A key way in which awareness was achieved was through the ‘In Her Shoes - Women Of The Eighth’ campaign. The idea that real women were effected was incredibly powerful. A friend, a colleague, a girl who has similar interests, a women who was dealing with abuse. This awareness remains essential. 

A key message of the ‘March for Choice’ is the idea that although abortion is permitted there are some who are still not experiencing this right. Abortion is permitted up to the twelve week point  in the pregnancy or the first trimester. Issues arise when perhaps a women is fourteen weeks pregnant. A two week gap has caused her to be placed in the difficult position of travelling to England if funds are available to her.  

The decision must be extremely difficult to make, and a lot of thought goes into every case. Some would argue that although more work is to be done in the legislation a cut off point is essential. Any time period they would argue would cause women to be faced with re-evaluating their options if they missed said time bracket.  

Abortion remains illegal in Northern Ireland. The government there has been closed for many months at this point and any sort of a change has been slow to take place. Some parties believe that abortion must not be permitted in Northern Ireland. The ‘March for Choice’ participants are standing beside their counterparts in the North to try to create effective change on the issue.  

Questions have arisen about the plight of transgender men who are pregnant. A group who have been largely forgotten about in the conversation. In a world where every individual's gender is supposed to be accepted, legislation could be reviewed in this department in which little work has been done to reduce any emotional strain or undue stress.  

The topic of abortion will continue to be a difficult talking point for many. Ireland is quite an unique place where once viewpoints have been made they are often set in stone. The past few years have showcased that although the country has been on an incredible journey work remains to be done. As illustrated by the recent ‘March for Choice’ a country with abortion rights for all women must be widespread and include all affected individuals.