Activists calling for abortion rights for women in Northern Ireland have staged a protest in Guildhall Sqaure.
The group ROSA (Reproductive Rights Against Oppression, Sexism and Austerity), and ‘Women on Web,’ gathered with local activists at Guildhall Square on Thursday as they brought their #Bus4Choice to the city.
Several of those participating arrived dressed in white caps and crimson cloaks in imitation of the women featured in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ book and TV series.
During the event, activists called for an Extension of the 1967 Abortion Act to include Northern Ireland. Some of those gathered held placards with the message, ‘We Won’t Be Left Behind.’
The rally was part of a day of action staged by the groups across Northern Ireland. It came after people across the Republic voted by around two to one to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution recently, paving the way for new legislation for the termination of pregnancies south of the border.
Organisers had saidthat in conjunction with the Netherlands-based, doctor-run womenonweb.org, they had planned to “defy Northern Ireland’s archaic abortion laws by providing information and access to safe abortions with pills under medical supervision”.
In a statement issued by the group, they said: “ROSA and Women on Web organised important acts of civil disobedience in the South using abortion pills including the Abortion Pills Train and #Bus4Repeal.
“These acts of civil disobedience, along with supplying women with pills, have been instrumental in shifting the debate on abortion in Ireland, demonstrating that abortion is a daily reality in Ireland.”
The #Bus4Choice started with a rally in Belfast before travelling to the constituency offices of prominent ‘pro-life’ MLAs and MPs from the the main politicial parties. The day of action ended with the rally at the Guildhall.