Repeal the Eighth campaigners dressed as handmaids from The Handmaid’s Tale to protest and raise awareness as the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment meets today.
ROSA, the group for Reproductive rights against Oppression, Sexism and Austerity, held the protest wearing white headpieces, plain black shoes and bright red capes which are representative of their wombs and the right to bodily autonomy.
“Today we’ve called a protest of handmaids,” Keishia Taylor from ROSA said, “to highlight the fact that the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment has its first public meeting today.”
“We want to make sure that [the pro-choice recommendations from the Assembly] actually carry through into the referendum and into abortion legislation.”
For those who are unaware of the reference, handmaids in the popular Margaret Atwood novel turned television show are raped and forced to bear children for their male ‘commanders’ in a misogynistic dystopian future.
“Join us as handmaids as the Oireachtas Committee on the 8th amendment starts its deliberations,” ROSA announced via a Facebook event page.
“After the clear pro-choice recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly, we will not accept ANY retreat.
“Now it is left in the hands of 21 politicians, only a handful of whom are pro-choice, to decide what legislation we will get. We need to put them under such pressure they cannot but recommend pro-choice legislation – along the lines of the Citizens’ Assembly”.
“The conservative establishment have already indicated they want to water down the recommendations. We will not accept to be silenced on this issue. We want and need pro-choice legislation – nothing less!
Handmaids looking for reproductive justice in Ireland!! Give us some fundamental human rights #repealthe8th #prochoice #handmaidstale pic.twitter.com/0tbV5xvscq
— Caitleen Desetti (@erincaitleen) September 20, 2017
Following the Citizens’ Assembly decision to amend or replace the Eighth Amendment earlier this year, the issue of abortion and Repeal the Eighth will be high on the agenda as the Dáil resumes.
Really looking fwd to Chats For Choice tonight when @ailbhes will be joining @freesafelegal & @repealproject for qs https://t.co/TDYBriEN0x pic.twitter.com/NwW7i4FQk1
— RepealEight (@repealeight) September 20, 2017
LGBT+ and women’s rights activist Ailbhe Smyth will be joined by Repeal Project’s Anna Cosgrave at Chats For Choice on Facebook Live at 8pm tonight.
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