Sometimes I feel like Ireland’s reputation is unfairly overshadowed by our history. Conservative, grey, under the thumb of the church. And yes, there is a truth to that. But there is also a truth to this. Yesterday’s 2015 March for Choice was huge. The sun shone. Women took to the stage and shared their stories.
The history of pro-choice in Ireland has often been difficult. I remember a few short years ago: countless winter vigils for our dead. Standing huddled in the cold and the dark. We wouldn’t stop until Savita had something resembling justice. Seem times it feels like we’re always responding. Yet another tragedy. Yet another woman dead. Or locked up until her pregnancy is done. We’re always on the defensive.
Yesterday felt different. Women talked about their abortions. They stood up and were not only counted but named. They named themselves.
Yesterday the sun shone. Yesterday wasn’t about begging for justice. Yesterday was about demanding our rights. Claiming our dignity as our own. Refusing to be silenced any more.
Our laws haven’t changed yet. But this morning, for the first time, I feel optimistic. They will. We’ll make them.
Not by begging for scraps. Not little by little. By tearing up the stories they tell about us and writing our own. By changing the language those stories are written in. By writing our stories on our bodies and by discounting the very idea that anyone can tell us what to do with them.
We’re going to do this.
They’re going to try to stop us. But we beat them once this year. We know exactly how to do it again.
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