People’s Before Profit welcomes an end to the criminalisation of abortion and the right to equal marriage which will come into effect at midnight in the North of Ireland on Monday 21st October.
Brid Smith TD said: “These changes have been fought for long and hard for decades and, far from being ‘imposed’ by Westminster, are long overdue. As the only 32 County Party that has supported a woman’s right to choose and LGBTQ rights since its inception, People Before Profit is proud that its members in the North have been an important part of the movements that have forced Westminster, finally, to act.
“There is no doubt that the Repeal movement in the South added momentum to the fight for change in the North and was crucial in getting it over the line. The media and the mainstream political parties have been so distracted with Brexit that other all-island issues – like access to free, safe, legal abortion and same sex marriage are the other side of the coin and cut through the stale idea that there are two divided communities and show how much we have in common throughout this island.”
Gerry Carroll MLA added: “Decriminalisation of women is vital because of the prosecutions there have been of people using abortion pills or helping others to get them. A mother is due to stand trial in November for getting abortion pills for her 15 year old daughter, pregnant by an abusive boyfriend. Her trial now won’t happen. The DUP and others who are going to a hypocritical circus at Stormont tomorrow do not represent the majority of people in the North who agree that abortion should be part of health care, not the criminal law, and that everyone should have the right to marry the person they love.
“North and South the issues affecting people facing unplanned pregnancies are similar – there’s a need for accessible, local abortion services, for decent housing and an end to crippling austerity and poverty that blights children’s lives”, said Mr Carroll.
“It’s less than two years since the rugby rape trial. In the 48 hours following the verdict in that trial, thousands of women and their allies took to the streets North and South, most of them also pro choice supporters. PBP’s Eamonn McCann said ‘these are not demonstrations FOR a United Ireland, they are demonstrations OF a United Ireland. We wouldn’t be having these changes in the North if it hadn’t been for Repeal and the Marriage Referendum in the South. We salute the many activists across the island who have won these changes.”
A vigil to mark the decriminalisation of abortion and the passing of Same Sex Marriage will be held at the Spire in O’Connell Street on Monday 21st October at 530pm.
All groups are welcome to celebrate The North is Now (not Next)