Ending an unwanted pregnancy is banned in Ireland in virtually all circumstances — an oppressive, draconian law and infringement of women's reproductive rights which has, perhaps unsurprisingly, been compared to The Handmaid's Tale.
So, it was fitting that pro-choice campaigners channeled handmaids in a protest in Dublin on Wednesday. Women, clothed in the famous white bonnets and red cloaks, stood outside the Dáil, the country's parliament, as lawmakers met to discuss the Eighth Amendment, which bars abortion.
Pro-choice Repeal the Eighth campaigners are calling for a referendum on this part of the country's constitution, which equates "the right to life of the unborn" with the mother's right to life. Abortion is only legal if it is performed as a result of a medical intervention to save the mother's life.
ROSA, the group for Reproductive rights, against Oppression, Sexism and Austerity, staged the action. Protestor Una Reynolds told Breaking News Ireland: "We want pro-choice, proper legislation that will bring us compliant in human rights law along with all other countries."
One Twitter user alleged that rival anti-choice protestors had retaliated by using rosary beads as weapons against the pro-choice campaigners.
Pro-choice campaigners across the U.S. — Ohio, Texas, Washington, D.C., New Hampshire, and elsewhere — have staged similar demonstrations inspired by Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel to highlight and stand against violations on their reproductive and civil rights.