#SluggerSoapbox: “the ban on abortion does not stop abortions from happening…”

Fionnghuala Nic Roibeaird is a local activist on the issue of reproductive rights

The most famous act of solidarity is probably the proclamation of the famous words “I am Spartacus”, the scene in the eponymous movie in which the defeated slaves are asked to identify their leader, Spartacus, as a reward for doing so their lives will be spared.

They respond by claiming that they are all Spartacus.

In this case many of us are all the Belfast woman who has been charged for supplying her daughter with the Early Medical Abortion pill.

Despite wishful thinking from some in Stormont the ban on abortion does not stop abortions from happening; in fact they occur here quite regularly.

When a law denies a person’s rights the reaction should not be one of apathy but one of brazen defiance and resistance channeled into direct action.

In countries where abortion is illegal, upon pregnancy a person’s bodily autonomy is reduced greatly and the bodily autonomy that they lose goes straight into the hands of the anti-woman politicians who have sentenced them to motherhood – voluntary or not.

In the very specific case of abortion direct action means helping people have an abortion if they want one. Alliance for Choice and other Pro-Choice activists engage in this type of direct action all of the time so why is one woman being used as a scapegoat for this?

Over 200 people signed an open letter admitting to breaking the same law and we are yet to be contacted by the PSNI for further investigation.

We are yet to be contacted, possibly because politicians (both sides of the border) do not want to come face to face with this topic.

We believe we should push this archaic anti-choice law to the limit, publicly and at all times; open defiance and mockery of this law is what will capture people’s attention and bring women’s rights back on the agenda.

If you prosecute one of us, prosecute us all; we are not going anywhere, we will continue to defy anything that limits our freedom.

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