It’s been a year since the last March for Choice.
It’s been a year of highs and lows.
Among the highest of highs was the Sunday I spent on a windy beach, refreshing my twitter feed and growing increasing ecstatic about what I was seeing, as some of my fellow citizens voted again and again to show compassion and recommend sweeping change to Ireland’s abortion laws, which, thanks to an amendment introduced at a mad, dangerous time in 1983, are among the strictest in the world.
Our abortion laws are, thanks to the eighth amendment, at once black and white and myriad shades of grey. If I am pregnant in Ireland, I am considered exactly equal in law to a foetus. The grey comes in when adults and children are taken to court because of the law, with the foetuses in their uteruses granted the same level of legal representation as they are.
Doctors have kept a decomposing woman on life support because she happened to be pregnant because of all the grey around our laws.
The Attorney General issued legal proceedings against a 14 year old child, pregnant following rape, compelling her to return to Ireland because the foetus inside her had a right to life because of all the grey around our laws.
Savita, a woman whose glorious smile we are familiar with for all the wrong reasons, was kept in pain and anguish as she miscarried her very much wanted baby, and died because of all the grey around our laws.
I’m marching for these and many other reasons.
I’m marching because of the black, and the white, and the grey reasons people have for needing and wanting and having abortions.
I’m marching because while there are shades of grey, people of privilege like me will always have more options when it comes to healthcare, including access to safe and legal abortions.
I’m marching because I am healthy and alive despite the eighth amendment, not because of it.
I’m marching because, as much as we might want it not to be so, this is part of how we make change happen.
I’m marching because I can’t leave it to someone else.