A group of pro-choice activists in Ireland are trying to pressurize the Irish Government into holding a referendum on the right to life of unborn babies by calling people onto the streets for a strike on March 8th.
Organisers are currently spreading the word on social media, threatening that “Ireland will strike” if the Government does not announce plans to hold a referendum on the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution before the date in question. The Eighth Amendment is the last remaining constitutional protection for unborn children in Ireland. It guarantees them an equal right to life under Irish law and stands as a beacon of protection in international human rights law.
Of course, strikes are normally held when the basic rights of human beings are under threat but in this case, that principle is subverted. The organisers of the #strike4repeal want to see the right to life of unborn babies removed from the Constitution entirely but in doing so, they ignore the fact that this would remove the most basic human right of all – the right to life.
Undaunted, the planners are insisting that a referendum be held and are asking participants to try and take a day off, or alternatively to take part in some other event to mark the occasion.
This latest stunt by prochoice campaigners is likely to be looked on with surprise, even by some who want to see the Eighth Amendment removed. After all, a Citizens’ Assembly has been set up by the Government to look at the issue of abortion in general – and it is not due to furnish a report to the Government until after it has finished its deliberations in April.
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Pro-life supporters are not happy with the Citizens’ Assembly because comments made by some politicians show that they clearly intend it to be the forerunner to a referendum, regardless of the good intentions of the 99 members of the public who are on the Assembly, and the Chairperson. That said, the Assembly is a process which is underway and there is no doubt that the pro-choice strike will be seen by the vast majority of the Irish public as just the latest in a line of stunts intended to force a referendum that would do something completely unheard of in a democratic society – offer voters the opportunity to remove the right to life from vulnerable human beings.