Why I Marched – Lily J.

For Lily, the rising move to repeal is a no-brainer, but she argues it’s OK to support the movement in whatever way you feel comfortable.

How could I not? I fully believe that nobody chooses to have an abortion for the craic. It has so many mental and physical repercussions. There are literally a range of reasons why someone might choose an abortion – having a child will put themselves and their child in poverty, their partner is abusive, it was a result of rape, the foetus won’t survive outside of the womb…Even feeling like they’re not in the right place (mentally/emotionally/financially) to be a mother is a valid reason. They are all valid reasons that ultimately are made after thinking it through.

It is never a spur of the moment “LOL let’s just get an abortion!” kind of decision. I’ve seen people hate the fact that they needed one but knew it was the best decision for themselves and the foetus. Plus, abortions are happening regardless. Ireland is just trying to sweep it under the rug and export the “problem”. No. Deal with this. Provide free, safe and legal abortions. It is a basic right of the people living in this country.


It means so much. First of all, repealing the 8th is SO MUCH MORE than abortions. It affects every pregnant person in Ireland. It affects one of the most basic things – consent. Repealing the 8th to me mostly means that we are reclaiming our bodies, we own our bodies, we get to make the decisions on what happens to our bodies. That could mean induction of pregnancy, that could mean an abortion, that could mean the doctor not performing a procedure on me until I say yes. It could be anything but ultimately it’s about what I decide with MY body. And that shouldn’t have to be something I have to fight for, y’know?

Being pro-choice is the middle ground. You can be pro-choice and not want or believe in abortions, and that’s completely fine. Being pro-choice means allowing and trusting someone with a uterus to decide for themselves.

It’s about having empathy and understanding that not everyone has the same privileges as you. And realising that for some people an abortion is the only tangible outcome.

We do not believe in forced abortions. We find that just as abhorrent as forced pregnancies. We do not want to force anyone to do anything they don’t want to. It’s as simple as that.

You don’t have to speak up if you don’t want to. Nobody will alienate you or vilify you because you won’t speak up. There’s a million reasons why you might not – and that is okay. The pro-choice side is built on empathy and understanding. But don’t forget that there is a community who WILL support you if you do decide to speak up. We will stand by you through your decision. We will fight for your voice to be heard. We will be the shoulders you stand on if you choose to speak up and out.

But if you can’t, there are also other ways to show your support. Donations to the Abortion Rights Campaign, signing of petitions, being involved in secret pro-choice Facebook groups and sharing resources you find helpful, volunteering with abortion rights groups when you can…it’s not always about being loud and proud. We all have our roles to play. At the end of the day, we’re on the same side, and we’re on the right side of history. I will shout extra loud for those who can’t.

– Lily J., 24, Dublin

The aim of this series is to be a starting point for conversations. Each of us can make a difference, and just starting a conversation is a great way to begin. We’ll soon have the chance to repeal the 8th Amendment, and we’d urge you to exercise your right to vote. If you are unsure whether you are registered to vote or not, make sure you check the register. You have until Nov. 25th to inform your local council if your name does not appear.

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