A new group that will campaign for abortion rights in the Republic of Ireland has been launched.
The Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC) was officially established in Dublin on Saturday 19th January. Its aims include “legislation on the X & C cases and repeal of the 8th amendment to the Irish constitution,” the group said in a press release.
Clare Daly, a member of the Dáil Éireann who attended ARC’s launch, commented:
“The Abortion Rights Campaign is not a sprint, it’s a marathon and we’re here for the long haul. In the meantime, we want the immediate introduction of legislation for the right to safe, legal abortion when a woman’s life is at risk, including from suicide. We also want the simplest, broadest legislation that includes the right to abortion in the case of fatal foetal abnormality. We will keep the pressure on until we get this.”
On the same day that ARC was officially launched, a large anti-abortion demonstration took place in Dublin. Buses were laid on by the well-funded Irish anti-choice groups in order to ferry people to the protest in Merrion Square, which was “expertly stage-managed”, according to the Irish Times’ Miriam Lord.
Lord added that while the demonstration was “lavishly resourced” and “showbizzy”, it “lacked spontaneity”, while anti-abortion protesters whose signs were “unauthorised” by the organisers were corralled off to one side, and not allowed to get near the main crowd – or the media cameras covering the event.
The rally comes amid renewed interest in the backers of Irish anti-choice organisations, with the Irish Times reporting an influx of money from foreign groups. Both the Pro-Life Campaign and Life Institute receive foreign money – as does Youth Defence, which likes to present itself as a ‘grassroots’ campaign.
A new US-based tax-exempt fundraising organisation has also been set up to funnel anti-abortion dollars from American donors to Irish campaigners. Life House Ireland solicits donations to be used for “informational and educational projects”.