Campaigners took a train to Belfast and back to Dublin on 28 October to bring non-surgical medical abortion pills into Ireland where they are illegal. The action recreated a similar one taken in the 1970s to bring the contraceptive pill to Ireland.
Ireland’s “8th amendment” recognises the right to life of an unborn child and equates it with the right to life of the mother. Abortion is also classed as illegal under the Offences Against the Person Act. Many women travel to mainland UK to gain access to abortion. However campaigners say that with increasing austerity, women who cannot afford to travel resort to unsafe unlicensed pills bought on the internet. Women on the pill train protest also took the pills on arrival back in Dublin to demonstrate their safety and to defy Ireland’s laws.
Socialist TDs (members of parliament) from the Socialist Party, People before Profit and Anti-Austerity Alliance also took part. Women on Web, an organisation that coordinates getting safe abortion pills and reliable advice on abortion to women who need it in countries where abortion is illegal, also took part.