Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

The new video for the Repeal the 8th campaign steps up the pressure

repeal the 8th.jpg

Repeal the 8th campaigners have intensified their pressure on the Irish government with a new short film that brilliantly captures the on-going struggle for bodily autonomy in Ireland.

The film comes as the country’s Citizens’ Assembly is due to vote this weekend on whether or not it will recommend any change in the state’s archaic abortion law. 

Shot in all black and white, the video shows a group of Irish women wearing Repeal the 8th jumpers while dancing on Bull Island in Dublin Bay, an iconic beauty spot in the Irish capital. 

A caption reminds the viewer that "between January 1980 and December 2015, at least 166,951 women and girls traveled from the Republic of Ireland to access abortion services in another country" before using a quote from Margaret Sanger, the legendary American birth control pioneer and advocate. 

Read More: The stigma of having an abortion later in life

Over a shot of waves from the Irish sea lapping the shore, it reads: “No woman can call herself free who does not control her own body”.

The film was directed by model turned film-maker and activist, Laragh McCann.

Speaking to i-D magazine, the 26-year-old said, “I hope that the piece – as well as encouraging sisterhood and solidarity as we endure hardships together – also encourages a bridge of understanding from people who are very clear about being pro choice, to those who are in a grey area.

“I aimed to make an inclusive piece, not vilifying people who are not yet pro-choice, but reaching out to them.”

As an increasing number of women attend protests and events in Ireland – including several marches and concerts scheduled for this weekend – the issue is becoming more and more mainstream and visible.


And in February, the campaign developed a new sense of urgency after Marie Stopes, Britain’s biggest abortion provider, announced they were struggling to handle the number of Irish women the country exports to the UK and would soon be referring them to British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS).

But BPAS also revealed they wouldn’t be able to keep up with the demand for much longer. 

Read More: Why women in 30 cities across the world marched this weekend

The eighth amendment to the Irish constitution, dating from 1983, equates the life on an embryo or foetus to that of a woman, making abortion completely illegal in Ireland under all circumstances.

Terminations are only permitted when the mother is at risk of dying as a direct result of her pregnancy. But as seen with Savita Halappanava, the woman who died of sepsis after being denied an abortion to save her life by a Galway hospital in 2012, even this is not always the case.


It is not yet known what the exact wording of the options will be, but the Citizens’ Assembly ballot will be this weekend and voting will take place in secret.

However, it is widely thought that the assembly voters will have three options; to leave the constitutional ban on abortion as it is, to recommend the amendment be altered to allow access to abortion in some circumstances, or to strike it from the constitution altogether. 

Campaigners are pushing the assembly to strike the eighth amendment completely and not settle for a watered down recommendation. 

Images: Rex Features/Repeal Project



These are the features you’re most likely to inherit from your mum

cancer love what matters.JPG

This mother and daughter’s cancer battle is inspiring women everywhere


Women who became single in their 30s and 40s reveal what they learned


Sandi Toksvig’s shock Bake Off confession completely rocks our world

Can we get a “THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING”, please?

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Sep 2017

Gossip Girl was supposed to have an entirely different ending

Good morning, Upper East siders…

by Susan Devaney
21 Sep 2017

How to use Instagram to boost your career (and land your dream job)

It’s time to make your Instagram account work as hard as you do…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Sep 2017

Students disciplined for making rape joke during a charity fundraiser

The four teens spelled the word ‘rape’ with body paint

by Amy Swales
21 Sep 2017

Colin the Caterpillar has been given a cute Christmas makeover

We only just got over Halloween Colin – now Santa Colin is in town

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Sep 2017

Sabrina the Teenage Witch is conjuring up a seriously dark TV reboot

But who will play everyone’s favourite half-witch?

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Sep 2017

Elisabeth Moss isn’t done with powerful dramas about women’s rights

Call Jane is set to be as relevant for Trump's America as its 60s setting

by Amy Swales
20 Sep 2017

Why we all think we’re the least popular one in our group of friends

If you believe everyone’s hanging out without you, you’re not alone

by Moya Crockett
20 Sep 2017

Why that Doctor Foster conversation is so incredibly important

So many people missed the point of this big reveal…

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Sep 2017

What is panic disorder – and do you suffer from it?

Nadiya Hussain described it as a 'monster'

by Megan Murray
20 Sep 2017