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Irish Women Are Going on Strike to Protest an Abortion Ban

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Pro-choice Irish women are going on strike on March 8, in protest of the Catholic country’s strict ban on abortion.

Demonstrators will skip work on a Wednesday for a nationwide strike, during which they will demand that the Irish government holds a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment—an amendment to Ireland’s constitution which effectively criminalizes abortion and gives an equal right to life to the unborn.

Under the Eighth Amendment, terminating a pregnancy is only allowed in extremely rare circumstances where the mother’s life is in danger. It was added to the constitution in the early 1980s, with a large majority voting in favor of it in a national referendum.

A statement released by Strike for Repeal, the organizers of the strike, says that the demonstration “will not be an industrial strike in the traditional sense” as it “could include taking an annual leave day off work, refraining from domestic work for the day, wearing black in solidarity or staging a walkout during your lunch break.”

Strike for Repeal encourages business owners who are able to do so to close their services for all or part of the day, in solidarity with the protestors.

“We call upon the Government to take direct responsibility for what is a violation of human rights,” said spokeswoman Aoife Frances. We believe a national strike is not only possible, but an incredible opportunity to show the sheer power of our movement, and to put pressure on the government to call a referendum. In the past five years, support for Repeal has grown to a level that the government can no longer ignore.”

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Write to Kate Samuelson at kate.samuelson@time.com