Why I campaign for choice

Sean Egan interviews repeal activist Aislinn Shanahan Daly

Socialist Worker

Why I campaign for choice

1.How did you get involved with pro-choice activism?

The first social movement I ever engaged with was the abortion rights movement. I attended

the march for choice in 2014, and it played a huge role in my politicization. I felt like those

affected by a lack of access to abortion deserved justice, and as a young woman the issue

stuck a chord with me. As a 19 year old I experienced my first pregnancy scare, and I

realised how messed up everything was. I was in the middle of a depressive episode,

couldn’t afford an abortion, and on the other hand couldn’t face the perceived shame and

judgement from my family if I had a child. I never wanted children, and I still don’t. If I it

turned out I was pregnant 4 years ago, I don’t know if I would be alive right now. It’s

uncomfortable to say, and I’m sure it’s uncomfortable to read, but that’s the reality. This is a

life threatening issue.

2. Why do you think fighting for free safe and legal abortion is essential rather than the conditional access to abortion other mainstream parties advocate?

Abortion should be free as part of maternity care through the public health service. It should

be provided legally to ensure the safety of those accessing it, and so that people needing

abortion do not have to resort to dangerous measures in order to terminate their pregnancy.

Any party or group that advocates anything less than free safe and legal abortion at the

discretion of the pregnant person is living in a dream world. In my opinion, making

irresponsible and dangerous decisions in regards to women’s healthcare in order to placate

a conservative voter base is unforgivable. Women’s rights will never be safe in the hands of

right wingers in the Dáil. That is why I fight for socialism and for women’s rights; I believe

they are inextricably connected struggles.

3. How does partition relate to your ideas about abortion rights and the pro-choice movement?

People need free, safe and legal access to abortion and the right to choose above and

below the border. I hope that the solidarity between activists in the north and south is

cultivated more and continues to grow after the 8th amendment is repealed. We have

countless more battles to fight in society against poverty, austerity, homelessness, racism,

misogyny, queer oppression and colonialism. These issues do not cease at borders. Fighting

together, we are stronger.

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