Campaigners on both sides of the abortion debate have clashed over an ‘abortion bus’ which is due to visit Cork today, having been in Dublin, Galway and Limerick yesterday.
The bus — organised by pro-choice group ROSA (Reproductive rights against Oppression, Sexism and Austerity) — has a private consultation room where women can speak with a Netherlands-based doctor via Skype.
Organisers also confirmed, yesterday, they are carrying on board, abortion pills — which are illegal in this country.
Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Ruth Coppinger, who is travelling on the bus, said the campaign had two missions: “To make available safe medical abortion for women around the country who need it and to challenge the dangerous, anti-woman, 8th Amendment. We say its days are numbered. This sectarian law must go.”
Rita Harrold from ROSA said women experiencing crisis pregnancies are welcome to come on the bus for a consultation. She insisted abortion pills the group are carrying are “safer than viagra or driving a car”.
“They are on the list of medicines considered essential for women’s health by the World Health Organisation, but denied to women here due to the abortion ban.
“We have to challenge this unjust law in the same way the ban on contraception was challenged not too long ago,” she said.
However the anti-abortion Life Institute accused the abortion bus of playing “fast and loose” with women’s lives.
Spokesperson Niamh Uí Bhriain said: “Dr Sam Coulter Smith said that women had lost their lives because of unsupervised use of the abortion pill. But Ms Coppinger refused to call a halt to the abortion pill campaign.
“It is disturbing to see that abortion campaigners are so careless with safeguarding women’s lives,” said Ms Uí Bhriain.
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