Protesters gather for March for Choice in Dublin

Protesters gather for March for Choice in Dublin

The fourth annual March for Choice is taking place in Dublin city centre this afternoon.

Pro-choice campaigners are calling for changes to abortion laws here.

Organisers are asking participants to bring wheelie suitcases with them to highlight the number of women who travel abroad from Ireland to access terminations.

The march starts at the Garden of Remembrance at 2pm this afternoon.

Abortion Rights Campaign spokesperson and founding member Janet O'Sullivan said that women who travel for an abortion are put through unnecessary stress.

"it's a difficult thing to travel, get the time off work, to make sure you have a passport or in some cases we see people like Miss Y couldn't leave the country," she said.

"We have people who are too sick to travel … we have people who have already had children and can't arrange childcare to travel.

"So we've an unequal system at the moment where if you have the means, if you have the money, if you've the legal papers, you can get an abortion.

"If you don't, tough luck - you're having a child or you're risking 14 years in prison if you're having an abortion here in Ireland."

However, anti-abortion advocates say less and less women in Ireland are seeking abortion services.

The Life Institute have said that that abortion supporters taking part in the March have failed to cover up the reality of abortion.

Niamh Uí Bhriain from the Life Institute said that despite what pro-choice groups say abortion is on the decline.

"In the last 12 years we've seen a big decrease in the number of women travelling abroad for abortions," she said.

"There has been an almost 45% fall, and that's something we should welcome.

"So we're seeing that when we offer women better options than abortions, women don't choose to have abortions, and that's surely the better answer for mothers and for babies.

"And that's something I think that people taking part in the March for Choice should look at - they should look at providing a better answer than abortion."

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