A Dublin pop-up store, selling jumpers with the word ‘repeal’ on them, in reference to abortion, sold out of stock yesterday, on its first day of trading.
The €25 jumpers were bought within an hour, by women and men of all ages and nationalities.
The Repeal Project is behind this jumper-based campaign, which seeks to vindicate the rights of Irish women, by repealing the Eight Amendment of the Constitution.
“When I was at the vigil for Savita [Halappanavar], in 2012, it just unleashed this wrath in me and I finally realised how barbaric and inhumane Ireland’s abortion practices were, and I left feeling so frustrated and not really knowing what to do.
“I was 22. It was this visceral, knee-jerk reaction and I know all my friends and I just went back to college saying: ‘this is terrible’,” said Anna Cosgrave, who is the sole force behind the project.
“Then, I was at the March for Choice, that ARC [Abortion Rights Campaign] was organising, and there wasn’t enough people there.
“Then, I went home and was looking up Gloria Steinem and she had a T-shirt that said ‘I Had an Abortion’ on it, so that kind of spawned something.
“It’s only been in the last two months that I decided to do this, when I just saw the political discourse, and the mainstream media was not reflective of the real-life, living experiences of women, so I had to do this,” said Anna.
Anna’s objective is to start a conversation in which people can discuss what it means to repeal the Eight Amendment.
The Eight Amendment, which amended Article 40 of the Constitution in 1983, acknowledges “the right to life of the unborn, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother.”
The ARC says that the amendment “criminalises abortion in all cases, except where to continue a pregnancy would result in death,” and therefore the movement wishes to repeal this part of the Irish Constitution.
So far, her one-woman project, which only launched last Thursday, has been written about in The Guardian newspaper and in Grazia magazine.
Anna is not drawing a wage from the project and all profits from the jumpers go to ARC. The Repeal Project will soon begin selling bomber jackets, and other clothing carrying the word ‘repeal’.
Discussing the concept of the jumpers, she said abortion is called a grey issue, but she believes it is not.
“The media kept commenting that it was a grey issue and it’s not. To me, it’s a black-and-white issue. You are pro-choice or anti-choice, so that’s the reason it’s black and white.
“And I wanted it to be one word, because it opens a conversation and not everyone knows, but it invites someone to ask you what it is, and it’s up to the person wearing it to become their own spokesperson,” she said.
The pop-up shop, in Indigo and Cloth, in Dublin’s Temple Bar, closes tomorrow, but the clothing will continue to be sold online, at repeal.ie.
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