Thursday, 15 November 2012

Vigil and rally for Savita Halappavanar

After the huge turnout last night for the Savita Halappavanar protest, FeministEvents is organising another rally on Saturday, to remember Savita and show support her family. We also want to demonstrate the depth of support for a change to Irish law and all laws which restrict a woman's right to choose. The protest is again in solidarity with the Irish Pro-Choice Campaign and the women of Ireland who are denied their human rights to decide their own fates and end their pregnancies of their own free choosing. We must support abortion rights in Ireland, and protesting in London will help support movements across Ireland and help to raise money for vital organisations like Abortion Support Network, which helps to fund Irish women travelling to the UK for abortions.

Time: 4pm
Date: Saturday 17th November
Location: Outside the Irish Embassy

Would you like to be involved in the protest? Would you like to speak briefly about how Savita’s case has affected you? Can you tell us what we can do to help change the law in Ireland? We are particularly keen to hear from Irish women who can tell us what it's like to be a woman living under such restrictive anti-choice laws. If you would like to be involved, please email - anyone is welcome to speak up on the day as well, even if you've never spoken at a protest before, feel free to join us!
More information and links to follow, but please, send the message out: this is a vigil for Savita, so please come along to remember a young women, killed by anti-abortion law. We can and must work to prevent this from happening again.


  1. I think this si very important, and we should defiently have another more organised event.

    I was at the Irish Embassy last night, and it was so empowering to see so many people turn up- and to know that we were standing in solidarity with people all over Ireland doing the same.

    However I felt quite upset that no Irish woman was invited to speak. The whole point of this is that our voices are not being heard back home in Ireland- so we should be speaking up ourselves at these protests. We shoudl be driving them.

    1. Hello Hazel,

      I absolutely agree. Unfortunately due to time constraints yesterday, I was only able to contact a few people to speak, but I am contacting many of the Irish women that I met at last night's protest and asking them in particular to speak on Saturday. I am just one person organising the protest on this website, and would love for more people to get involved. Would you yourself be willing to help out and speak on Saturday? If you'd like to, please email me: This shouldn't be a divisive protest, I very much want everyone to be involved, and really hope that Irish women, who are the ones most affected, are there to support and speak out and let us know how we can help from over here.

      Best wishes,


    2. Hazel - agreed 100%. I was particularly disappointed to see that some of the Socialist Party people who showed up with good intentions seemed to think that this was a general "on-demand abortion for all" rally, which is a substantially different issue and plays right into the hands of the likes of Youth Defence, Precious Life and all the other "no to abortion at all costs" campaigners.

      I think it's important to keep the focus on how this impacts the lives of Irish women (possibly providing a wider context of general reproductive rights issues in Ireland as they apply to contraception access in general).

  2. I'm away in Leeds for the weekend so I won't be able to make this one, unfortunately. I'm still spreading the word to anyone I know who might be able to make it, though, and I've been thinking about what other options we've got to put pressure on the Irish Government.

    One thing to bear in mind is that in light of the outcome of ABC Vs Ireland, the European Court of Human Rights found that the lack of Irish legislation to formalise the terms under which abortion is accessible on medical grounds was a violation of the European Convention of Human Rights. This means that those of us who cannot contact Irish ministers directly about the issue (for want of a registered Irish address) can and should contact our MEPs about this issue and ask them to put pressure on the Irish government to address the issue.

    When contacting your MEP, you may want to point out that the Irish government has shown a remarkable willingness to rush through legislation on short notice where it perceives that this is necessary to address issues of compliance with European law: for instance, TD Sean Sherlock proposed in January 2012 that legislation was required to resolve a perceived loophole resulting from a 2010 court case. This legislation was signed into law on the 29th of February.

    For those of us in London, I think the best MEPs to target are the following:
    Charles Tannock CON (Human Rights committee member, foreign affairs committee member)
    Claude Moraes LAB (Civil Liberties committee member)
    Baroness Sarah Ludford LIBDEM (Human Rights committee substitute)
    Mary Honeyball LAB (Women's Rights and Gender Equality committee member)
    Marina Yannakoudakis CON (Women's Rights and Gender Equality committee member)

    You can find your MEPs and their contact details at, or you can use to find them based on your postcode and email them through the website.

    1. Hi Amelia,

      Thank you for helping to organise the event last night. I've just sent you an email.

      I think the larger problem is that there hasn't been a forum where Irish women, and supporters- can get organised.

      I would love to help with organisisng the event on Saturday.

      Also, Kyle- I think another thing we can do is to encourage people to take part in this:!/PostcardsForSavita

      We can send postcards from abroad- with the date we emigrated, saying we would feel reluctant to return because of how badly the Irish state treats Irish women.

      I also think people running the Generation Emigration Irish Times would be interested in helping. They published an article I wrote this morning, and said they'd advertise another event.

    2. The postcard campaign is a great one, i'm going to see if I can get high-resolution images of them so we can print off our own ones.

      The Generation Emigration thing sounds good too - I suspect the irish government haven't admitted to themselves that bad reproductive rights legislation will be one of the things that drives people to consider emigration


    The facebook event page for Saturday - please share and invite your friends.