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Repeal! Putting women’s health and autonomy at the centre of abortion law

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Friends Meeting House

12 Jesus Lane

Cambridge

CB5 8

United Kingdom

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Ireland and some Latin-American countries such as El Salvador have the world’s most discriminatory and punitive abortion laws. Because of it, women and girls are routinely being denied their human rights. In El Salvador women who experience complications during pregnancy have been prosecuted and convicted on charges of “aggravated murder” with sentences of up to 40 years’ imprisonment.

Join this event on International Women's Day to find out how grass root activists are making a difference and what you can do to support them. Amnesty activist Liesbeth ten Ham will give a short talk about Amnesty's campaign in El Salvador and on sexual and reproductive rights in general. Irish artist Rachel Fallon will present a brief history of article 40.3.3 the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution, its’ implications for womens’ healthcare and how Art and Activism are being utilised to create social change through cultural means.

The Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment was founded in 2015 by Cecily Brennan, Eithne Jordan, Alice Maher and Paula Meehan as an online campaign to challenge the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of Ireland; Article 40.3.3, inserted in 1983, equating the life of the pregnant woman with that of a foetus thus violating the fundamental human rights of women and girls. It has since evolved into playing a more active role using cultural and artistic methods to raise awareness and push for a referendum to repeal.

Rachel Fallon is a visual artist and member of the Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment. Her work examines themes of protection and defence in domestic and maternal realms and addresses ideas of female embodiment. As well as an individual practice, she also works in collaborative groups and collectives; including Desperate Artwives, The Feminist Parasite Institute, RAFT and The Tellurometer Project and is a founding member of Pff Publications – a feminist zine and Outpost Studios an independent artist-led studio. She is a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors. She lives in Ireland where women still have to fight for bodily autonomy.

Liesbeth ten Ham has a history degree from Utrecht University in The Netherlands and has lived in Cambridge for nearly twenty years. As a student she worked as a journalist and later in marketing and communication. She was Head of Infrastructure for a BME charity for which she led on refugee and migrant worker projects and now spends her time looking after her children, gardening and especially campaigning for human rights across the world. She has been an activist for Amnesty International since she came to Cambridge and has held various local, regional and national volunteer roles.

After the talk there will be time for questions and discussion. There will also be letters to sign with regards to women's human rights and to find out more about the work of the Cambridge City Group's women's rights subgroup and how to join.

All will be welcome to attend this event. However, we will not tolerate disruptive or disrespectful behaviour. This is a sensitive issue to many and thus we ask all to express opinions with respect.

After a tea and coffee break, around 9pm, the Cambridge City Group's campaign meeting will start. We will discuss current campaigns and events. All are welcome to stay and contribute.

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Friends Meeting House

12 Jesus Lane

Cambridge

CB5 8

United Kingdom

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