This proclamation from AIMSIreland to the Birthing Women of Ireland is to mark the centenary of the original Irish Proclamation which was read from the GPO 100 years ago today. The original proclamation strove to ensure equal rights for all the future citizens of Ireland, a worthy aspiration that has yet to be fully realised.
There are many areas of maternity care which are not equitable, not evidenced based and in which women and the babies they are birthing could be better served. Under the 8th amendment to the Irish Constitution women are not treated as equal citizens once they become pregnant. They surrender bodily autonomy to the State and as such are not free. AIMSIreland strives to fight these inequities and to ensure that all women who birth in Ireland have the right to safe, compassionate, evidenced based care and bodily autonomy.
WOMEN of Ireland: In the name of all those women who have gone before you and of the dead generations from which you draw your strength to birth, AIMSIreland summons you to our Charter for Safe Maternity care and strikes for the freedom of all women to choose, to be fully informed and to be treated with compassion and dignity in our maternity services.
Having organised and trained her advocates through her outspoken organisation; and through other Irish voluntary birth advocacy organisations, having resolutely waited for the right moment to reveal itself, AIMSIreland now seizes that moment, and supported by her sister global advocates, but relying in the first on her own strength, she strikes in full confidence of victory.
We declare the right of the women of Ireland to the ownership of their bodies and to the unfettered control of their destinies, to be sovereign and indefensible. The long usurpation of that right by the state and health care professionals has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of all women in Ireland. In every generation women of Ireland have asserted their right to bodily autonomy and sovereignty; countless times during the past hundred years they have asserted it collectively and individually. Standing on that fundamental right and again asserting it on social media in the face of the world, we hereby proclaim the bodies of the birthing women of Ireland as independent and autonomous and we pledge our lives and the lives of our fellow advocates to the cause of its freedom, of its welfare, and of its equality among citizens.
AIMSIreland hereby claims the allegiance of all women of Ireland to call for improved maternity care. We demand equal rights and equal opportunities for all women in birth, and declare our resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of all birthing women, cherishing all of the birthing women of the nation equally, and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by the State, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.
Until our advocacy has brought the opportune moment for the establishment of a safe compassionate dignified maternity service we will carry the mantle of ceaseless questioning.
We place the cause of Improving the Irish Maternity Services under the protection of the moral high ground Whose blessing we invoke upon our campaign and we hope that no one who serves that cause will dishonour it by cowardice.
In this supreme hour AIMSIreland must, by its valour and determination, and by the readiness of its committee and membership to work voluntarily for the common good, prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called.
Signed on behalf of AIMSIreland
Jene Hinds Kelly