Why Irish Politicians Are Wearing Black 'Repeal' Sweatshirts To Support Pro-Choice

Members of an Irish left-wing political party have made a poignant gesture to emphasise the need to repeal the ban on abortion


From the Fawcett Society's 'This is what a feminist looks like' T-shirt to Vivienne Westwood's recent 'Theresa Talk Vivienne' top, slogan-covered apparel has always been a simple yet powerful way to broadcast a political or ideological agenda.

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And yesterday, it was the turn of members of the AAA-PBP alliance (Anti-Austerity Alliance–People Before Profit) who wore black 'Repeal' sweatshirts in the Irish parliament, the Dáil, to support women's rights to have an abortion.

First day back in Government . #repealthe8th

A photo posted by Repeal Project (@repealproject) on


The word 'REPEAL' in white letters emblazoned across the front of the black T-shirt, refers to the on-going campaign for Ireland's government to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the Irish constitution, a law passed in 1983 which outlaws abortion in Ireland.

Created by Repeal Project founder Anna Cosgrave, the jumpers are described as 'an outerwear project meant to give voice to a hidden problem', according to the movement's Twitter account.

Ruth Coppinger, – one of six members who wore the jumper – took the opportunity to call on the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny), to 'repeal, not amend the Eighth Amendment' to the Constitution on abortion and urged him to open a referendum on the issue.

According to Coppinger, 165,000 women had been forced to travel abroad for abortions during Kenny's office in the since 2011.

A group in Cambodia hosting a #riseandrepeal March for Choice. #repealthe8th

A photo posted by Repeal Project (@repealproject) on

Kenny later admitted he respected Coopinger's view but explained, 'it is not a black-and-white situation. The T-shirts may be black and have white writing but this is about people and people have different views'.

Pro-Repeal. Pro-choice.

Get your 'Repeal' sweatshirt here (currently out of stock).

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