Women in Ireland are planning to strike on 8 March if the government does not call a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment which grants a foetus the same rights as a pregnant woman.

Pro-choice activists are urging women to refuse to attend work or carry out chores on 8 March to protest their lack of reproductive rights.

In the Republic of Ireland having an abortion is a criminal offence and carries a 14-year prison sentence. There is no exemption for women who terminate a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest.

Campaigners say that on average 12 Irish women travel to Great Britain every day to access safe termination services.

They hope that the Strike 4 Repeal campaign will force the government to listen to their concerns and call a referendum. They point towards the success of last year's strike in Poland which resulted in parliament rejecting an anti-abortion bill.

On 8 March women are encouraged to wear black in protest. On the campaign's Facebook page organisers are urging women to take the day off work:

"Consider all the work that you'd typically do on that day, and how withdrawing from it might highlight the contribution that you and millions make every day to a country where we do not have access to basic healthcare. Every person who has an abortion has to take at least a day, whether to travel or stay at home. Use this day to stand in solidarity with them, and demand change."

Campaign spokesperson April Corroon said: "We share the concern of many pro-choice groups that the Citizen's Assembly is no more than a hollow pretense of progress. It is the latest in years' worth of attempts to delay the undeniable movement in favour of repealing the 8th Amendment."

Public opinion is in favour of a major overhaul to the abortion law. According to a poll by Amnesty International 72% of people in Northern Ireland support the legalisation of abortion in the cases of rape, incest and when the foetus will not survive outside the womb.

Amnesty poll Northern Ireland abortion law
About 72% of the Irish public support the legalisation of abortion Amnesty International