Abortion has never affected me. It’s an option I was dimly aware of. It’s a privilege- and a sign of my privilege- that abortion is just an obvious, legitimate, legal option for a woman who is pregnant and doesn’t want to be. From what I’ve gleaned, it’s an uncomfortable and unsettling procedure. That’s as far as my thinking had ever gone on it.
Then, mostly through social media, I became aware of the upcoming referendum in Ireland. There will be a vote on whether they should repeal the eight amendment. At the moment, that amendment puts the rights of the embryo or foetus equal to the rights of the mother. That means abortion is illegal in Ireland. The vote is either Yes- get rid of this amendment and decriminalise abortion or No- keep it as it is.
If you live in Ireland and become pregnant but don’t want to be then your only two legal options are to continue with the pregnancy or travel to the UK for a termination. One other option is to take a safe but illegal abortion pill- an option which carries the risk of a 14 year prison sentence.
It saddens and appals me that women anywhere -but especially so close to home- are not free to do as they please with their lives and bodies. It infuriates me that wealthy women have the option to travel for an abortion but those with less resources don’t. It angers me that dicey science, religion and politics are used to justify something that disempowers women. But it motivates me to stand up and fight with and for my sisters.
As an English woman who will be completely unaffected by the outcome of the referendum I am completely unqualified to speak about this other than I will do whatever I can to support a woman’s right to choose
I don’t have to agree with all women’s choices but I will empower her, however I can, to make the best choices for her.
If a woman happens to believe that abortion is terrible she should go right ahead and keep any unwanted pregnancies she may have- that’s her choice and she’s free to make it.
Fine for her, not for everyone.
If a woman happens to believe that abortion is her best option that she should be able to go right ahead and have a termination- that’s her choice and she should be free to make it.
Fine for her, not for everyone.
The sisterhood -that vast and powerful and wonderful network of complicated and kind women- accepts all thoughts and walks. By repealing the eighth- by voting YES to women having the right to their own bodies- we are allowing women two options: to have an abortion or not. Everyone can still do what’s right for them.
Want to support your sisters? Here’s how.
If you don’t want to offer financial support, just raising awareness is helpful. Start conversations.
I also recommend reading some of the incredible stories on @InHerIrishShoes on Twitter
If the religious side of it interests you, then this podcast is about a large group of religious leaders from all backgrounds who formed a network to enable women to get access to abortions in America. They discuss why they felt it was their religious duty to help: listen to it online here http://www.thisiscriminal.com/episode-70-the-procedure-7-7-2017/
Unless you are an Irish citizen you cannot donate to the Yes campaign.
Here are some other options for supporting the campaign.
Buy a Black and Beech Yes necklace for £20 and all profits (£10) will go to the Together for Yes campaign.
Crowdfund a person’s travel home to vote:
Donate to the Abortion Support Network https://www.asn.org.uk
Whichever side you fall on, I support you with whatever decision you make. Let’s enable everyone to make the right decision for them by repealing the eight amendment.
For more information, please follow these links: