Abortion in Ireland: ‘Silence is breaking 12 hearts a day’

A 2012 poster advertising a memorial for Savita Hallapanavar. Photograph: Cathal Mcnaughton/Reuters

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As #TwoWomenTravel, two friends recently live-tweeted their journey to Britain for one of them to have an abortion. Another 11 women will have made the same journey every day. But is the country ready to repeal its eighth amendment?

Emer O'Toole

Monday 29 August 2016 16.21 BST

Ireland’s abortion regime has been responsible for a litany of tragedies in recent years. The death of Savita Halappanavar, denied a life-saving abortion during her miscarriage; the state-sponsored abuse of Miss Y, a suicidal teenage asylum seeker and rape victim, forced to carry her pregnancy to viability and deliver by C-section; a brain-dead woman kept alive, effectively as an incubator, against her family’s wishes. And there are plenty more mundane, yet nonetheless heartbreaking, stories of approximately 12 women a day who travel to the UK to access abortion services.

In the last year, something fundamental has shifted. The Irish pro-choice movement is getting loud. Actors and writers including Tara Flynn, Helen Linehan and Susan Cahill have shared their abortion stories, bravely breaking taboos. An “abortion bus” flouted the law to tour Ireland distributing medication. Comedian Gráinne Maguire had us all tweeting details of our periods to the taoiseach, Enda Kenny. Activist Anna Cosgrave designed distinctive Repeal jumpers, so that on any given day in Dublin you will see supporters with their commitment to repealing the 1983 eighth amendment to the constitution emblazoned across their chests. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

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Source: The Guardian