'Shrouded in shame': the young women on either side of Ireland's abortion debate
Anti-abortion and pro-choice activists are gearing up for a hard-fought referendum in which the youth vote could prove key
Tue 30 Jan 2018
An average of 11 women travel each day from the island of Ireland to have an abortion in England and Wales, according to the most recent Department of Health data. That adds up to more than 200,000 journeys since 1983, when the passing of the Eighth Amendment underlined the ban on abortions in the republic.
In Northern Ireland, the potential punishment for contravening the ban is even more severe. “It’s much more difficult even to have a conversation about abortion in Belfast,” says Jess Brien, a 25-year-old pro-choice campaigner who lives in Northern Ireland’s capital, “because the maximum sentence for having one here is life imprisonment.”