Irish women need British help to change our abortion laws

Una Mullally

Every day Irish and Northern Irish women cross the sea to make the choice they’re not allowed at home

Sunday 23 October 2016

Amid all the talk of separation between the UK and its EU neighbours there is an opportunity to build a solidarity movement, at least between people in Britain and Ireland. Draconian laws that force women from both parts of Ireland to travel to Britain to access abortion have never received so much public attention as recently, and growing awareness in Britain is giving Irish women new hope.

The stories are heartbreaking: couples bringing the remains of foetuses with fatal abnormalities home through British airports in freezer bags because they couldn’t have a termination in an Irish hospital; the depravity of forcing a raped asylum seeker on hunger strike to continue a pregnancy she didn’t want; the brain-dead woman kept alive because she was pregnant; the young Northern Irish woman given a suspended sentence because she took abortion pills to end a pregnancy and her housemates told the police. There is no abortion in Ireland for rape, for incest, for fatal foetal abnormalities. Let’s be clear though, thousands of Irish women have abortions every year – they just don’t have them in Ireland. An Irish problem washes up on Britain’s shores.

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Source: The Guardian