This Irish Abortion Activist Has Been Fighting For Women’s Rights For Decades

Irish feminist and LGBTQ activist Ailbhe Smyth

by Hillary E. Crawford
Aug 25, 2016

The fight for reproductive rights and physical autonomy extends far past U.S. borders, necessitating an international movement that unites pro-choice women everywhere. As the battle to make abortion more accessible in the states continues, women in Ireland are protesting their constitution’s Eighth Amendment, which bans abortion entirely unless extremely special circumstances are met. Impassioned feminist and LGBTQ activist Ailbhe Smyth is at the front lines of the movement to eradicate Ireland's Eighth Amendment and create a more inclusive society. For the past 40 years she has pushed for women’s rights, and she has great hope for Ireland’s next generation.

Smyth, the convenor of Ireland's Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment, became involved in the women’s rights movement as a college student during the 1970s. When her daughter was born, she remained in the movement to fight for her rights. And when her daughter’s daughter was born years later, the new grandmother viewed the struggle as even more relevant to the next generation. Her efforts, in other words, know no generational boundaries. They apply to women of all ages who want reproductive autonomy.

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