Friday, 28 October 2016

How can we help Ireland in the fight for abortion rights?

"The right to life of a woman is equal to that of a fetus" according to the 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution. This was passed in only 1983. Prior to this abortion was becoming legal in more and more countries, including the UK, but Irish politicians and religious leaders increased the barriers to access legal abortion. There were even legal barriers in place to prevent people travelling to another country for abortion, or for others to provide advice to pregnant people as to where they could seek an abortion. It wasn't until 1992 people were legally allowed abortion to save their life. This information and horrifying stories can be found in the presentation by ARC here.


Religion should not be involved in law-making. It is a personal choice to follow a religion. Not every single person in one country is going to follow the same religion or even any religion. From what I know I can't stand it, to be honest, all faiths I have learnt about are misogynistic and impose on people's rights to their own bodies. Things like this need to be a personal choice. How dare people still control what others do with their bodies?! It's archaic. 

If you believe life begins at the moment of conception, you are in a way correct. Sperm and egg are living things. But so are the cells on your legs that you exfoliate off and kill! They are human cells, why not just go ahead and ban exfoliation?! We have known for a long time now how embryos develop, they are not already mini-humans that simply grow in size.

Regardless of that, what business is it of yours anyway? If you become pregnant it should be your prerogative to choose to abort or not. Other people are not your business. If you personally think abortion is wrong, keep it to yourself, that's fine, choose not to if you end up in that situation. Who knows, you might need to change your mind if the situation ever does arise. No one else should be deciding for an individual what they should or shouldn't be doing with their body, and that applies to much more than abortion. The UN has previously found Ireland to violate human rights with their abortion laws (here) and it is. This needs to change.

"Why can't women just travel elsewhere for an abortion?" You might think. But that is not possible for everyone and is a very privileged way of thinking. Not everyone in Ireland can afford to travel out of the country, which is why the Abortion Support Network is vital as they provide financial help and accommodation. Some might not have access to childcare for their children and can't leave. Others might not be able to travel due to ill health, but they are still often denied abortion because their situation is not life threatening enough. Many women in Ireland have died because of this decision. 

You may have recently seen articles or tweets discussing 'Repeal the 8th', which is a petition started in 2014 by the Abortion Rights Campaign to repeal the 8th Amendment I mentioned earlier.

You can sign this petition here so do it now if you have not done so already. Right now!

There are also events such as this one around the UK. Another way to help if you are unable to attend meetings and protests is by donating. You could donate to Women on Web, which is a digital community offering stories, help, and support to those who have had an abortion or need one across many countries and languages. Or to the Abortion Support Network who provide financial help and accommodation to those travelling from Ireland and the Isle of Man for abortion. Alternatively, you could donate directly to the Abortion Rights Campaign.

You can join the campaign to get involved in other ways here.

Poland has possibly been on your radar too due to the recently proposed legislation to completely outlaw abortion in Poland. At the moment abortion is illegal in Poland except in cases of rape, when the woman's life is at stake, or if the fetus is irreparably damaged. The total ban was rejected after roughly 10,000 women across Poland protested against it. However, Poland still has some of the strictest abortion laws in the EU, the fight is far from over.

I was inspired by this article to get more involved and to write this post. It's not something we can sit back and wait for. It's not something we can simply tweet about and cross our fingers. We need to help.

9 comments :

  1. Until recently (after seeing posts like this on blogs) I had no idea that these laws existed.

    Rosy | Sparkles of Light Blog

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  2. This was a really eye opening and important post. I definitely agree on the religion front, I think decisions like these do need to be made outside of a faith, especially when it concerns a person's health, and even in cases where victims of rape or sexual abuse need a service like this as a result of that. I think it's always a controversial issue when people debate the issue around life and conception, and the surrounding ethics, I still think this service should be available to people, and be free of judgement as I can imagine even having to consider going through with abortion is a very emotional and difficult decision to make. I know that there will always be people who oppose it, but having the option available to people I think is important. Sorry for the very long comment, but I had a lot of thoughts and I definitely agree with you! Also, yes, decorating your room for Halloween is too much fun, so I'd love to see if you use any of the ideas! - Tasha

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  3. This was a really interesting read! I had no idea until recently that anti-abortion laws still existed in Ireland and I was horrified - as you say, it should be a personal choice and everyone should be able to do what is right for them. Thank you for including the link to the petition, I'm off to sign it now :) xx

    Toasty

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  4. I 100% agree with everything you've said, it's outrageous that the government get to make these decisions - it's personal choice. If someone wants to terminate a pregnancy then the best thing is to let them do that because the last thing any country needs are kids that aren't really wanted. I don't agree with that whole thing of only agreeing to it in cases of rape or if the mother or baby's life is in danger, it should be if someone doesn't want to be pregnant and that's that. That person will have their reasons and it's personal to them! Thanks for linking the petition, off to sign it now x

    Josie | Sick Chick Chic

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  5. I only know of them 'cos most of my family live in Ireland! I recently found out about the laws in Poland because of all the protests and such in the media.

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  6. It's all down to the individual really, if they oppose abortion then they don't have to have one if the situation arises! But some people seem to think its OK to nose into other people's business. I just can't believe governments still think they can control people's bodies, it makes no sense to me :(

    I think I've left it a bit late to decorate this year, maybe next year I will!

    Thanks for your thoughtful comment :)

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  7. Thank you, I'm glad it was of use, and thank you so much for signing the petition! It is horrifying, I can't really believe it myself! I've always known about the abortion laws in Ireland because my family are from there and many still live there so it affects people I know and love. It's really strange for me 'cos it feels so much like home when I visit but the laws on abortion are so archaic...

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  8. That's such an important point as well! There are SO many unwanted children in the world already, we deffo don't need more and it's awful for a child to be brought into the world if they are not really wanted.

    Thank you so much for signing the petition :)

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  9. I completely agree, it's something which should be down to the individual alone and I hope that we start to see a lift on some of the bans in certain areas on this in the near future. This year's Halloween was a strange one, I decorated, but didn't do a costume or make-up so I think I need to plan a little better next year! :)

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