Since 1983, abortion has been constitutionally banned in Ireland, leading thousands of Irish women to seek abortions by either illegally ordering pills online, or crossing the border to England to get the procedure. To shine a spotlight on what the realities of this ban truly mean, an Irish woman, along with her friend, live-tweeted her abortion journey from Ireland to England over the weekend.
The two women’s tweets showed the reality of seeking abortion far from home: train rides, waiting rooms, and boarding a plane while still bleeding from an invasive procedure. They also frequently tweeted at abortion-ban supporter Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.
Recently, the UN Human Rights Committee found that an Irish woman whose fetus was not viable was subjected to discrimination and inhumane treatment because of the ban. “Many of the negative experiences she went through could have been avoided if (she) had not been prohibited from terminating her pregnancy in the familiar environment of her own country and under the care of health professionals whom she knew and trusted,” the committee said. However, Prime Minister Kenny has warned that any attempt to overturn the constitutional ban would be defeated.
That didn’t deter support for the Two Women Travel Twitter account, though—especially from other women who have sought abortions in difficult conditions, plus advocacy groups and celebrities. Even Simon Harris, the minister of health in Ireland, tweeted about their experience and called for a forum to discuss the ban.
Thanks to @TwoWomenTravel for telling story of reality which faces many. Citizens Assembly – a forum to discuss 8th & make recommendations— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) August 21, 2016
Today, @TwoWomenTravel but you're not on your own in this. So many people are with you. X— James Corden (@JKCorden) August 20, 2016
The Daily Dot has reached out to the account holders about their experience but hasn’t heard back as of this posting.
A 2007 study showed that abortion rates are similar all over the world, whether the procedure is legal or not, suggesting that bans do nothing to deter people from getting abortions, only from getting them in safe and convenient ways.
“We hope that the outpouring of public support encourages more women to document their experiences, to highlight the issue, and to stand with us in the battle to control our own bodies,” the two women wrote on Twitter.