It's Time To Change Ireland's Archaic Abortion Laws

By Laura Jane Quirk

In Ireland zucchinis are "courgettes", fries are "chips, chips are "crisps", a woman is a "vessel", and her body can be state-controlled.

Sorry, what?

In 2016, Irish women are fighting for the right to have full bodily autonomy from the state. On the Emerald Isle, locked into the Irish Constitution, is the Eighth Amendment which gives the unborn fetus equal rights to a living woman.

In 2012 Savita Halappanavar lost her life due to doctors refusing to terminate her unviable fetus. Her husband Praveen, suffered devastating loss due to draconian Irish law. Women seeking abortions must leave the country, many choosing to travel to England, and face the procedure alone with no access to medical follow-ups once home.

This journey was recently documented on the Twitter account Two Women Travel. This option of course is the lesser of two evils as some women do not have the ability to travel. The women who cannot make that journey may face a horrifying reality which no woman should be forced to face. Specifically, I am referring to a 2014 case in which a young, suicidal, immigrant woman was denied an abortion at eight weeks and forced to continue that unwanted pregnancy by the state. She was then subjected to a caesarean section at just 25 weeks.

Ladies and gentlemen I give you modern Ireland. It's a nightmare.

This Saturday September 24th there will be a global protest, supporting the women of Ireland, calling for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment, and highlighting the chains which hold their bodies hostage to the Irish state. Check out this Facebook page to find out if there is a Repeal protest happening near you.

A woman is not a vessel. A body is a body.