Irish Citizens Flocking Back Home to Legalize Abortion
The 8th Amendment of Ireland’s constitution prohibits the termination of a pregnancy unless the mother’s life is in immediate danger. As Ireland is a predominantly Catholic country, it’s laws equate the life of a fetus with the life of the mother, but this Friday, voters will have the opportunity to repeal this.
Studies show that, up to nine women a day, are forced to fly to the United Kingdom to terminate their pregnancies. Although the abortion procedure is illegal in Ireland, that does not necessarily mean that Irish citizens are not getting abortions. Many women have also been desperate enough to take illegal, non-regulated abortion pills if they cannot afford to travel outside of the nation’s borders to have the procedure- a crime that can be punishable for up to 14 years in prison.
It is for this reason, along with an assortment of others, that Irish people from all around the world are flying back to their homeland to participate at the polls tomorrow, Friday, May 25, to #VoteYes and #RepealThe8th, which criminalizes abortion. Voting no does not stop abortion from happening, but can prevent women from resorting to drastic measures when their unwanted pregnancy cannot be terminated.
History has proven that, in countries where abortion is illegal, a woman who desperately does not want to be pregnant will find a way to terminate her own pregnancy. From illegal abortion pills to gruesome coat-hanger abortions in third world countries, women have found loopholes to government regulations on abortion. A woman who wishes to terminate her pregnancy is ultimately limited by nothing other than her socioeconomic status. The criminalization of abortion only truly limits one population- the population of poor or impoverished women who do not have the means to travel to obtain a safe abortion.
By prohibiting these women from getting abortions, you deny them access to a medical technology which is accessible to others in a higher socioeconomic class, thereby creating a systematic disadvantage to lower income mothers. This further propels the poverty cycle by birthing children into families who will most likely struggle to care for them, and denying the unborn children access to the opportunities wealth typically provides.
People on twitter are tweeting about their journeys #HomeToVote to ensure equal opportunity for women of all economic classes.
— Louise Barry (@made0fglitter) May 23, 2018
Boarding a 13 hour flight from Buenos Aires to London. London to Dublin tomorrow. No one at airport knows what my repeal jumper means. No one here knows why I’m travelling. If this feels isolating for me, can’t imagine how lonely it must be 4 her, travelling 2 the UK #HomeToVote
— Ciaran Gaffney (@gaffneyciaran) May 22, 2018