National Partnership for Women & Families

In the News

Campaign seeks to highlight journey Irish women take for abortion care

Irish individuals who are living abroad and traveling back home for Christmas are taking part in a social media campaign to raise support for abortion care, the Irish Post reports (Higgins, Irish Post, 12/19).

Background

In 2013, Ireland's Parliament legalized abortion in cases only when the procedure is needed to save a woman's life, including when there is a medical consensus that a woman would commit suicide if the pregnancy continued. However, the law does not allow abortions in other instances, including rape, incest, fetal anomaly or when the fetus has no chance of survival.

Providers who perform abortions outside the law's limitations are subject to a 14-year prison sentence.

The ban each year drives thousands of pregnant women in Ireland to travel to other countries, usually England, for abortion care. Since 2013, Ireland residents in multiple opinion polls have expressed majority support for legalizing abortion care in instances of rape, incest and fetal anomalies.

Earlier this year, Ireland in a historic first agreed to compensate a woman, Amanda Mellet, for requiring her to travel to Britain to access abortion care (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/1).

Social media campaign details

Last week, the London Irish Abortion Rights Campaign launched the #Choice4Xmas campaign to highlight how some women are forced to travel outside of Ireland to receive abortion care.

The campaign suggests that individuals share photos of their luggage while en-route, posting the pictures on social media along with the hashtag #Choice4Xmas. In addition, it asks participants to check in at the airport, train station or port to share where they are coming from.

The group also recommends text to be included with the post, such as, "Travelling home to Ireland and thinking of the 11 women a day who travel to Britain for an abortion #Choice4Xmas #Repealthe8th #Extend1967Act" (Irish Post, 12/19).