In an ideal world, abortion would be legalised but nobody would access it
In an ideal world, abortion would be legalised but nobody would access it.
In an ideal world, every pregnancy would be viable.
In an ideal world, every girl would get to choose the moment at which she conceives. In an ideal world, every girl would get to choose with whom she conceives life.
In an ideal world, contraception would be fool-proof and never fail. In an ideal world women would be free to be sexually expressive without condemnation.
We do not live in an ideal world.
We do not live in a society or country that favours women. We live in a country that has historically shamed, oppressed and burdened women.
The first Magdalene asylum in Ireland opened its doors on Leeson Street in 1765. Until the last asylum in Ireland closed in 1996, women with pregnancies outside of wedlock were forced into institutions that have since gained notoriety as one of the world’s largest human rights infringements in history.
Twenty years later, instead of institutionalising women, we exile them.
Today, the story of #TwoWomenTravel has taken over my newsfeed. And while the story has appeared in multiple outlets, we as one of the first publications to feature the story, seem to have gathered the largest thread of commenters.
As the largest website for women in this country, it’s incredible to see such a large discourse taking place underneath such a turbulent issue. What is not encouraging is the amount of women commenting and shaming the two girls forced to travel to the UK.
While you may not agree with their decision to live tweet or blog their journey, their choice is theirs. While you may feel that their reasoning for procuring an abortion is “shameful” you can be sure that with them, in the cohort of women exiled daily, there is a terrified teen, a struggling single mother, or a bereaved woman with a non-viable pregnancy.
More shame on you for your failure to support them. For your failure to see beyond the limits of your own experiences.
Many commenters have expressed their distaste at Her.ie for our continued stance on Repealing the 8th amendment and have pledged to unfollow us on all forms of social media.
To you, we collectively say, farewell.
I sincerely hope that you never find yourself in a situation where you may have to procure an abortion. I hope that your sister, niece, daughter, neighbour, friend or colleague also never has to find themselves in that terrifying place. If you do, know that you can turn to us for support and stories of solidarity. We will continue to be here as a non-judgemental, listening ear. Ideally, you'll never have to come back to us.
But like I said, we don’t live in an ideal world.