If there is any one thing people know about me, it’s that I am very opinionated and probably over share on a regular basis! #sorrynotsorry. So recently trending on the internet has been the hashtag #knowyourrepealers. As far as my knowledge goes it came about from criticism about the ‘type’ of people who support the 8th amendment of the Constitution of Ireland being repealed, to allow women to avail of an abortion in their home country. With those against the movement claiming that people who want to repeal the 8th are; “liberal students from Dublin universities, Trotskyites, Shinners and Anti-Austerity Alliance”. This outraged a huge amount of sane people, myself included! There is no ‘type’ of person who is pro-choice. So we took to Twitter and gave these nay-sayers a chance to see who we really are and stand together in solidarity. Joined together by a common goal, yet not divided by our differences.
I want to make clear I am pro-choice NOT pro-abortion. I think that it has to be the hardest decision a woman would ever make in her life. So I am almost certain no sane person is pro-abortion. It is not something I think is an easy decision or an easy way out by any means. Every woman and man behind this necessary movement has a completely justified reason, this is not just a fad or a phase. In a country that has seen countless numbers of people affected by our ancient, outdated laws, riddled in religious guilt. I do not want to stand by and let this just be something we must accept. We are real people. We have the right to equality and the right to make decisions regarding our own bodies. No two women have the exact same stories, but that should not change the fact that they are entitled to take responsibility over their bodies. It is as if we live in the dark ages. Asking that a woman can receive safe, unbiased medical treatment in her own country.
I have been lucky enough to never find myself in the position of the women who have been forced to travel abroad. Which in 2015, was roughly nine women a day! Many in secret, due to the fear, shame, and exile they would otherwise face. I have been in a relationship with an amazing guy for over four years and this morning I told him of the nightmares I had last night about going to get an abortion. Then I woke up from the horror to #knowyourrepealers trending online. It warmed my soul to see that there was people from all walks of life, normal people, who want to see the law changed for the greater good. Clearly, this is not something I would want for me or for any other woman to go through. It affects all of us, even if we are not directly falling victim to such horrendous conditions. If you think it’s not a big deal then I suggest you go to Twitter and search for @TwoWomenTravel and follow their story. It terrifies me that women are forced into this world of fear and uncertainty because of the ignorance of a government – our government.
We, the Irish, are a liberal modern society. We fought for marriage equality and now it is time to fight to repeal the 8th, to give women equality! Whatever their reasons I trust that they will not make such a decision lightly. It is not my choice, it is theirs. Their body. Their life. Their health. As women, we should have the choice!
#knowyourrepealers – I am not the ‘usual suspect’ who campaigns for pro-choice. Yes, I am a woman. Yes, I would be considered liberal. Yes, I went to university, which I have since graduated from with an honours degree. I am not a Trotskyites, or a Sinn Fèin supporter or even an Anti-Austerity Alliance supporter. I am not normally the type of person who goes out and marches for everything they believe in. But I have bright hopes for the future I am moulding. A future which I hope to not see such fear and shame associated with sex and abortion.
I retweeted two of the tweets that held the most sentiment with me. One man mentioned that he was a “Father of a girl” and that he doesn’t deserve such a title if he is not willing to stand up for her rights. I don’t deserve the privilege of being an auntie and godmother if I am not willing to fight for those little girls rights. I will fight for them to have a choice. The second tweet states; “I want to travel on boats and planes with my partner for adventures. For everything else we’ll stay at home.” I feel the exact same. I would not like to see my boyfriend suffer with me, or any other man for that matter. We will only travel for adventures, not because we are not trusted to make choices over our own bodies. It is time to take a stand! It is time to let the world know we are here! I struggle to properly articulate everything I want to say as so many emotions rush through me as I try to write this post. I have left so many elements of this issue unaddressed, a book could be written on the issues faced by the corrupt abortion laws in this country.
I am 22. Surrounded by a pro-life family. Auntie to two beautiful little girls. I will always trust women and I will always be pro-choice.
Never give up!