Tweet it like it is
November 8, 2015 2:32 PM   Subscribe

Abortion in Ireland is illegal with the sole exception of when the mother’s life is in immediate danger. Comedian Gráinne Maguire is using Twitter to focus more attention to the issue by live-tweeting the details of her period to Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

From Broadly (Vice.com): "For Maguire, tweeting the details of her period at the Irish government made perfect sense. After all, if male politicians believe they have ownership over female bodies, shouldn't they know all the gory details?"

(Note: Re-posted after removing link to petition.)
posted by cynical pinnacle (22 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is a great idea that needs to be imported over here to the states. Of course, I'm not under any illusion that anyone other than some low-level intern reads the tweets. Still...
posted by Thorzdad at 2:40 PM on November 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Reminds me of a brave lady around here who disrupted a protest at Planned Parenthood by chanting about her yeast infection.
posted by idiopath at 2:53 PM on November 8, 2015 [24 favorites]


This is a current issue not only because women should have, you know, control over their own bodies, but because citizens are trying to put pressure on politicians to Repeal the 8th, which can only be done via a national referendum.

There is, unfortunately, no chance of a referendum in the current political generation. No political party either currently in power or with any chance of coming into power in the next election is willing to put a referendum on the 8th back into play. The majority of Irish people do want a referendum and want to loosen the utterly restrictive law, but the No side is loud and well funded. This issue causes civil unrest, splits friendships, splits families, and splits political parties; that is why it is toxic and that is why it isn't going to happen any time in the foreseeable future.

So while this is an admirable effort that is doing a brilliant job of making this issue into news, it isn't going to get Irish women access to abortions. The best way to do that between now and the glorious but distant day when we can actually vote on this is to support the Abortion Support Network, which funds women who don't have the money to travel to the UK for terminations. ASN is able to operate legally and openly from the UK and is essentially the overground railroad for women who need to travel.

And we cannot thank them enough for doing it.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:30 PM on November 8, 2015 [32 favorites]


Abortion in Ireland is illegal with the sole exception of when the woman’s life is in immediate danger.
posted by mama casserole at 4:30 PM on November 8, 2015 [17 favorites]


The standard procedure is to go outside the Republic of Ireland (e.g. Northern Ireland, England or quite commonly Holland), get an abortion, come back. That does not break Irish law apparently.

This is one of those cases where a law is annoying and out-dated, but is just easy enough to bypass that inadequate pressure builds up to get the law changed.
posted by w0mbat at 5:06 PM on November 8, 2015


How does that "just as easy" play out for women who can't afford to travel, or for girls who are underage?
posted by poffin boffin at 5:12 PM on November 8, 2015 [25 favorites]


The standard procedure is to go outside the Republic of Ireland (e.g. Northern Ireland, England or quite commonly Holland), get an abortion, come back.
Northern Ireland's abortion laws are every ounce as regressive as the Republic's.

The Guardian published an article last week that makes it clear why abortion-related travel is a huge burden and why these laws are more than "annoying" for many women.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:15 PM on November 8, 2015 [20 favorites]


The standard methods for Irish women seeking an abortion is unlikely to be to flee to Northern Ireland since the laws on securing an abortion there are just as oppressive. Essentially the life of the mother has to be at risk for her to secure an abortion in Northern Ireland. Further a women whose residence is in Northern Ireland cannot even secure an NHS abortion if they get to England, which is a disgrace. They have to find the funds for a private operation.
posted by biffa at 5:16 PM on November 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


Women die in Ireland because of the illegality of abortion. A life threatening pregnancy can kill very fast. Ectopic pregnancies when they burst for example, placenta previa as well, deadly unless correctly treated.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 5:17 PM on November 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


Northern Ireland's abortion laws are every ounce as regressive as the Republic's.

You are quite right, I had no idea that the UK Abortion Act 1967 did not apply in Northern Ireland even though it's part of the UK.
posted by w0mbat at 7:06 PM on November 8, 2015


ArbitraryAndCapricious, thank you for sharing the link to that story. It was heartbreaking to read.
posted by jaguar at 8:08 PM on November 8, 2015


All I can hope is that the Irish goverment can absorb this information, so they can peel off the bad laws and toss them away.
posted by Samizdata at 8:42 PM on November 8, 2015


This is one of those cases where a law is annoying and out-dated, but is just easy enough to bypass that inadequate pressure builds up to get the law changed.

By all means, stand in California and tell me about the realities for women in Ireland and how easy it is for us to obtain and pay for abortions. Maybe you can also enlighten me as to which hospital I should go to if I have emergency complications when I get back home, or whether it is safe for me to see MY OWN FUCKING DOCTOR for my six-week aftercare appointment.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:25 PM on November 8, 2015 [20 favorites]


All I can hope is that the Irish goverment can absorb this information, so they can peel off the bad laws and toss them away.

The law can only be changed by a referendum and all the major parties refuse to call one and have refused to do so for 30 years. That's the entire point of this campaign: "repeal the 8th" , means "hold a referendum to give the people the chance to repeal the 8th referendum to the constitution".

The government completely understands the situation and simply does not care. They - and all previous governments for 30 years - still choose to treat bodily autonomy for women as a lower priority than not upsetting the church.
posted by coleboptera at 11:26 PM on November 8, 2015


(Note: Re-posted after removing link to petition.)

Would it be wrong for me to want a link to the petition? If this is it, I don't feel like it's out of place in the comments.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:37 PM on November 8, 2015


Church and state, hand in hand, jumping up and down on the rights of humans.

This saddens me and I hope Ireland gets this sorted out before more people are hurt.
posted by dazed_one at 11:39 PM on November 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I sit here in perplexity in Australia. The government of Ireland, despite the opposition of the church, has legalised same-sex marriage. Yet they won't fix this.
posted by valetta at 11:47 PM on November 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


The government of Ireland, despite the opposition of the church, has legalised same-sex marriage. Yet they won't fix this.

I genuinely don't think it is accurate or helpful to frame the issue around the Catholic Church. 20 years ago, 90% of the population attended Mass. Now it's 18%. Very few people give a flying fuck what any bishop has to say about anything. This is not a religious problem; it's a political problem.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:51 PM on November 8, 2015


I do think it's a bit accurate to frame it around the church. Only a small percent of the people care what the church thinks, but a sufficient proportion of those who do care are in positions in political parties where they can stop things getting to the point where a referendum could be called. It's like the way here in Australia a handful of politicians at fulcrums of power can stop the consideration of passing of same-sex marriage despite the vast majority of the country supporting it.
posted by coleboptera at 12:04 AM on November 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


That said your point is totally right - it is a political rather than religious problem.
posted by coleboptera at 12:21 AM on November 9, 2015


Legalising same-sex marriage clearly demonstrated how far the church's influence has waned in Ireland.
posted by valetta at 12:36 AM on November 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


The tweets are fantastic. Good for Grainne for using humour to address a vital aspect of women's rights. And I can't believe I was standing outside the Irish consulate in toronto back in 1989 yelling for basic abortion rights in Ireland. (I'm not Irish but was adding my voice in support). The chant we were yelling was "Irish women say go to hell, we don't want to be Chantal". Chantal was the name of a woman who had had to go to the states to get an abortion against her abusive boyfriend's wishes. Not long after Canada's abortion law was struck down and twenty five years later Irish women still don't have access (not to mention the horrific restrictions that occurred in the u.s. on abortion access)
posted by biggreenplant at 6:12 PM on November 9, 2015


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