Wednesday 13 December 2017

‘Abortion is never taken lightly...you're in mourning’ – Irish woman behind Twitter account documenting friend's journey to UK for termination

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The woman behind the Twitter account which documented her Irish friend’s journey to the UK to have an abortion has told how they weren’t the only Irish people who travelled that day.

Back in August, two friends set up the account @TwoWomenTravel and tweeted the experience.

From the plane journey, to sitting in the waiting room of the clinic, she described how difficult both the decision and procedure were in her first ever radio interview.

"The waiting room was small - there was one couple who (were) definitely Irish, one girl (who was) definitely Irish,” she told Alive and Kicking on Newstalk.

"Then we went to Liverpool which was a much bigger waiting room and there was another Irish couple.

"We got talking to these two young Irish women who were in the exact some circumstances we were: one friend and one having the procedure."

She said the fact they had to travel to a different country made the experience even more difficult.

"It was really stressful, it was really tiring. We were up at 4 in the morning. I hadn't slept, I don't think she had slept either.

The thank you message posted by the woman behind the @TwoWomenTravel account
The thank you message posted by the woman behind the @TwoWomenTravel account

"Abortion is never taken lightly because pregnancy happening to a woman is not something that is cavalier; it's not something that is to be dismissed.

"You have to maintain a sense of normalcy and you're in mourning - no matter what happens, no matter the circumstance - you're in mourning".

The account garnered much reaction at the time, both nationally and internationally.

Many of the tweets were aimed at Taoiseach Enda Kenny, calling for a referendum on the Eighth Amendment.

“Pretty ordinary sights, in a place away from home. Can't say it's comforting though, Enda”.

Cora Sherlock, of the Pro-Life campaign, said the tweets “trivialised” abortion.

“When we talk about two women travelling, I would like to say that I spoke to women who at the time had travelled for abortions.

“What they said to me is they felt it was trivialising the whole matter by having a Twitter discussion which would culminate in the ending of the life of an unborn child.”

Disagreeing with Cora Sherlock’s views, Labour Senator Ivana Bacik said women need to be trusted to make decisions about their own reproductive systems.

“I would say it does boil down to an issue of trust - do we trust women or not? What I hear from people who want to retain the Eighth Amendment, is a distrust of women, a desire to judge women, women who speak publicly about their experiences, that is up  to them.

“We have to trust women. We are in 2016, we are no longer in an era where women have to be treated as children.

“That’s the sort of society I want for my daughters. And that’s why I’m for a repeal of the Eighth Amendment.”

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