After receiving a number of “nasty” messages from anti-choice activists, a blogger in Ireland got angry, and then decided to raise her voice. According to The Guardian, Janet Ni Shuilleabhain of Dublin, 38, over the course of an hour, mother of two teenagers shared her story on Twitter of how she was forced to travel to England with her boyfriend to get an abortion when she was 18-years-old.
Her theory was that for every one person who shares their story it will make it easier for others. She was also defiant, “Sod it,” she thought, I have been silent for too long. Janet and her boyfriend had lied to her parents, telling them they were off to enjoy a romantic break in England one weekend. As one of the tweets remembered, “The mid-morning flight, the pale serious women on it were easy to spot.” She was on her way to England for an abortion, and she was not the only one.
When they got to the clinic, there were protestors outside, and they were shouted at, in both the English and the Irish languages. “God loves you and the baby” was one of the unforgettable Irish slogans that was being chanted.
After she came around from the anaesthetic, she recalled how she “cried from relief and sadness,” as she knew she could not be pregnant anymore. She was lying flat on her stomach.
She lamented that her first tie of falling pregnant had been “a time of stress and worry” and not a “happy event.”
Ireland has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe, only allowing abortion for women whose pregnancies threaten their lives. According to the Irish Family Planning Association, an estimated 12 women travel from Ireland to Britain to get an abortion, as a result. In November, the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a case on behalf of a woman diagnosed with a nonviable pregnancy who was forced to travel to the UK for legal and safe reproductive health services.