Abortions are illegal in Ireland. Here's what 2 women went through to get one.

This journey has been made by too many women, and it's got to stop.

On Friday, Aug. 19, at 6 a.m., two women departed for a weekend trip from Ireland to Manchester, England. Their trip wasn't a fun getaway; it was for an appointment with a doctor that couldn't be made in their home country.

One of the women needed an abortion, and she couldn't just walk or drive to her nearest clinic to procure one because abortions have been illegal in Ireland since 1983.

The only instance in which a person may access a legal abortion in Ireland is if the pregnancy poses a threat to her life. Even with that caveat, however, there have been cases of women dying in Irish hospitals after being refused abortions.


While there have been several attempts to repeal Ireland's Eighth Amendment, which protects "the life of the unborn," it remains in effect to this day. As such, an estimated 165,000 women have traveled out of country to have the simple procedure done, with an estimated 5,000 making the trip each year.

Using the handle @TwoWomenTravel,  the pair decided to document their experience on Twitter.

"We made this journey in stern solidarity with all our Irish sisters who have gone before us," they tweeted.

Many of their tweets include the handle of the prime minister of Ireland, Enda Kenny, who has been actively impeding the referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment, though he's not the only obstacle.

Women's reproductive rights have been kept under the Irish government's thumb for far too long, and Irish women are done being silent.

In this tweet from the waiting room at the clinic, the women note that in a world where abortion is safe, legal, and accessible, they would've been home by noon.

Instead, they had to travel to another country, where they were running on little sleep and food just so one of them could access an abortion — a medical procedure that is statistically safer than colonoscopies, hernia surgery, and yes, even childbirth.

For all the conversation around abortion — for or against — there is often little insight provided as to what the process of getting an abortion is actually like. The Two Women Travel Twitter account provides a brief glimpse showing the journey and the procedure for what it is and the injustice of the obstacles women face and the relief of being able to access the abortion itself.

When the abortion was done, they tweeted a photo of the sheets with some light bloodstains — a reminder that, while abortion is a safe procedure with a short recovery time, it is still a medical procedure. For those who have to travel long distances to access them, that means a long, unnecessary, and often uncomfortable journey home.

Soon after they began tweeting their journey, their story went viral.

Overnight, @TwoWomenTravel racked up thousands of followers. Even if you only read a few of their tweets, you'll understand why.

Celebrities and Twitter users began posting tweets in solidarity.

Last year, Roisin Ingle, editor for the Irish Times, told her own abortion story, which also involved traveling to England, in an op-ed for the publication. Needless to say, she's been an avid supporter of @TwoWomenTravel.

And Irish actress Tara Flynn was right behind her.

These restrictions on women's reproductive rights are not limited to Ireland, which is why this publicized pilgrimage is hitting home across the world.

Has their mission received tons of backlash? Of course. However, what often follows dissonance is a decided movement forward.

Even though Prime Minister Kenny has yet to respond, all eyes are on Ireland now and, hopefully, saying "no" won't be so easy this time.

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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

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Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

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Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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