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.

Family

I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

The President does nothing. Says nothing. He just stands there and waits for the crowd to finish their outburst.

WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

Keep Reading Show less
Recommended
via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

Policing women's bodies — and by consequence their clothes — is nothing new to women across the globe. But this mother's "legging problem" is particularly ridiculous.

What someone wears, regardless of gender, is a personal choice. Sadly, many folks like Maryann White, mother of four sons, think women's attire — particularly women's leggings are a threat to men.

While sitting in mass at the University of Notre Dame, White was aghast by the spandex attire the young women in front of her were sporting.

Keep Reading Show less
More

Men are sharing examples of how they step up and step in when they see problematic behaviors in their peers, and people are here for it.

Twitter user "feminist next door" posed an inquiry to her followers, asking "good guys" to share times they saw misogyny or predatory behavior and did something about it. "What did you say," she asked. "What are your suggestions for the other other men in this situation?" She added a perfectly fitting hashtag: #NotCoolMan.

Not only did the good guys show up for the thread, but their stories show how men can interrupt situations when they see women being mistreated and help put a stop to it.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture