In Ireland, abortions are prohibited by law and women caught obtaining one can face up to 14 years in prison. The law is so extreme that many women — some estimates say as many as twelve a day — travel to other countries so they can have the procedure done legally. One woman and her supportive friend made international headlines last month when they live-tweeted that journey.
Now, a new campaign urges the repeal of the country’s Eighth Amendment, which criminalizes abortion unless the mother’s life is in jeopardy.
The Repeal Project launched with the following powerful video, featuring dozens of strong women discussing how they’re persecuted like women at Witch Trials and calling for a separation of church and state on the matter, all while wearing shirts with the word “REPEAL”:
Centuries ago women accused of witchcraft faced,
Amongst other ordeals, trial by water
Tied to a chair or run under a boat
If she survives the drowning and floats she’s a witch.
If she dies, she’s a woman
We are not witches but if the church and state insist
Then let us be the descendants of all the witches they could not drown
This heirloom of trauma, this curse
This agony of water in order to hold agency over our bodies
Not all of us have survived, the waves do not part
There are no miracles here
When a stethoscope is a crucifix on your belly
How do you have any choice but the water
And fair medical treatment on other shores
A body is a body is a body is a body is a body is a body is a body
Not a house. Not a city. Not a vessel, not a country
The laws of the church have no place on your flesh
A veterinarian will abort a calf if a cow is falling ill.
How is it that livestock is worth more to this land than us?
Eleven women every day leave Ireland seeking an abortion abroad.
We ask for the land over the water. Home over trial. Choice over none.
For our foremothers, for ourselves, the generations yet to come
Witches or women, these are our bodies which shall not be given up.
It seems almost quaint to protest by broadcasting the word “Repeal” on your clothing, but it’s incredibly brave to be open about such a taboo topic. I hope it gains traction.
(Thanks to Ashling for the link)