Belfast Telegraph

Irish woman's abortion journey live-tweeted

By Lisa Smyth

An Irish woman who live-tweeted her trip to England for an abortion returned home last night more than 36 hours after leaving for the procedure.

The Two Women Travel Twitter campaign, which went viral within hours of being launched at 5am on Saturday, gave a harrowing account of the experience of a woman as she travelled with a friend to England over the weekend in order to access abortion services which are outlawed in Ireland.

The Twitter account amassed almost 24,000 followers by the time the two arrived back in Ireland yesterday evening, and even received support from TV star James Corden, who tweeted on Saturday morning: "Today, @TwoWomenTravel but you're not on your own in this. So many people are with you. X"

Green Party MLA Clare Bailey last night pledged her support to the women, who she said had raised the profile of an issue affecting thousands of people in Northern Ireland and the Republic each year.

"It is disgraceful that in 2016 women are still being forced to leave Ireland to access abortion services," she said. "These two brave women have highlighted the issue and the world is now looking to see what we will do.

"Sadly, while I think there is public support for a change in the law, people are really demanding change, but I don't believe there is the political will.

"Of course, a working group has been set up to look at the issue of fatal foetal abnormality, but there are so many other reasons why women choose to have abortions."

She added: "The working group isn't moving very quickly and in the meantime we have women suffering.

"Exporting the problem is no longer good enough, the problem is urgent and it needs to be addressed."

Over the weekend the two women posted a variety of pictures and messages as they made the journey to England.

The account opened with a photo of airport tarmac as the pair prepared to board their early morning flight and sent numerous direct messages to Taoiseach Enda Kenny calling for a change in abortion legislation and accusing him of failing Irish women.

As they arrived back in Ireland, they posted a message thanking their supporters. It said: "To everybody who has supported us, we thank you. We are all creating change together.

"To Enda Kenny, our Taoiseach, your silence speaks volumes and the world has heard you."

Meanwhile, Marie Stopes had to suspend some of its services at clinics over safety concerns.

It has temporarily stopped carrying out terminations under general anaesthetic and for women under 18 following inspections by healthcare inspectors, the Care and Quality Commission. NHS England said the move would affect around 250 women a week.

Belfast Telegraph


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