University of Iowa Honors Theses

Major Department

International Studies

College

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Degree

BA (Bachelor of Arts)

Session and Year of Graduation

Spring 2017

Honors Major Advisor

Emily Wentzell

Thesis Mentor

Deirdre Egan

Abstract

Ireland’s abortion laws are among the most restrictive in the world. Since the ratification of the Eighth Amendment and subsequent constitutional ban on abortion in 1983, it is illegal to have an abortion in Ireland except in cases of a medical intervention to save a woman’s life. There are many reasons why a woman may not want to carry a pregnancy to term, including risk to health, rape, incest, diagnosis of a fatal fetal abnormality, financial or family concerns, and despite the law, Irish women still have abortions. Each day, approximately twelve women and girls living in Ireland travel to England to access abortion services. In the past, the stories of the women who have had an abortion have been largely absent from the political debate. Today, abortion rights activists are focusing on bringing awareness to the community and reducing the stigma surrounding abortion. Contemporary activists are strategically including women’s faces and stories through social media, arts, and culture to normalize abortion and shift public opinion. Women themselves are taking to Twitter and Facebook to share their experiences of abortion. The Repeal Project promotes women’s stories on their website. The X-ile Project is putting a face to those that have traveled abroad to access abortion services. These projects highlight women’s voices and stories, challenge the stigma, and help to normalize the abortion experience.

Keywords

Ireland, abortion, activism, stigma, abortion rights, stories

Total Pages

37

Copyright

Copyright © 2017 Kelsey O'Donnell

COinS
 

URL

http://ir.uiowa.edu/honors_theses/107