Target: Prime Minister of Ireland, Enda Kenny
Goal: Revise unclear and restrictive abortion law that violates women’s rights
Ireland’s abortion laws have been under intense scrutiny by Amnesty International and the United Nations because of how vague and restrictive the law is. In Ireland, women are allowed to get an abortion if the pregnancy is deemed life-threatening to the mother, but guidelines regarding how doctors and medical practitioners deem a pregnancy too dangerous is unclear. A woman getting an abortion for other circumstances such as rape, incest, or terminating the pregnancy for other reasons is considered a criminal act. Ireland needs to amend its abortion laws to better respect women’s rights.
Ireland severely violates international laws by allowing abortions only if the woman’s life is endangered. The country does not take into account other reasons and this severely limits women’s rights. According to the law, an abortion is legal if there is a “real and substantial risk” to the woman’s life. Ireland needs to understand the implications of having a child, especially when the woman or girl was a victim of rape. Around the world, stories of young girls getting pregnant by family members or neighbors are forced to give birth because their country’s laws forbid them from having an abortion. The lives of these girls and women are forever ruined because they were denied the chance to say no.
The fact that Ireland’s abortion laws do not elaborate on how medical practitioners can deem a pregnancy to be life-threatening halts the process of getting an abortion. As a woman is navigating through this vague legislation, the pregnancy continues to move forward and places further risk on the woman. Ireland’s law is merely perpetuating the dangers and forcing a woman to have a baby. This is in direct violation of international rights and must be stopped. Urge the Prime Minister of Ireland to revise this law at once so all women can have access to their reproductive rights.
Dear Prime Minister Kenny,
Your country’s abortion laws have been under scrutiny by Amnesty International and the United Nations because these laws do not meet with international standards. Your country largely criminalizes all abortions, and a woman can only have the procedure if the pregnancy puts her life at risk. Your law is vague about what constitutes as a real danger, and thus, places more danger upon the woman.
These laws ignore a woman’s reproductive rights and do not wholly address the issue. A woman should have the right to choose what happens to her body—that decision should not be in the hands of politicians. A woman should also have access to information regarding sex, birth control, and other resources relating to her sexual health. I urge you to revise these vague and unjust laws so that every woman in Ireland can enjoy and exercise their reproductive rights.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ben Thompson via Flickr