We spoke with the amazing Andrea Horan, to find out what the turning point for her in becoming actively involved in the abortion rights movement.
When the reality set in that I, as a woman wasn’t trusted to make decisions about my body, my life or my future – for both wanted and unwanted pregnancies, it stung. It made me feel like a subordinate, a 2nd class citizen – not worthy of equal rights. When I heard the stories of women who were cut; who were forced into painful procedures; who were forced to remain pregnant…For me I knew I had to fight to take back control of myself. And to help other women in their fight for autonomy.
It means giving women and people who can get pregnant the right to make decisions about their own lives. It means no forced procedures during wanted pregnancies. It means doctors not having their hands tied by an outdated and unworkable law when it comes to best medical practice.
It means women don’t lose all decision making over their medical care the minute they get pregnant. It means equality for women stuck in Direct Provision, women who can’t afford to travel. It means we’re not exporting necessary healthcare out of our own country. It means we respect the women of Ireland enough to make decisions about their own lives and bodies. It means realizing how difficult it is to legislate for restricted access – e.g. it can take 2 years to get a rape conviction, that makes it very difficult to access early abortion (95% of abortions are pre-week 12). If women don’t want to be pregnant, how can we continue to force them, for whatever reason?
Repeal is backed by science, medicine and fact. Whatever beliefs you hold as to how women or people who can get pregnant will use bodily autonomy, at the end of the day it’s our bodies and not up to you to control them. Put yourself in other people’s shoes and try to understand what it feels like to be forced to do something with your body that you don’t want to do. Be that give birth or have an episiotomy against your will. Trust us. Women only have abortions when they need them.
Eldridge Cleaver most eloquently put it, “You either have to be part of the solution, or you’re going to be part of the problem.”
Whenever I was worried about starting The Hunreal Issues or having a conversation about abortion I’d always think of this and it spurred me on to do what’s right for the women of Ireland. The whole problem with women’s reproductive rights has been that they’ve been swept under the carpet and shushed for so long that a stigma has attached to them. To win the referendum, we all have to have conversations explaining the facts and reasons why women deserve this essential medical autonomy. Ask people to engage empathy and put themselves in the many situations the 8th affects. And honestly, when you put yourself in those situations. I simply can’t understand how you can oppose a woman making the decisions that are right for them. Even if they’re not right for you.
– Andrea Horan is the founder of The Hunreal Issues, a fresh take on all the things you need to know in life, and the legendary nail salon, Tropical Popical.
The aim of this series is to be a starting point for conversation. We’d encourage you to start actively thinking about your role in society, and the impact you want to make. You can make a difference when it comes to the 8th Amendment by voting. If you are unsure whether you are registered to vote or not, make sure you check the register. You have until Nov. 25th to get your name on the register.
Read more from Áine Mulloy, Louise O’Neill – author, and Fiona Lawless, Karen Cowley – Wyvern Lingo, Mango Dassle – rapper/spoken word artist, Clare ‘Clisare’ – YouTuber, Karen Miano – co-founder DIAxDEM, Lily J. (pseudonym), Susannah Appleby – founder Imp Hour Events, Nicole Kirwan – student/YouTuber, Jess Kav – singer, and Michael Dillon, Faye O’Rourke – Little Green Cars, Amanda Azams – Fried Plantains Collective, and Michael Pope – Le Galaxie.
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