An Irish couple seeking a legal abortion is live-tweeting their journey from Ireland to the U.K. They are hoping that by sharing their experience they can raise awareness about repealing the restrictive laws in their country that prohibit abortions.
In Ireland, abortions are illegal unless the pregnancy poses a threat to the life of the mother. Women who are carrying a fetus with "fatal foetal abnormalities" may not get an abortion in the Republic of Ireland, even if doctors confirm that the baby will not survive outside the womb.
At first, the couple was elated to find out they were expecting, but devastated when the fetus was diagnosed with Edwards Syndrome (also known as Trisomy 18 Syndrome), which means the child would likely only survive a few hours or minutes after being born. The couple already has a son who has disabilities, and he must be monitored constantly because his condition could allow him to slip into coma and experience brain damage.
The couple began their journey on December 10th, traveling internationally to Liverpool, England to abort the fetus that is about 12 weeks along.
At time of publication, the couple had arrived at the clinic and the woman was about to be seen.
In 2014, statistic showed that over 4,000 Irish women traveled to England to receive legal, safe abortions. However, for many Irish women international travel is not a viable option financially. If caught having illegal abortion or buy abortion pills online, women can expect up to 14 years in jail or be issued with a €4000 (about $4300) fine.