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Invisible Women Ireland and the Fight to Access Safe and Legal Abortion

Chiara Cosentino

Abstract


The Irish legal framework regulating abortion represents one of the most restrictive ones worldwide. It allows for abortion only when medical practitioners assess a risk of life of the pregnant woman, therefore excluding the vast majority of women from legality, and not allowing them to have control over their own bodies. The only option in order to have a lawful termination is travelling abroad.
Against such background, this article holds that the Irish legislation on abortion creates three levels of invisible women. Firstly, the constitutional equation between the pregnant womans life and the foetus one downgrades the first to be the biological support of the second, not seeing her as a subject. Secondly, the option of travelling further invisibilizes, both geographically and politically, the wills and choices of the majority of women. Thirdly, the women who cannot afford the journey are completely neglected, forced to act clandestinely and criminalised.

 

Key words: Ireland - Abortion - Public Health - Inequalities


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