Dear Chosen Citizens,
It’s me, an adult female, a fellow citizen if you will, writing to you to ask for my ovaries back.
I’ve currently 99 problems and, well, because of the government, you’re all of them. Now, I don’t mean to sound dramatic, I know we don’t know each other. Jesus, maybe we do actually, yiz are all top secret. Come to think of it, me aunt is gone on “holidays.” Noreen, if you’re reading this and I get wind that you’re in Dublin, messing with my ovaries, I will fucking END YOU! Joke. That was very shrill of me. I will, however, hide your remote so far down that fucking couch, you’ll be trying to turn on the telly for the next 33 years. Speaking of 33 years, 1983 was the last time the people of Ireland had the chance to vote on this batshit law. Let’s not forget that 33 years ago, in Ireland, being gay was illegal, as was divorce, the Magdalene laundries were still open, and Miley had yet to do the dirt on Biddy.
And yet here we are in 2016, still fighting for rights and control over our own bodies. Some mostly male “journalists,” and even some elected politicians have called the repeal the 8th movement a”trend.” Like somehow fighting for women’s basic human rights will eventually go out of style. Wait, actually. I hope it does. Because I’m fucking wrecked. I’m exhausted talking about my body, explaining to Irish people why it’s not actually a complex moral issue, it’s really quite simple: what I, or any woman, does with her body is no one else’s business. What they mean by “trend” is that we are getting too loud, too shrill, too angry. Nothing Ireland hates more than an angry woman. You see, what they fail to realise is that people have been fighting for this for years. Yes, the fight is getting bigger now. The army of voices is growing. But while social media is new, this fight, for women to be seen as equal citizens is not. Here’s a lovely little scarlet timeline of women in Ireland to remind you of our continuing struggle. Have a read and meet me on the other side.
Anyway, back to me having a problem with ye. It’s not ye as people, I’m sure yiz are all stun huns #hunrealcitizens. It’s just that well, THIS IS FUCKING MENTAL!!!!!!!!!!! Can we all just acknowledge that? To think there are 99 people talking about our bodies and what we should and shouldn’t be allowed do with them in a little room in the back of the dail somewhere is MENTAL. Meanwhile we are just supposed to sit around and be quiet, patiently waiting until next year to see if we can keep our ovaries? and even then people may or may not get the chance to vote on it. Charlie Brooker couldn’t write this shit. (That was a Black Mirror reference. He wrote the show. Ah for fuck sake, I don’t have time to be telling ye who Charlie Brooker is. #googleit. #watchit.)
As our representatives in government have firmly put their heads in the sand, and have essentially left our lives up to you, the elite 99, to decide, we urge you to think of where we want Ireland to be in the global lineup when it comes to human rights. Currently Saudia Arabia, Russia and India have more lenient abortion laws than Ireland. These are countries with horrific track records when it comes to their treatment of women. Yet, even in these countries, women are afforded more protection and autonomy over their own bodies than the women/pregnant people of Ireland.
I know the big “moral dilemma” is about life. On this matter, the moral police seem to be advocates for the fetus and not the mother, not the woman. Never the woman.
If people were so concerned with the right to life, then why isn’t everyone forced to donate their organs? Why isn’t everyone forced to give blood? To house refugees? To feed needy children? Why aren’t men arrested for masturbating and ridding the world of their miraculous semen? Why are women punished for making personal decisions about their bodies? Decisions that affect their lives directly, not the lives of the white men who love to have very strong opinions on this topic? Why are women being forced to carry their rapists’ children? Why are pregnant women with cancer denied treatment, because it would harm the fetus? Why did Savita have to die? Why did we force a refugee who had been raped and threatened hunger strike to have her rapist’s baby? Why are doctors being criminalized and prevented from carrying out life-saving treatments? Why do 12 women a day have to travel? Why did another couple in 2016, who had been given the devastating news their child would not survive outside the womb, at their 20 week scan, have to travel to England for healthcare? Why is the Catholic church, the same institution that has covered up and enabled the raping of children, that has destroyed generations of lives here and abroad, the same institution that spread lies that condoms INCREASED the risk of aids in Africa, STILL our moral compass?
Waiting to repeal the 8th, after 33 years of evidence that shows that it is NOT working, would mean having answers to all these questions.
You would have to explain to the women of Ireland why we are not seen as citizens, as equals.
I urge you all to recommend a referendum to repeal, and not amend the 8th.
Until now, the only 99 we have trusted is this.
Today, we were given no option by our government but to put our trust in you. Please, be on the right side of history. Repeal The 8th.
Yours in a scarlet haze,
*Update* The Citizens Assembly clearly read this letter and urged the Irish government to call a referendum to remove the 8th amendment from the constitution and allow abortions in all cases (with some restrictions around time limits).