Tweet Shows What It Would Be Like If Abortion Was Illegal in America

July 27th 2016

Lucy Tiven

An Irish woman's story about her traumatic experience obtaining an illegal abortion is striking a nerve on Twitter.

The post describes the lengths women have to go to terminate pregnancies in countries where abortion is banned.

It also calls to repeal Ireland's Eighth Amendment, which "guarantees the equal right to life of the unborn and the mother, and is the foundation for Ireland’s anti-abortion laws," the Irish Times reports.

"I had an abortion at 19," Kate Bedfiord, 23, wrote. "I had no money, no support and no one to tell. I don’t think I’ve ever even said it out loud."

She described the financial and emotional strain she endured when she made the decision, as well as the physical and psychological pain that came after the procedure.

ireland abortion law post

Bedfiord told the UK news site Metro that she contacted abortion clinics in London and bought a cheap plane ticket, but realized she couldn't afford the procedure.

"I started looking up how to have a home abortion," she told Metro. "I had baths with boiling water, took extreme amounts of vitamin C, thought about falling from a height; nothing worked." Out of options, she decided to buy an abortion pill online.

"I knew it was dangerous," she said. "I knew it was illegal, but I was desperate."

ireland abortion post

Though her physical experience was itself very traumatic, Bedfiord was also left with a deep sense of shame long after the procedure. She felt triggered when she read scathing depictions of women who made similar decisions online, the post explains.

Bedfiord asserted that Ireland's abortion law symbolizes the shame and stigmatization that impacts women who are denied the right to have safe, legal abortions.

"The eighth amendment is not just arbitrary linguistics," she wrote. "It affects so many people you know, so many people you love."

ireland abortion post

DIY abortions happens in the U.S., too.

A 2013 UC San Francisco study found that "about 7 percent [of women studied] reported attempting to end their pregnancies without medical assistance before seeking clinic care," after the state imposed more restrictive abortion laws, Mother Jones reports.

The most popular DIY abortion methods were herbal home remedies and medications obtained in Mexico, the surveys reported.

Data on U.S. Google searches in 2015 also showed a surge of interest in DIY abortions.

There were 119,000 searches for the phrase "how to have a miscarriage" that year, The New York Times reports. "There were also searches for other variants — 'how to self-abort' — and for particular methods," the Times added. "Over all, there were more than 700,000 Google searches looking into self-induced abortions in 2015."

There were about 4,000 searches on how to perform an abortion with a coat hanger, and hundreds about how to bleach your uterus or punch your stomach to terminate a pregnancy, according to the Times.

You can learn more about the movement to repeal Ireland's eighth amendment on the Abortion Rights Campaign, and read Bedfiord's full post on Twitter.

[h/t Metro.co.UK]