"The reality is being ignored" - Two Women Travel reignites abortion debate

The Twitter account detailed two women journeying to the UK on Saturday

"The reality is being ignored" - Two Women Travel reignites abortion debate

Image via @TwoWomenTravel on Twitter

A Twitter account detailing an abortion by an Irish woman has gained international attention - and reignited debate.

Two Women Travel also tweeted Taoiseach Enda Kenny several times to draw attention to their situation.

The account used the tagline "Two Women, one procedure, 48 hours away from home."

It followed the two women as they left Dublin Airport for the UK on Saturday morning, the procedure took place later that day and the pair returned home Sunday evening.

The account has received attention from international media - including The Guardian, CNN, New York magazine and stuff.co.nz.

Health Minister Simon Harris also tweeted the women, saying: "Thanks to @TwoWomenTravel for telling story of reality which faces many. Citizens Assembly - a forum to discuss 8th & make recommendations".

Niamh Ui Bhriain of the Life Institute and Orla O'Connor, director of the National Women's Institute, discussed the issue on Newstalk Breakfast.

"It's always sad if a woman is made to feel that she has to have an abortion, or that she has no other option - and of course it's a heart-breaking tragedy when a baby has her life brutally ended by abortion. Though we've heard very little about that reality" Ms Ui Bhriain said.

"There's something very disquieting about the Twitter campaign - it's more like a planned and coordinated campaign than simply somebody sharing their personal story."

"The reality is being ignored: there are plenty of discussions in the media as to the fact that Irish women travel for abortion, but there's no mention of the baby who has been killed."

In reply, Ms O'Connnor said: "I think the two women were very brave and courageous to do what they did, and I think the point of this is the trauma that women have to go through to access abortion services - and what they were doing was highlighting that and highlighting that experience."

"No matter how much we want to brush this issue under the carpet, abortion is a reality, it exists, our laws make absolutely no sense."

"We know that over 10 women travel every day to have an abortion and we need to face up to the issue - and we need to provide abortion services in Ireland as part of our maternity services," Ms O'Connor added.

Ms Ui Bhriain hit out at media coverage of the issue: "The fact of the matter is we're only ever hearing from one side of the story...how much of the reporting around this actually discussed the reality of abortion?"

"How often do we hear from women who have undergone abortions and regret it?"

The two women then got into a debate over Irish abortion rates.