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to ask if there's anyone else here who 'travelled' from Ireland?

(114 Posts)
Twirlywoowoo Tue 20-Mar-18 14:36:18

I know there must be other Irish women on here and I often wonder...I did in 1999, and I've only ever told two people. My best friend (luckily still my closest friend) and my husband. I didn't even tell the guy I was going out with because we split up just before I found out. He wasn't a good guy anyhow. I was 19. But I often think back to that time - it feels like it was a different life. My friend's cousin had had one so she sent on the details and I went on an Aer Lingus flight that I booked on the phone. I hadn't a clue about the internet - I think it was just in its early days. My mam thought I was going down the country for a few days for a course. The whole thing was weird, kind of surreal. I came home and life went back to normal. But I never felt the same again, and I think a lot of that was because I couldn't talk about it. My friend was very kind but she wouldn't have done it herself so we stopped talking about it after a while.
Anyway, just keep thinking about it now it's in the news at home now - I'm not living in Ireland anymore, moved to the UK a few years back. When you talk about the subject here people are shocked it's illegal to travel etc.

hesterton Tue 20-Mar-18 14:38:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MarmaladeIsMyJam Tue 20-Mar-18 14:39:24

What exactly do you mean? Travelled where?

ChickensGoBoak Tue 20-Mar-18 14:40:31

Marmalade - I assume to access legal abortion

MammaAgata Tue 20-Mar-18 14:41:04

I must be really thick because I don’t really understand any of that.. grin

Twirlywoowoo Tue 20-Mar-18 14:41:19

Sorry I actually just re-read and notice I've never said the actual word. For an abortion. It's just slang I suppose, to say that they 'travelled' as it's illegal to have (or even travel for) an abortion

Lobsterface Tue 20-Mar-18 14:42:41

Oh Twirly, flowers

SoupyNorman Tue 20-Mar-18 14:42:42

It’s not illegal to travel for an abortion from Ireland - that right was enshrined in the constitution in 1992

Trinity66 Tue 20-Mar-18 14:43:15

It's just slang I suppose, to say that they 'travelled' as it's illegal to have (or even travel for) an abortion

That's going to change in May I'm pretty sure <3

FilledSoda Tue 20-Mar-18 14:44:39

I didn't but my friend did and I certainly would have if i had been in her position .
It's so unfair isn't it ?
All that shame and secrecy piled onto young women.

DownAtFraggleRock Tue 20-Mar-18 14:46:10

It's bloody awful in this day and age that women still don't have control of their own bodies in some countries.

as a PP said - it must have taken some courage to do that flowers

Twirlywoowoo Tue 20-Mar-18 14:49:06

ah right Soupy - yes I remember reading about the Case X, so thinking that must have been from then.
Not sure it was brave, I was terrified of my mam finding out and thinking my life would be 'ruined' - I think because I was too scared to talk to anyone except my friend, I didn't consider the options. It's like it happened to someone else.

MammaAgata Tue 20-Mar-18 14:49:28

Ah! Thank you.. flowers to you that must have been awful at that age.. well, at any age.

LaurieMarlow Tue 20-Mar-18 14:49:53

All that shame and secrecy piled onto young women.

As well as the lack of aftercare (physical and mental). It's so hypocritical and dishonest of the country to forbid abortion, but turn a blind eye to travelling. The government are happy to let the UK pick up the pieces and the women in question deal with the trauma all by themselves.

Ponytastic Tue 20-Mar-18 14:49:59

Yes also in 1999 as it happens. It was all surreal and quite scary. The clinic were obviously very used to dealing with us Irish girls and didn't ask too many questions. I also only told my older sister. I was on my own when I shouldn't have been. I would hate for my daughter to have to travel abroad in the same way, I hope the law changes.

Yeaididthat Tue 20-Mar-18 14:52:16

I understand there is less travelling now as the pills can be bought online which is much cheaper,although I have 2 friends who travelled and 1 talked about the airport as the most traumatic part, whereas the other would talk about how her father supported her in paying for the costs incurred while she wasn't able to ever tell her mother.

SoupyNorman Tue 20-Mar-18 14:52:53

Sadly I read recently that the Liverpool Women’s Hospital have announced they are stopping providing abortions to Irish women past 20 weeks gestation, due to NHS cuts. Which means that anyone dealing with catastrophic issues picked up at the anomaly scan won’t be able to access abortions there any more - the Women’s Hospital had a long and distinguished history of helping Irishwomen in need.

MrsNeilGaiman Tue 20-Mar-18 14:54:43

In case anyone forgets why people travel, my mum was sexually assaulted and became pregnant decades ago in Ireland. Couldn't go anywhere or do anything so the baby was adopted. My mother still deals with the shame, guilt and fallout now. Because men decided she couldn't make the most basic of decisions about her body. Both the perpetrator and the Church and the government. All different, all the same.


Minniemagoo Tue 20-Mar-18 14:57:31

The right to travel has been legal for over a decade and yet there still is 'secrecy and shame'. I wonder if the repeal of the 8th is passed and abortion becomes legal will this aspect change. Will women still be traveling to clinics in cities in Ireland alone and hiding this from friends/family.
Twirl, thanks for sharing your story.

CaffeineAndCrochet Tue 20-Mar-18 14:58:07

flowers to you all.

I didn't travel, I chose to keep my child but I've only recently realised that part of the reason I kept her was a voice in my head going 'you had sex, you have to pay the price now'. As if I had done something wrong and this was my penance.

Doryismyname Tue 20-Mar-18 14:58:50

I know of a few that did Twirly. It is truly an awful lonely journey. They had to make up some story about going to visit friends for a few days and then come back and pretend that nothing had happened. People would ask if they have had a nice weekend away, if only they knew the truth hmm I went with a friend and we stayed in a B&B near the clinic. We met other girls there who had ‘travelled over’ and agreed not to divulge more than first names just in case the stories got back at home.

gussyfinknottle Tue 20-Mar-18 14:59:16

Wonderful brave women. But words don't cut it. Change the law. Now.

ElspethFlashman Tue 20-Mar-18 14:59:44

My roomate went in about 97/98. I didnt go as she had her sister with her. She didnt handle it well and had a nervous breakdown afterwards but it seemed like it was less to do with the travelling (though the journey was gruelling) than the fact she regretted it immediately afterwards and couldn't undo it.

I do remember her describing the grotty horrid hotel room they had to share the night before. There was a lot of lying so their mother wouldnt know they had both left the country that weekend. A web of elaborate lies. And I remember it was very hard to raise the money as we were all skint. On the dole I think.

rocketgirl22 Tue 20-Mar-18 15:12:07

I am not sure I felt the same afterwards either, and I didn't travel from Ireland, simply took one train there and back.

I told no one, and still haven't.

So perhaps it is not so much as Irish thing and having travelled, but perhaps the secrecy and the shock - and dare I say it the trauma of it all.

I am not sure if things are better now, but just no one ever spoke about it. My bf knew and that was it. Horrendous.

I hope you can talk about it now? flowers

MysweetAudrina Tue 20-Mar-18 15:17:08

Yeah I did in 1996 and I travelled with my 17 year old friend in 1994. I had to keep it secret and I have never spoken about it really afterwards. It was the right decision for me and I have never regretted it. It was expensive as you had to pay for flights and accommodation on top of the procedure and then you were afraid of meeting someone at the airport as you felt like you had a big sticker on your head announcing that you were going to have an abortion. I found the experience ok and I thought the staff and counsellors were lovely. One of the nurses attending me was noticeably pregnant and I remember thinking how cool that was. There was huge shame attached to travelling to get an abortion but it was not uncommon practice.

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