Are American pro-life groups attacking the Repeal the Eighth campaign on social media?
An Irish Repeal the Eighth Facebook page dedicated to allowing Irish women the chance to share their stories of abortion before the upcoming referendum on May 25 has reported that several of their contributors were banned from Facebook after attacks from pro-life groups and individuals.
The pro-choice group “In Her Shoes” believes that some of these Facebook trolls may have been located in the US and attempted to shut down the page through one-star reviews and by reporting the women posting their stories there as spam or fake news.
“We are committed to sharing women's experiences that have been sent to us. We are committed to creating a safe space that is healing for them in removing stigma, shame, and silence,” a spokesperson for In Her Shoes told the Daily Mail.
"I was pregnant when he started to hit me. I suppose at that point he felt that he had me trapped. The eight amendment...Posted by In Her Shoes - Women Of The Eighth on Dé hAoine, 6 Aibreán 2018
“Their personal accounts tell of the negative impacts of the 8th amendment in women and girls lives in Ireland; from the lack of autonomy in continued pregnancy and birth to accessing illegal abortions in Ireland or traveling to the UK.
“Facebook subsequently ran an investigation on accounts to ensure that they are legitimate.
“There has been evidence of Irish pro-life/love campaigners calling on large pro-life American-based Facebook groups to spam the page to take it down. These attempts have failed.
“In Her Shoes” is a Facebook page on which woman (and men) accompany a picture of their footwear with the heartbreaking stories of abortion. Many of them had to travel to England to acquire a termination that would make them a criminal in Ireland.
"I had work so it wasn't money. I had friends so you couldn't say I didn't have support. It's just that I came from an...Posted by In Her Shoes - Women Of The Eighth on Déardaoin, 5 Aibreán 2018
The eighth amendment of the Irish constitution places the life of the unborn in equal standing to that of the mother, making abortion all but illegal in Ireland unless it can be proven that the life of the mother would be at risk to continue with the pregnancy, including at the risk of suicide.
This has resulted in thousands and thousands of Irish women being forced to travel to England for an abortion or to illegally purchase abortion pills online, even in cases where they have been told the baby could not survive outside of the womb or in instances of rape or abuse.
The May referendum will ask the Irish public if they wish to repeal this eighth amendment or allow Ireland's abortion laws, some of the strictest in the world, to remain as they are.
“This may be long but please read. I got pregnant at 15 and had an abortion at 15. I was a child. I had a curfew and...Posted by In Her Shoes - Women Of The Eighth on Dé Sathairn, 31 Márta 2018
“In Her Shoes - Women of the Eighth does not endorse communicating with, or retaliating against the anti-choice groups,” the page’s spokesperson continued.
“Women's experiences are central to this conversation, and the attempts to silence them have not gone unnoticed.”
Among the stories already shared on the page are mothers whose unborn children were shown to have defects and an abuse victim who stated that she loved her baby but could not allow it to “live a life that was no better than mine.”
This woman had been abused since the age of seven, falling pregnant at 22 with drug and alcohol problems while estranged from her family.
"Just before St Patrick’s Day this year, during a routine booking visit at the Rotunda Hospital, my baby of nearly...Posted by In Her Shoes - Women Of The Eighth on Dé Sathairn, 31 Márta 2018
“I had an abortion because I loved the potential child, I loved the possible human being that would grow from those cells,” she explained.
“I did not want that human being to live a life that was no better than mine, and at that time in my life, that's all it would have been, if not worse.
“Having an abortion was one of the least selfish things I have ever done and yet some others see it as the most selfish thing a woman can do.
“I have not regretted it for one single second and I often remember the time that would have been the time of the birth, 25 years ago now.”
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