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Irish Passengers Are Flying Home With An Important Message

Abortion is illegal in Ireland and Northern Ireland, forcing women to travel to Britain. This year, Buzzfeed reports, Irish women flying home for the holidays have an important message. Irish women are labeling their luggage with “healthcare not airfare” tags.

The tags are being shared on social media with the hashtag “Choice4Xmas”.

According to Cara Sanquest, an organizer for the London Irish Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC), the creators of the tags, women traveling to Ireland for the holidays are sharing support for women “travelling in the other direction.”

Supporters of the movement explain that abortion being illegal in Ireland hasn’t stopped women from getting them—it’s only made it more difficult because they have to travel and it’s about time that the historic law was made history.

Thus far, the group has sold hundreds of the tags to Irish expats around the world. Proceeds from purchases go to Termination for Medical Reasons in Ireland, which supports dialogue with the Irish government about reforming existing abortion laws.

The idea behind the tags is to catch people’s eyes as they travel around international airports. Saquest explains that airports are associated with travel, not healthcare but the tags serve as “a physical reminder of these journeys that women are forced to make every day.”

Hannah Little is the brain behind the tags and explains that she was inspired after being on a flight where she imagined some women could be traveling for a very different reason. Since she came up with the idea, she’s spotted two of the tags while traveling and finds it, “ heartwarming to know I was travelling with others as committed to repealing the eighth amendment as I am.”

The eighth amendment makes all abortions illegal unless the woman’s life is at immediate risk. Each year thousands of women travel from Northern Ireland and Ireland to Wales and England to undergo abortion procedures and receive aftercare.

A referendum on repealing the 1983 amendment is set to occur next year. The tags are hoping to spark conversation on the upcoming legislation.

[Image: Twitter]

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