An anonymous Irish woman is making worldwide headlines after live-tweeting her long trip to the United Kingdom to access a legal abortion. The woman and a friend accompanying her tweeted from the account Two Women Travel; many of their tweets were directed at Irish prime minister Enda Kenny, who’s trying very, very hard to ignore this whole thing.
Two Women Travel launched their live tweets on August 19, and tweeted until August 21, from the Dublin airport to one in Manchester, England to a procedure room and back again. The tweets are by turns matter-of-fact and bitingly sarcastic, reminding Kenny that “in another world, we could be home by noon.”
The New York Times spoke with the friend who accompanied the woman getting the abortion; the woman herself declined to be interviewed.
“It was an even mix of being tired in transport and being tired in waiting rooms,” the friend told the Times.
As they made their journey, though, more and more people began tweeting in support, including TV host James Corden and the country’s health minister, Simon Harris.
Abortion is illegal in Ireland except when a woman’s life is judged to be at risk. In 2015, at least 3,451 women traveled from Ireland to the United Kingdom in order to obtain a legal abortion, according to the Irish Family Planning Association. It’s a trip at least 100,000 women have had to make since 1980, and a journey that’s gained renewed attention as activists push for a repeal of the Eighth Amendment, Ireland’s strict anti-abortion measure.
In one of their last tweets, the women displayed a hand-written note to Kenny, telling him that his silence “speaks volumes and the world has heard you.”