Abortion stigma damaging to the mental health of those who have had an abortion and those who may have an abortion.
The research has been published in the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly and is available online on UL’s institutional repository.
Dr Aisling O’Donnell of UL’s Department of Psychology, who led the research, explains: “While in the past, it has been assumed that having an abortion leads to worse mental or physical health, there has been no research-based evidence that this is the case. However, there is evidence that women who have abortions are stigmatised, and also that numerous types of stigma are linked to worse mental and physical health. That was the starting point for our research.”
Dr O’Donnell and her team, investigated whether the health issues that related to stigma also applied to the stigma surrounding abortion. The team focused particularly on Ireland, using online surveys to gather information from women who had had abortions about their feelings of stigmatisation and other mental and physical health symptoms.
“In Ireland, no one can escape the knowledge that abortion is stigmatised in our society, and this includes women who access abortion services,” Dr O’Donnell says.
“When women internalise this stigma, they feel isolated from others, and in turn this is associated with psychological and physical health problems.”
As her team’s research has found very real health problems associated with stigmatisation Dr O’Donnell believes that it is incumbent on all citizens to reduce stigmatisation of those who have had abortions.
Abortion stigma is real and unfortunately we are being bombarded with it currently, by the Vote No sides of the the referendum campaign.
Abortion stigma effected my well being and it if effect the well being of people all over Ireland, the sooner it is considered a harmful relic by us all the better it will be.
You can donate here!
Already between me filming this and posting it, the amount raised has gone from 130,000 to 150,000!
This is how Together For Yes will raise the money which will be spent on the campaign, from prochoice people all over Ireland. We have been waiting a long time for this to happen, it’s been over 5 years from when the Abortion Rights Campaign was founded, to bring about a referendum and it’s members from all over the country have been working and preparing.
More blog posts to come soon, still feck that’s the fund raiser today and the restoration of the Maser Mural yesterday which have had me crying, but they are happy tears! No doubt more will be shed between now and the 25th of May!
So this happened today…
Photos: Ste Murray pic.twitter.com/UCv1CYAL8s
— Project Arts Centre (@projectarts) April 9, 2018
With the Go Fund Me campaign having been an amazing success I have started the planning to get to every country, between now and the 25th of May!
If you didn’t see the campaign and goals you can read them here.
I have a calendar for this, to track were I will be https://calendar.google.com/calendar?cid=cjRicm8zdmg1dTk2NHJtMmNtczgzdTI3bzhAZ3JvdXAuY2FsZW5kYXIuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbQ
I will be on Thursday the 5th of April, in Dublin West helping to MC the fundraising Table Quiz which is being held in Myos in Castle knock at 7pm.
I will be in Dundalk on Wednesday 18th of April at 7:30pm in the an Tain center as a panel speak for a debate on the 8th amendment.
I will be in Killkenny on Friday 27th of April 6pm The Book Centre, for the launch of Autonomy a women-led collection of stories, poems, memoirs, essays, articles, screenplays and more exploring what it means to have bodily autonomy.
I will keep this updated as more events and dates are organised!
This #InternationalSexWorkerRightsDay we are missing @GlasgaeLauraLee who gave so much to our movement here in Ireland and well beyond. To Laura, and to the many others who have and are fighting, SWAI thanks you all and we remember our strength together🌹 pic.twitter.com/5zprW3dlB6
— SWAI Ireland (@SWAIIreland) March 3, 2018
I only meet Laura Lee in person a handful of times. We chatted on twitter and facebook a fair bit. Often sharing our eye-rolling encounters with our own daughters.
She was a caring, compassionate, formidable woman who was a sex worker as well as an advocate and activist for Sex Worker Rights. She stood up, put her self in the public spot light to break the stigma around sex work and to be visible, for it is harder to deny the rights of visible people.
Stigma and prejudice strip people of their humanity and so it is easier to ignore them and treat them as lesser. She made a point of being very present, which made it harder for people to make the generalisation about sex workers and sex work.
As part of being involved with Octocon: The National Science Fiction Convention, I got to ask if Laura Lee could come be a panellist at the convention. Octocon has always been run by and for a very diverse Fandom, and the panels deal with a range of societal issues.
There is also a policy of ‘Nothing about Us, with out Us.” so there is always an effort to get people from minority and marginalised groups to take part in the discussions at the convention as attendees (via concession rates and Con or Bust) or as panellists.
I was delighted in 2015 to be able to moderate a panel on Sex Workers in Fiction and have Laura be one of the panellists.
Sex workers are written the lot about in fiction, be it in Game of Thrones to Firefly. Laura spoke so well about what rights sex workers needs and that we need to change attitudes towards sex workers, which starts with affording respect and dignity especially when writing about them, be it in reporting or in fiction.
The panel was a late night one, as all the more adult topics tend to be and then after, Laura and some of the other Sex Worker activists stayed for the Octocon disco. They really enjoyed the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere of the convention and asked if other friends could pop in and attend. It was a fun evening.
That is one of my fondest memories of Laura surrounded by friends and activists at Octocon either sitting chatting or up dancing. Others are running into her at the various Marches for Choice. My body my Choice as far as I am concerned applies to sex work and all workers should be able to work in a safe environment. It is about bodily autonomy, no one should be forced to have an abortion or give birth, no one should be forced to do sex work or be forced not do sex work.
With the cold weather and snow which storm Emma brought, I made coddle. It was something which Laural also loved. I made it and found myself thinking of her and how the world is a lesser place without her now in it, of the wonderful work which she did and how we need to make sure the work for Sex Worker Rights continues.
I miss her, she made me feel less odd about speaking my truth and knowing that we both supported each other in the work we were doing made it a little easier at times.
This international Sex Workers Day if you have the time please read http://sexworkersallianceireland.org and if you can make a donation.
Right now we are in a weird place re the upcoming
#repealthe8th referendum. We are waiting for the Gov to announce the wording and the date for the #repealthe8th referendum. Once that happens there is a whole process that kicks off.
There hadn’t been an official date announced yet, a possible one has of the 25th of May.
But right now there is a court case in progress in our Supreme Court which is in relation to the 8th amendment. The Supreme Court case that needs to be resolved before the Eighth Amendment referendum http://jrnl.ie/3824130
Until the Supreme Court rules, the Gov can not decide the wording of the referendum and can’t announce a date. We are in a holding pattern, so we are seeing media outlets who know there is much interest in
#repealthe8th with nothing ‘new’ to report. So we get pieces full of speculation. I know people are getting restless wanting to get a move on, but the Gov has to wait on the Supreme Court. And no the Gov can’t hurry along the courts, that would be a serious breach in separation of powers.
Frustrated with what you are seeing from media outlets I suggest you read instead. https://www.abortionrightscampaign.ie/2018/02/01/explainer-government-calls-for-repeal-and-new-provision-to-legislate-for-abortion/
Also maybe don’t share daft pieces which aren’t helpful, written to have ‘something” about
#repealthe8th on a media outlet. Why not share one of these instead
I’m frustrated too, with waiting for the Supreme Court, but I am going to keep on talking to people about
#repealthe8th And how if we want to have any change to bring about to compassionate healthcare at home in Ireland in line with human rights & best medical practice then we need to #repealthe8th.
In the meantime
#repealthe8th groups are organising all over the country, get involved https://www.abortionrightscampaign.ie/get-involved/
I was honoured to take part in the discussions around drafting this and to sign it. Irish Feminism is doing it’s best to be intersection and we will not have anyone try tell us who our sisters are.
I have a soft spot for this particular play by Sean O’Casey, I never studied it in school but read it all the same. The language of it, the rhythms of speech can still be heard in Dublin today.
I have seen it preformed a few times and have read as Juno in table readings of the play and was offered the role once when I was part of an amdram group but turned it down due to nerves and lack of experience.
I think it’s an important one, esp for women to read, and my favourite of Sean O’Casey’s plays. A friend of mine reminded me of this quote today and 93 years after it was written it is relevant today.
“Maybe, Needle Nugent, it’s nearly time we had a little less respect for the dead, an’ a little more regard for the livin”
Juno and the Paycock by Sean O’Casey