• Around 10,000 people attended a pro-choice rally in Dublin in 2012. (Streets of Dublin)Source: Streets of Dublin
The tweets about their 48 hour journey attracted more than 26,000 followers and some high profile supporters.
Alyssa Braithwaite

23 Aug 2016 - 12:54 PM  UPDATED 23 Aug 2016 - 12:54 PM

Two Irish women have live-tweeted an abortion to protest Ireland's strict laws banning the procedure.

Tweeting under the name @TwoWomenTravel, a pregnant woman and her friend documented their trip to the UK to get a legal abortion.

In Ireland, the eighth amendment of the constitution gives a foetus rights equal to the woman carrying it, and procuring an illegal abortion carries a possible prison sentence of up to 14 years.

The pair, who are over 18, have not revealed their identities, and their Twitter bio reads: "Two Women, one procedure, 48 hours away from home". 

"Everyday at least 12 Irish women are exiled to clinics in the UK to procure an abortion," the women wrote.

"These women choose to have abortions, but they do not choose to be shamed into the secrecy, panic and guilt that the journey to leave their home country inspires."

Using the hashtag #twowomentravel, the pair shared photos taken on flights, from taxis, in waiting rooms and hotel bedrooms, highlighting the lengths Irish women have to go to to get an abortion.

"We wanted to share the very ordinariness of the situation - we wanted to show it for what it is; a series of waiting rooms, moments in transit, a sequence of tediums protracted by stigma."

The women are calling on Ireland's Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny to repeal 'the 8th' and change Ireland's abortion laws. 

According to the UK Department of Health statistics, at least 166,951 women and girls travelled from Ireland to get an abortion in another country between 1980 and 2015.

"We have done this to bring to light the reality of our journey to our sisters, mothers, brothers, fathers, friends, colleagues and total strangers. All of whom have shown more empathy, support and acceptance than our own government," the women said.

The travelling pair have gained international exposure and picked up some high-profile supporters along the way, including comedian and TV presenter James Corden, singer Alison Moyet, and director Jim Sheridan. 

"We hope that the outpouring of public support encourages more women to document their experiences, to highlight the issue, and to stand with us in the battle for control over our own bodies."

Abortion in Australia

In Australia, abortion laws differ in each state and territory. According to Brisbane-based organisation Children By Choice, the laws are as follows:

Queensland & New South Wales: Abortion is a crime for women and doctors. It is legal when a doctor believes a woman’s physical and/or mental health is in serious danger. In NSW, social, economic and medical factors may also be taken into account.

Australian Capital Territory: Abortion is legal, and must be provided by a medical doctor. Exclusion zones may be set at the discretion of the ACT Health Minister. 

Victoria: Abortion is legal up to 24 weeks. It is legal after 24 weeks with two doctors’ approval. 

South Australia: Abortion is legal if two doctors agree that a woman’s physical and/or mental health are endangered by pregnancy, or for serious foetal abnormality. Unlawful abortion a crime.

Tasmania: Abortion is legal up to 16 weeks. It is legal after 16 weeks with two doctors' approval.

Western Australia: Abortion is legal up to 20 weeks, with some restrictions, particularly for under 16s. It is very restricted after 20 weeks.

Northern Territory: Abortion is legal up to 14 weeks if two doctors agree that a woman’s physical and/or mental health is endangered by pregnancy, or for serious fetal abnormality, and up to 23 weeks in an emergency.