In Powerful Video, The Most 'Annoying Things About Being Pregnant' Are Different For Irish Women

Amnesty International wants Ireland to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

A powerful new video from Amnesty International is sending a message about Ireland's anti-abortion policy, although you may not expect it based on the title.

"25 annoying things about being pregnant" starts out as a lighthearted collection of women's biggest pet peeves about pregnancy. "Not being able to paint your toenails," one mother says. "Morning sickness," another adds. But after several women complain about "cankles," the video shifts in tone.

"When you're forced to carry a baby that can't survive out of the womb," one of the women says to the camera. 



Ireland has a constitutional ban on abortion, except in cases where the mother's life is at risk (including suicide). The experiences highlighted in Amnesty International's video show just how negatively the Eighth Amendment affects women in the Ireland, many of whom must travel to the UK and other countries to terminate their pregnancies. According to the Irish Family Planning Association, the U.K. Department of Health's statistics show that more than 170,000 women and girls traveled from Ireland to another country to access abortion services between 1980 and 2016.

"When you're forced to travel, because your government would rather turn a blind eye than protect its people," one of the women in the video says, while another adds, "When freedom to travel is no freedom at all."

The women close the video with one final annoying thing about pregnancy: "When you don't think the Eight Amendment affects you, until it does."

"Ireland's abortion law violates the human rights of women and girls," Amnesty International explains on its website, where people can sign up to support the campaign to #RepealThe8th. "The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution is the root cause of these violations. It must be repealed."

The organization continues by calling on the Irish government to schedule a referendum on the issue. The Irish Times reported in June that Leo Varadkar, Ireland's Taoiseach (or prime minister), had confirmed a referendum on abortion next year, with Minister for Health Simon Harris responsible for bringing forth legislation. Many who support a repeal are calling for a date to be set for the spring.

In April, according to Politico, 87 percent of the 99 lay members of Ireland's Citizens' Assembly voted that the ban "should not be retained in full," with additional ballots showing that the majority believe "the termination of pregnancy without restriction should be lawful." The Irish Times later reported that, while only 23 percent of the general public agreed with that recommendation, "the poll shows that voters nonetheless favor significant changes in the law on abortion," including making abortion legal in cases of rape or fetal abnormalities likely to result in death.

"It is long past time for change," Amnesty International writes on its website. "It's time for the government to schedule a referendum and finally give the people of Ireland an opportunity to repeal the Eighth Amendment in its entirety. We need a framework for access to abortion which puts the health, well-being and autonomous decision-making of women and girls at its core."

(H/T: Mashable)

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