Europe

Irish women tweet periods to Enda Kenny in abortion protest

Pro-Choice supporters hold placards in front of the gates of the Irish Parliament building in Dublin on 10 July 2013 during a demonstration ahead of a vote to introduce abortion in limited cases where the mother's life is at risk. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Abortions are illegal in the Republic of Ireland, unless the woman's life is at immediate risk

Irish women are live-tweeting Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny their menstrual cycles to highlight the country's restrictive abortion laws.

Comedian Grainne Maguire began tweeting Mr Kenny on Monday to raise awareness about a campaign to repeal the eighth amendment of the Irish constitution.

The amendment equates the life of the foetus to the life of the mother and criminalises abortion in Ireland.

Irish women soon joined Ms Maguire, with #repealthe8th trending in Ireland.

Changes to the constitution can only be made through a referendum.

A coalition of pro-choice groups is calling for a referendum to repeal the amendment and more than 47,000 people have signed a petition by the UK-based human rights group Amnesty International urging Mr Kenny to change the law.

Ms Maguire argued it was only fair to share such details with Mr Kenny since "we know how much the Irish state cares about our reproductive parts".

Women from all over Ireland chimed in with contributions about their menstrual cycles.

Others shared how abortion laws have affected them personally:

Mr Kenny is yet to respond.

In June, a report by Amnesty claimed pregnant women risk putting their health and lives in danger if they remain in Ireland.

"The human rights of women are violated on a daily basis because of a constitution that treats them like child-bearing vessels," said Amnesty's Secretary General, Salil Shetty.

"Women who need abortions are treated like criminals, stigmatised and forced to travel abroad, taking a serious toll on their mental and physical health.

In February a proposed change to the abortion law to legalise terminations in fatal foetal abnormality cases was rejected by the Irish parliament.

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