Gráinne Maguire is leading a bloody revolution. Literally.
The comedian is tweeting her menstrual cycle to the prime minister Enda Keny (called the Taoiseach) to protest the fact that it is illegal for a woman to get an abortion in Ireland except when the life of the mother is threatened, or a woman will likely die or kill herself if the abortion is not performed.
She kickstarted the trend by encouraging women to share their period stories:
She explained her reasoning for leading a campaign in the Guardian:
If they want to control my body, if they feel so comfortable interfering in what happens inside it, they should at least have all the details. So I decided to live-tweet my menstrual cycle to the taoiseach Enda Kenny. Sure, some could argue that it’s none of his business what happens inside my fallopian tubes, but if we took that logic to its conclusion, I wouldn’t need to tweet him in the first place.
The tweets have ranged from funny:
Getting an abortion or providing one—or even giving out information about one—can lead to a jail sentence, in some cases, of up to 14 years. The law has remained in place, despite opposition and the widely-acknowledged fact that thousands of women from Ireland travel each year to Britain and Europe for the procedure if they can afford to do so.
The country was galvanized when in 2012 Savita Halappanavar died in hospital in Galway from blood poisoning after a miscarriage. An inquiry revealed that an abortion would have saved her life.
A change to the Irish constitution can be made only via a referendum, such as the one that recently saw same-sex marriage legalized. Amnesty International launched a petition in June to repeal the law which bans abortions, labeling it ”one of the world’s most discriminatory and punitive abortion laws.”