Irish women who had abortions share their stories – and photos

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As we all know, Irish women face some of the toughest restrictions for abortion and reproductive rights in Europe, but this one website wants to change ALL of that. 

Women from Ireland usually have to take great risks if they want to speak publicly about trying to get an abortion, but on the X-ile Project, women are now "giving a face" to the thousands of Irish women who struggle to travel to abortion by sharing their individual photo and story. 

The X-ile Project was set up by five Irish women, Julie Morrissey, Ruth Morrissy, Paula Cullen, Laura Lovejoy and Katie O'Neill. They came together to support the women who have been "effectively exiled from Ireland" as a result of the restrictive laws. 

The project gathers the photos and names of women who have travelled to England to get an abortion. Then they share the information online in hopes to break down the "overwhelming stigma."

"We aim to demonstrate that those who choose to travel to have an abortion are responsible, ordinary women and are our neighbours, friends, colleagues, mothers, daughters and partners," the group say on their website. 

And it seems to be gathering attention all around the globe as UK and US websites like Buzzfeed and The Guardian are weighing in on the women's stories. 

“The response has been enthusiastic,” Julie told Buzzfeed. “We’re making positive groundwork in getting people to talk about their experience, and our aim is to build a space for more women to feel like they can speak out.”

In last year alone, more than 3,000 women travelled from Ireland to another country in order to access safe abortion services. 

“We want to show solidarity,” said Julie. “These are women who walk among us every day. I’d be surprised if there wasn’t anyone in Ireland who didn’t know someone who has had an abortion, or had one themselves.”

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