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The decade 1982-92 was a difficult time for Irish women. The 8th amendment to the constitution passed in 1983 made it not just illegal to obtain an abortion in Ireland but also cut off access to information and even to travel openly to another country to obtain a termination.
The harshness of the legislation was highlighted by cases such as the death of school girl, Ann Lovett giving birth in a churchyard and the court injunction preventing a pregnant, 14-year-old rape victim from leaving the country.
These photographs by Rose Comiskey are a record of women’s resistance to the forces of church and state at this time. Women from all over Ireland and from every walk of life united and organised in street protests, public meetings and pickets such as the Right to Know and Defend the Clinics campaigns and Women’s Information Network, an illegal helpline distributing information on abortion. Despite the fact that it has been proven unworkable, the amendment remains in place.
Published by PhotoIreland
Edition of 200