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Hunger Strike Against Abortion

For some there is craic and for others there are cracks. Some wanted same-sex marriage, others didn’t. Some people long for a united Ireland and others don’t. Donegal will always wear its colours with pride, but when you look past the green and gold you can see division. Division between generations, division in who we want to be the county manager and division when it comes to repealing the eighth amendment. For some it defines a huge step forward in Ireland, and for others it changes what they were taught was correct when they were younger.

Leaving Donegal to live in a city where anything goes and you can be anything you want to be makes it easy to forget that behind the beauty of it, Donegal, like many other counties, has its flaws. These flaws aren’t just in the roads – they are in the way we look at the development of our county and our country. Sometimes politicians do things for our county that make us proud to be talked about. Sometimes they don’t. For many young people it is a bit of craic when we have to defend Donegal – may it be in GAA or in our accent. But some things cannot be defended in the voices of the youth.

Tim Jackson is an anti-abortion independent politician who ran for election in 2016. Today he announced that he was going on hunger strike in the hope that the Taoiseach will watch a video of an abortion taking place before the referendum for the eighth amendment is taken any further. There are many who will agree with Jackson’s views, but what kind of message is this to the young people of Donegal? To the young women and men who feel like they don’t have control over what happens to their bodies? To all of those being shamed for having had abortions in the past? “Generations before us were riddled with traditionalism and a sufficient lack of human rights… children should be growing up in a world knowing that every man and woman should have a say in what happens to their bodies. To see a young man protesting this outside the Dáil is sending the wrong message to young people everywhere” – Rachael Bailey, 21.

One young man thinks Jackson has “taken it too far” and others have supported his plans saying they will join him outside the Dáil. From listening to the opinions of people from Donegal, the UK and others all over Ireland, it is hard to know whether the politician is fighting a losing battle on this issue. But one thing that can be agreed upon is that for many, abortion will always be a sensitive topic to discuss in Ireland.

Photo Credit: Pure M Magazine, photocallireland.com

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