"You didn't want to become the face of a movement."
It’s been over four months since the people of Ireland voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment and relax the country’s strict abortion laws.
Over the weekend, thousands of people marched in Dublin as a ‘reminder’ to the government to pass legislation providing for abortion, and also as a show of support to those in Northern Ireland, where the procedure is still illegal.
Harry Potter actress Emma Watson was one of the many famous faces to lend their voices to the Repeal campaign, urging Irish people to get out and vote Yes on May 25:
A vote for the freedom to choose, a vote for women's rights, a vote for women's control over their bodies, a vote for women's health & safety, a vote towards equality. Thinking of Ireland #together4yes #repealthe8th https://t.co/CDNj9KoSGt
— Emma Watson (@EmmaWatson) May 24, 2018
Porter Magazine asked Emma to write a letter to Savita Halappanavar, the Galway-based dentist whose death from a septic miscarriage lead to renewed calls for a referendum on the Eighth Amendment.
In the letter, the actress pays tribute to the ‘passionate and vivacious’ Savita:
You didn’t want to become the face of a movement; you wanted a procedure that would have saved your life… It is rare that justice truly prevails for those whose deaths come to symbolise structural inequality. Rarer still is a historic feminist victory that emboldens the fight for reproductive justice everywhere.
“A note on your memorial in Dublin read, ‘Because you slept, many of us woke’. That the Eighth Amendment enabled valuing the life of an unborn fetus over living woman was a wake-up call to a nation,” Emma wrote.
“From Argentina to Poland, restrictive abortion laws punish and endanger girls, women and pregnant people. Still, Norther Ireland’s abortion law predates the lightbulb. In your memory, and towards our liberation, we continue the fight for reproductive justice.”
Powerful words. You can read Emma’s full letter here.
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