To Liverpool, 1994


ShadowSparrow sez:

This was the booklet created by Escort in 1994 and used by me (and many others) to help Irish women to travel to the UK for abortions. It was quietly distributed among activists in Ireland as while we won the right to information it was only to be dispensed by drs and counselors in a pre internet time. I had 25 of these and this is the last one, I held on to it and photocopied it many times for women who needed the information. Today it is a historical document and reminder of all those women.

See the complete photoset here.

(Hat tip: Claire Brophy)

30 thoughts on “To Liverpool, 1994

  1. Brendan Kavanagh

    Look, most of us support a woman’s right to choose and all that, but isn’t it about time women were told to cop the Jaysus on and take some responsibility. Can they not buy a few morning after pills and stick them in their purses? You can bet men would if it were us that got pregnant in a country were abortion was illegal.

    1. Pierce

      You want the women to take some responsibility. Jesus Christ, that’s a novel position. I know I’m supposed to make a reasoned argument here, but what the f***? There’s no cure for a case like yours.

      1. Pierce

        I feel like the sting was really taken out of my moderated comment, which is probably for the best. Who knows, though? Brendan might have had a kind of reawakening! Changed his whole core set of beliefs. Tough love, etc. I guess we’ll never know.

    2. Scared Vagina

      If men got pregnant abortion wouldn’t be illegal.

      Also you’re completely missing the point – emergency contraception only works for ~72 hrs after the potential impregnation. Most women don’t know they’re pregnant until a few weeks in.

      You’re also presupposing that most women get pregnant because they are lazy slatterns who just couldn’t be arsed to used contraceptives.

    3. Amelia

      That comment is the so small minded and ridiculous I can’t even believe it. Naturally, as a man you have no responsibility?

    4. Kate

      You’re dead right Brendan.

      Men shouldn’t have to worry their pretty little heads about protecting themselves or the people they have sex with from pregnancy or disease.

      Please tell me how an irresponsible woman like me can get my hands on a load of morning after pills to “carry around” with in my pocket? Is there a way I can avoid being led into a little room to be interviewed and approved for each dose? Oh please, tell me how!

  2. yourcommentisawaitingmoderation

    I’m making tea and staying off Broadsheet today. Anyone want anything, tea, coffee, blood pressure tablets?

      1. Kevin

        Yes, but they only work up to 72 hours from conception of the troll. As you can see we’re /years/ too late here.

  3. sharrow

    The morning after pill wasn’t available here in 1994.
    Also you seem utterly unaware that it is not suitable for every woman
    And it is not 100% effective and no we can’t stock pile it just in case.
    Even with over the counter dispensing it is tightly controlled.

    1. Kath

      Well said, Sharrow. The morning after pill isn’t, in fact, a magical pill freely available to pop whenever one may want one. Cage of shame, anyone?

      Thank you ShadowSparrow, for sharing this. I found the last paragraph on page 7 particularly compassionate and well informed.

        1. Sharrow

          But emergency contraceptives (MAP is a misnomer as it can be taken the next day) are a huge dose of artificial hormone, along the lines of nearly 6 months of the contraceptive pill over a day, so it’s not like popping a paracetamol.

          And if you are already on the contraceptive pill you are not going to know that it has failed and your pregnant until way passed the window of time you can use emergency contraceptives/M.A.P.

          We do how ever need proper comprehensive sex education in all our secondary schools, which will cover STI & contraception & maybe free contraception for all under 25s.

          Drs also need to keep up to date with the developments in contraception, too many of them wouldn’t know a nuvaring if it landed on their desk.

        2. Kevin

          Yes it should be, and you’ll never guess who opposes making the morning-after pill more easily accessible? Yep, the same people who oppose abortion.

          (Not that the morning-after pill obviates the need for abortion, mind.)

    2. Spaghetti Hoop

      It was available on prescription before 1994. A lot of activity around the Family Planning Clinic on Cathal Brugha St. in the early 90s.

        1. Spaghetti Hoop

          I was referring to the early 90s. The prescribed morning-after-pill was available to women before 1994 – and not just in Dublin of course.

          1. Sharrow

            It wasn’t easily available

            “Up until spring 2011, Well Woman’s city centre clinic in Dublin opened on Sundays to provide a walk-in emergency contraception service. Over the eight years in which this service operated, we recorded visits by women from literally all corners of the country, with many travelling from as far afield as Kerry, Cavan and Mayo. Once, memorably, a young woman boarded a bus in Donegal and, after travelling for 6 hours to get to Dublin, told us that two local GPs had refused to prescribe emergency contraception for her on grounds of ‘conscientious objection’.

            One can only imagine the sense of humiliation she felt when local doctors rejected her request. Not to mention her growing sense of panic as she made her way to Dublin and the clock continued to tick; you see, the emergency contraceptive pill available at the time (the version now available over-the-counter in pharmacies) is most effective if taken in the first 24 hours after sex – when it has around 95 per cent effective rate – and drops to 58 per cent effectiveness if taken in the third 24-hour period.”

          2. Spaghetti Hoop

            Your point made here, Sharrow.
            Just be careful when you quote dates without checking facts.
            So, to correct your original post for you;
            “The morning after pill was available here in 1994 – but not without consultation with medical professionals and, for some people who chose to avail of WW walk-in centres, long periods of travel”.

  4. JimmyV

    Any lad who’s ever seen their girlfriend vomit all day after taking the morning after pill knows it’s not a handy solution to anything.

    Never had a girlfriend?
    Never busted a condom?

    You’re a loser, stay out of the debate thanks.

    1. Jolly

      True. Also that amount of hormones in the one go = total emotional wreck.
      Also having to go in to the pharmacy and ask for one, only to be brought to the little booth of shame. Everyone knows you’re only brought in there for the morning after pill. If you’re lucky you get a nice doctor/pharmacist, but sometimes they can be extremely judgemental and harsh. It’s not nice.

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