The past week has been an eventful one for reproductive rights. In a landslide referendum, Ireland voted to lift the eighth amendment to the constitution, which effectively banned abortions. This was helped in part by the #HomeToVote movement, where Irish expatriates who were not given the opportunity to submit a postal vote flew home to have their voices heard. Back in NSW, the Upper House held a conscience vote to install 150-metre "safe access zones" for women attending clinics that offer abortions.
For many Irish immigrants, both pieces of news are cause for great celebration, however not without some complication. When those living in New South Wales return home from their triumphant victory, they will return to a state in which abortion is still in the Crimes Act. NSW's legislative council (of which three quarters are men) was unable to pass a bill decriminalising the procedure last year. The lead-up to last week's vote was marred with inflammatory false claims from MPs such as Reverend Fred Nile, who stated that “baby body parts” are responsible for blocking the plumbing in a Sydney abortion clinic.