Pro-yoga, Pro-choice, Pro-Bodily Autonomy

“Feminism freed my mind. Yoga freed my body. It’s one thing to intellectualize self-love and another to embody it.” – Melanie Klein.

Yoga guides me along a path back to my body, back to owning my body, treating it with integrity and respect, not as a separate thing that needs rules, chastisement, or whipping into shape. It is not separate to me. It is me.

In Ireland, the law has owned women’s bodies for too long.

Article 40.3.3 of the Irish Constitution reads ‘The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.’

This means that Irish law considers the life of a human to be equal to that of an embryo. It makes women living here second-class citizens. As soon as you become pregnant in Ireland, you automatically have rights taken away from you. Hypocritically, the constitution contains the so-called “right to travel” for an abortion – basically saying abortion is ok, just don’t do it here.

However not everyone has the right or the means to travel – people who do not have a visa, or cannot afford the travel fare and/or procedure itself, are left with little choice but to either go through with a pregnancy they do not want, or resort to inducing an abortion at home.

Abortion has always happened, and will always happen. The law does not change this; all it does is make reproductive health care dangerous for women. Criminalisation of abortion does not mean less abortions. (Access to free contraception, free childcare and a good standard of sex education in school are what makes for less abortions.)

Being pro-choice means being pro- women who want abortions, and pro- women who don’t. It means supporting others in their choice, it means trusting women, it means respecting the bodily autonomy of others.

On Saturday 23rd July, I am organising Yoga For Choice, a yoga class with all proceeds going to the Abortion Rights Campaign. Payment is a donation of your choice. All welcome.

Yours in pro-choice, pro-yoga, pro-bodily autonomy solidarity,

Miriam x




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