On Friday [May 25, 2018], Ireland will vote whether or not to appeal a 35-year-old constitutional ban on abortion. The Cut spoke to Ailbhe Smyth, an Irish activist and former academic, who has been campaigning for reproductive rights in her country since the 1970s. . . .
“You know, I grew up in an Ireland where you didn’t even talk about sex, never mind talking about something like contraception or abortion. I didn’t hear the word “lesbian” until I was 21 or something. But gradually, as Ireland has become economically more comfortable, and education has become much more widely available, and people got television and they started traveling — and then, obviously, the internet! — that has opened up this island in a way, so that people are genuinely, I think, much more open and more tolerant.”