Dr. Cara Delay’s latest book was recently published with Oxford University Press. Catching Fire: Women’s Health Activism in Ireland and the Global Movement for Reproductive Justice, co-written with Beth Sundstrom, narrates the rise of women’s health activism in Ireland within a global reproductive justice framework. Congratulations, Cara!
For more than a generation, activists and advocacy organizations have been instrumental in agitating for women’s health reforms in Ireland. Over the last decade, Irish activists have experienced a number of victories to improve women’s health, most notably in 2018 when Ireland passed a referendum to repeal the Eighth amendment, a constitutional ban on abortion. After years of unfavorable laws for women and successive scandals in women’s health, Ireland has taken transformative steps to redefine social norms surrounding women’s health and reproduction. The case of Ireland’s women’s health reform offers important insight toward furthering the modern global movement for women’s autonomy.
Catching Fire narrates the rise of women’s health activism in Ireland within a global reproductive justice framework, which aims to understand and dismantle the systems of social inequality that shape, oppress, and restrict reproductive rights and bodily autonomy. The volume focuses on attempts by Irish healthcare reformers and activists to improve Irish women’s access to essential healthcare services and links key developments in Irish history to reproductive advocacy efforts in America and beyond. Chapters offer historical context behind the modern reproductive justice movement through case studies on women’s health issues such as contraception, abortion, and childbirth in Ireland. Together, these case studies celebrate the ingenuity of Irish activists who personalized reproductive justice through the stories of ordinary women on social media and established the Republic of Ireland as a model for future activist movements.
Reaching across groups and eras, Catching Fire highlights the underrecognized historical feminist movements supporting recent women’s health activism and the enduring lessons for achieving greater gender equity around the globe.”