Sorry For All Those Women We Used As Slaves

The prime minister of Ireland has apologized for the country’s decades-long practice of sending women to be slave labor in Magdalene Laundries, state-supported laundries run by nuns.

This essay by a woman who tracked down her birth mother and discovered that she had spent her entire life in institutions is heartbreaking. She spent 34 years in the Laundries, working until it was finally closed down in 1996. She was so institutionalized that she stayed on the grounds until she died.

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