I’m sure at this stage all of us in Ireland and even further afield are well aware as to what I mean by Repeal the Eight Amendment.
If you want to find out exactly what the Eight Amendment means and why it is important to Repeal it then please click here to go to directly to the Repeal Eight.ie.
Essentially in layman’s terms abortion in Ireland is against the law.
To date, publicly at least I have not really spoken about why I felt it was so important for abortion to be legalised, I kind of always thought politics and religion should not be something I should talk about, but now that the referendum is only 16 weeks away I feel it is vital that we all make our voices heard so that the referendum is a success in favour of repealing the Eight Amendment.
You see I’m not college-educated nor do I know many big fancy words (I like to pretend I do sometimes), I don’t even know half the time if I’m putting the commas and full stops in the right places!
But what I do know is how I felt when I got pregnant with both of my children and both pregnancies turned out to be crisis ones.
I was 20 getting pregnant with Sophie and I had just finished a PLC course and was successful in getting a place in college to pursue a career in nursing, all of which had to be but on hold to have my beautiful girl.
When I initially found out I was pregnant with Sophie I went to a crisis pregnancy agency and had a chat with one of the councillors who went through all the options open to me which essentially were to have the baby or give it up for adoption.
She did give me leaflets of abortion clinics in the UK but that was all the information she could give me after all abortion is illegal in Ireland.
Then after welcoming Sophie along, getting the house, the wedding certificate and deciding we were going to have another child we luckily got pregnant with Noah.
And here unfortunately for us was crisis pregnancy no 2.
We were told that we would more than likely lose Noah from miscarriage due to what they believed at the time was a fatal fetal abnormality.
Obviously we went on to have Noah, however his Escobar Syndrome means one of two things for us, one, being Denis and I are carriers of the Syndrome so we have one in four chances of having another child with the same syndrome, two, Escobar Syndrome also has a fatal version so there is no saying the baby would survive like Noah has.
Now you may say but sure if abortion was legalised you might not have had either of your children?
But you see this is where you are missing the point!
The point is, I didn’t have a CHOICE!
I literally had no choice in the matter unless I was willing to travel to the UK if I decided on having an abortion.
Truthfully I wouldn’t have picked abortion in either of our pregnancies because Denis and I had made the decision that we wanted both of our children no matter the outcome.
However and I’ve never been this honest publicly but if abortion was legal in Ireland I would have considered the possibility of having another child.
And although this might sound cruel to you that I would think of aborting a child that may turn out like Noah, there’s also a high possibility that, the child could die after birth and more importantly I would not mentally survive another pregnancy like the one I had with Noah.
I’ve seen the pro-life campaigners try to use the line that abortion will get rid of all disabilities and children like Noah but (now I’m no statistician) the majority of kids with Noahs syndrome (there’s about 100 in the world) are based in the USA and the last time I checked abortion was legal there, so to me this point is null and void.
It’s important that we realise that there are women out there who have suffered really bloody suffered because of the Eight Amendment and it really is time now that it stops and that the women of this country are given a choice.
That I’m given a choice and Sophie when she is an adult.
If Sophie has either pregnancy that I had that she will be able to decide herself if she wants to continue with them or not and she will have the support from her country to make an informed decision.
If you don’t agree with me, honestly that is perfectly fine I respect your choice but I would ask if you have personally experienced a crisis pregnancy, and if not can you really fully comprehend the reason why it is so important to Repeal the Eight Amendment?
For those of you who are marching and fighting to change this law even though you might not have experienced a crisis pregnancy yourself then I commend you and thank you for your empathy for the women of our country who have been in these horrendous situations.
So on that note I ask you please please cast your vote in 16 weeks to finally give the women of this country the right to make their own choices when it comes to their own bodies.