Lately, we keep hearing how the 8th amendment saves lives. The ‘LoveBoth’ crowd say if abortion was available here millions people would not be here today. I was recently asked on twitter by an anti-choice zealot which one of my kids would I have aborted if abortion had been available here. That really hurt, they were literally saying I was forced to be pregnant against my will and have children because of the restrictions here. That is such horse shit.
It was MY CHOICE to continue with my pregnancies and be a mother, NOT THE LAW, not the 8th amendment. Nobody forced my children or pregnancies on me. It was MY CHOICE. I don’t ever want my kids thinking that they are only here because the law said I couldn’t have an abortion.
My 4 kids are here today because I CHOSE to continue with the pregnancies at that time. Had I wanted an abortion on any of them then believe me I could have, whether or not it is legal here abortions can still available either through ordering pills online or travelling. But at the moment it’s a case of who has the means and money to get the pills or travel. It’s prolonging pain and a very tough decision. It’s costing women’s lives too when a pregnancy is dangerous and slowly killing them but doctors can’t intervene until it is often too late for the damage to be reversed. None of this is ok. Women’s lives matter more than a fetus with the potential to be born.
Forced pregnancy is not ok and I would never force my daughters or best friend to be pregnant against their will. Would you?
I have ordered abortion pills, illegally here to Ireland when I was facing a crisis pregnancy. When I found out I was pregnant unexpectedly I was devastated, no other words. I cried and cried as this wasn’t the plan and I was finally getting my life back on track after the effects of long-term clinical depression. We had only recently talked about whether we would have another one and decided no after weighing up the pros and cons.
So here I was now pregnant and thinking about whether to continue or terminate. I ordered the abortion pills to have as I knew I needed to act quickly if I decided to terminate. I wanted all my options laid out in front of me so I could never say I was forced either way you know?
I will never forget the panic when communicating with Women Help Women (www.womenhelp.org) and figuring out how to get the pills here. I had to contact a post office up in the North of Ireland to ask would they accept a package for me and if so then my partner would have to take a day off work and collect them. The organisation decided they would send them to the Republic of Ireland as things weren’t too strict at the time. We put them in my partner’s name to make it look less suspicious. I was sick with fear that customers would seize them and either myself or my partner would get arrested and then I would have no choice but to travel if I was going to terminate and go alone as my partner would have to stay and mind the kids. My mind was racing with so many what if’s. I so wanted to go to my local GP, sob my heart out and get advice face to face but I couldn’t. I was alone and felt like a criminal, as did my partner who all along told me it was my body and choice and he would support me either way, rightly so.
I was vomiting with morning sickness and so much fear. Fear of getting caught with ‘illegal’ but safe pills. Fear of where to go if there was complications if I took the pills. Fear of prenatal depression again. Fear of an awful birth, again. Fear of postpartum depression, again. So much what if’s and other people/kids to think about in my decision. I also wasn’t sleeping and still had to mother my kids that were here. I cried every single morning waking up realising that it wasn’t all a dream and I was pregnant and had this life-changing decision to make where either road I looked down was hard.
In the end after much talks, thinking, lists of pros and cons, I decided not to take the abortion pills. I put them up high in the kitchen press and that was that. I made my choice and I’m so happy I had a choice as hard as it was. It wasn’t an easy pregnancy or birth at all, but it was MY CHOICE. My life at stake and my risk to take.
To be really honest, I’m not comfortable with the idea of abortion, I don’t think anyone is but sometimes needs must and it’s the best option. We know ourselves what we can handle mentally, morally and physically. Everyone handles different situations depending on their own personal circumstances. Your past, childhood trauma, family relationships, relationship status, kids health, your own health, your partner’s health and so much more all play a part in making the decision whether to terminate or not. It’s not an easy choice whatever you choose when you have an unplanned pregnancy. No one wants to have to be in that situation to have to make that often difficult and uncomfortable choice but we know what is best for us. Some people know straight away they need an abortion, others take their time like I did in deciding.
Choice, support and having all options available in our own country is basic healthcare and it’s a disgrace we still don’t have that in Ireland.
Lastly, I can’t help but wonder, if I had to travel I would have been rushed to book flights, organise childcare, accommodation because I’d have been afraid of it getting too late to have a termination. What if I got there and decided I didn’t want an abortion? Would the pressure after having spent money on flights etc made me just go through with it anyway? Letting women decide in their own country is the better option here. If abortion was available legally here maybe women in similar situations facing a crisis pregnancy would have extra time to think and not feel pressure to be rushed on a decision. Abortion here would mean more choice for women. Choice in their own country. Not rushed. Not a choice made in a panic either. Just pure simple choice with all the information and support from their own doctor. As I mentioned above I had safe but illegal abortion pills in my possession at my leisure to choose whether to take them or not.