I’d vote YES!

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pic of badges from Together for Yes website

In just three days, The Motherland will ask it’s people to vote on whether or not to repeal our 8th amendment. The 8th says “The states (Ireland) acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”

I remember at secondary school, we had some people come in to give us a talk on how abortion was basically murder. They even had little pairs of tiny, silver feet pins, we’re talking Barbie doll sized feet here, that you could buy and wear in support of pro-life. I remember leaving that talk thinking, well it’s a very simple answer, I would never do that, what kind of person would abort a child……As you get older though, you realise, there is no simple answer, it’s not just black and white. There is a grey area.

I know lots of Mammies, I know different types of Mammies. I am a Mammy. I know women who said they never wanted kids, but have them now and could never be without them. I don’t know anyone who’s first ever thought in life about pregnancy was “how shall I get rid of it?” I don’t think we knowingly plan ahead for an abortion. Most of us look forward to becoming a mother.

I now know about fatal foetal abnormalities, where the foetus may or may not make it to full term and even if it does survive the birth, won’t live very long. I cannot understand how despite knowing these things, but because there is still a heartbeat, our government insists a mother carries her unborn child until birth, allowing her to go through the trauma of knowing her baby is dying/will die but making her suffer the pain and sadness of going through the birth anyway. Can you even imagine the heartache that woman would feel?

I cannot understand how our government would refuse a victim of rape, a child victim of rape the right to an abortion. It was not their choice to be raped. The trauma of this whole ordeal must surely be unbearable?

I cannot understand how an embryo can come before a woman having life saving treatment as the drugs needed may result in a miscarriage or a FFA. How do you knowingly allow a woman with pre-existing medical conditions put her life in severe risk, forcing her to carry on with a pregnancy? I read on a pro-life site that today the abortion rate was one in every five pregnancies here in England & Wales, and that I should think about five people in my life, whom could I not live without? I don’t think comparing people I know now or even from when I was little is the same as comparing an unborn foetus to a born person. Yes, there may be brain activity but this is not the same as knowing a fully developed person.

What if a woman’s contraception has failed her, after all, no contraception is 100%, but what if you were actively doing what you can to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, but it failed….what do you do? There were reasons you were using contraceptive in the first place.

I had a look at the abortion info on the Irish Citizens Information Centre page and I find that slightly hypocritical too…..We do not advocate abortion in Ireland BUT we cannot prevent you from travelling abroad to have an abortion, we can give you names and addresses of where to go to have one legally abroad and we will give you some amount of counselling once your back. Oh by the way, if you don’t have the means to travel abroad and pay for it and we find you’ve taken it upon yourself to abort by means of pills or an extremely risky backstreet abortion, we’ll sling you in jail for possibly 14 years! Ireland should not be forcing it’s women abroad at a time when she needs it’s care and support. It should not be forcing them to extreme methods such as drinking bleach or self harming in the hopes of bringing on a miscarriage. It should not be forcing them to leave their families and their familiar surroundings to go through such an ordeal. It should not be making her feel ashamed and guilty. It should not be putting her life at risk. It should be reaching out to help her make informed decisions with the correct medical care and support.

Abortion has been around for a very long time, it will not go away Ireland, you can’t keep shipping it off to England (and with Brexit looming how much more stressful and traumatic will it become?). I believe that if a woman has chosen to have an abortion she has not done so lightly and although it is actually 14 times safer than actually being pregnant, I don’t believe it’s a procedure anyone really wants to have. We have to trust that women are doing these things for the right reasons, after all, whatever her decision, ultimately it is her body and her mind that will carry that scar forever.

For those of you who are voting no, did you step out of the black and white? I hope you considered the grey areas. I hope that you, your wife, your girlfriend, your sister, your Mam, your aunt, your daughter never have to be in any of the situations I’ve mentioned above.

For those of you thinking of not voting, you still have time to make an informed decision, but surely a vote for choice is better than a no?

Vote YES! Vote for CHOICE!

Be my yes,

love Donna x

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