• Leanne M.

Friday the 25th

I don’t think a simple title could have ever meant so much.  

Today is the day that the people of Ireland have a chance to take a stand for themselves and for their women. 

I’m not writing this to tell anybody how to vote. But I do want to clear up something. Being Pro life or Pro Choice has a very different meaning in Ireland than abroad.

This Friday we are not voting for abortion.  

And for anybody to try and summarise it as being about abortion is heartbreaking to the women it’s affected.  

This is about women being second class citizens when it comes to medical care.  

In Ireland women have no right to accept or refuse any treatment when it comes to medical care once they become pregnant. Doctors and nurses don’t even have to advise you on their course of action. This to the extent that there are horrific stories of ladies who’ve been submitted to an internal examination - yes. I am talking about a hand inside them... Without any prior warning or Consent. - Now To me in any society that’s classed as sexual assault. 

And this doesn’t come down to just medical care in pregnancy. If I fell off a horse tomorrow, and went to the hospital with a possible broken wrist. I have to prove I’m not pregnant or have had my period recently in order to receive an x-ray. And even upon giving a negative pregnancy test they may still refuse you that X-ray. It doesn’t matter what bones are broken or if it’s been two years since you last had sex - nobody is immune. 

And what if you’re suicidal? - This case is known in Ireland as Ms Y. A migrant woman who fled to Ireland for safety. She became pregnant as a result of rape. She then sought an abortion on the grounds of being suicidal. She was refused and tried to escape to the UK, she was arrested and stopped. She then went on hunger strike. That’s when they began force feeding and giving her fluids until  her until her baby was delivered by forced C-section at 25 weeks. 

And what about death during pregnancy ? Ireland can hang its head in shame at that too. Ms P. A woman who was at 15 weeks gestation when she was declared clinically dead. She was then kept on life support against the families wishes for dignity in death. This went on for 3 weeks before the courts ruled that there was no evidence to suggest what effects this would have on a foetus / if it could survive.

 And then there’s the women who’ve been denied cancer treatment, or had their cancer treatment stopped. Cystic fibrosis treatment stopped. Women with damaged spines where giving birth could leave them blind. Women with heart disease. All because their lives weren’t at an immediate or substantial risk. If you want to look into this I assure you I’m not exaggerating, have a read of “In her shoes “ on Facebook or look up “Sheila Hodgers death”

Did you know you can miscarry but sometimes the nature doesn’t quite run its course - in these cases women have been left with a dying baby inside. All because the foetus has a heart beat. The women are then left to develope Sepsis and their lives are in immediate and substantial danger before the hospital can help them.  

And then there’s the simple problem of having the right to reproduce under the 8th. Personally for me this has meant being refused the Mirena as a method of contraception. - Why you might ask? Because I haven’t had children and I have a right to reproduce. And the Mirena has been known to damage the female reproductive system. And I know I’m not alone in this - many girls have been refused contraceptives here. 

Now that’s a simple moan I can use other contraceptives right? - but here’s the ugly side of having a right to reproduce. A child with autism  .. what’s that got to do with it you ask. A living example in Ireland is a family with a young autistic girl, they love their child and would do anything for her but since she started hitting puberty the hormones have been driving her nuts. She’s started her periods and she doesn’t understand them. She doesn’t know why it’s wrong to put her hand in her pants and pull out the sanitation pad. She has no shame in her bloody hands. She’s growing and become strong and the violence her hormones are causing is now physically harming her mother. So they do the right thing and bring her to a doctor knowing there is methods to delay puberty. But however because the girl has a right to reproduce they deny her these treatments.

So yes you might find the idea of abortion disgusting. I find it pretty disgusting. I don’t think I could ever do it unless I medically needed it. The idea horrifies me.

But the 8th amendment in Ireland is so much more than being about abortion. It’s stripping women of basic human rights.  

And if you want to unfollow me because I voted Yes to stop the horrors of the above go ahead because we definitely have a different view of what is right and wrong. 

I voted Yes. Because someday me or one of the younger girls in my family might want to have children. And I want Ireland to be a safe place for any woman to bring a child into this world.  

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