Photo Credit Black and Beech.
If I asked you one question;
Would you vote to repeal the 8th amendment in the Irish referendum?
Yes? Or no?
For me this is an easier answer, to a question I don’t think should actually have to be asked.
It seems so archaic that we are even having to discuss and have a referendum on this in 2018.
I would vote: YES.
On May 25th Ireland will have to ask this question and answer it accordingly with their vote. For those that don’t know the 8th amendment is the one that is currently makes getting an abortion illegal in Ireland.
It takes away a basic and fundamental right of choice I believe every single woman on this planet should have, and one that should not be dictated, or governed by someone else.
Especially those who will never find themselves in a position where they would need to make that choice for themselves, for their body.
You may wonder why I wanted to write a blog post about this as an English resident I cannot vote, I do not have any influence on the result. But, I am a woman with access to a privilege those in Ireland do not have, and that is what I have a problem with.
To see women as equals to men should we not be starting off on the same foot within our own sex first?
I have seen a lot of posts recently about this and I think it is amazing that despite our inability to vote, we are talking about a taboo subject. We are despite differing opinions supporting our Irish Sisters by having a conversation, by raising awareness.
Abortion happens every day, it will continue to do so. What ever your personal feelings or opinions on it, that will not change.
But, what can change is a woman’s right to do what she wants to do with her body.
There are a lot of old age factors and argument when discussing abortion, what say does the man have? The baby? What if this was a case of rape? What about those who cannot have children, they could adopt etc?
But for me it boils down to one thing, what does the woman want to do with her body.
I have been pregnant three times, carried two to term and birthed them.
The mental and physical effects this had on my body were indescribable.
I have made the choice not to have any more children and if I found myself pregnant again I would need to think very long and hard about my choice.
But that ultimately is what it is, my choice, I live in a country which has provided me with the choice, a privilege if you will.
What would happen is that choice was taken away from me?
What if we were forced to carry on with a pregnancy we were not physically or mentally prepared for?
It sounds as though it came from the Handmaid’s Tale, but that is what women in Ireland are living, this is their lives.
No one should have a decision like that made for them, they should not be forced into a lifelong choice that they did not make.
They should not be putting their lives at risk, or having to travel to a different country in some kind of cloak of shame.
I am a NICU Mum, although my baby was not premature I have seen many premature babies some as young as 22 weeks survive, however my gut still tells me that it is the woman's choice.
I also know first hand what it is like to have a baby with a serious and lifelong illness. If Elijah’s illness was picked up during my scans there is no question I would have carried on the pregnancy safe in the knowledge that when he was born there is a surgery that has been around since the 1960’s to repair him. To give him a fairly normal life.
What if there was no magic surgery at the end?
What if you cannot cope with giving birth to a ill baby, it is one of the hardest things you have to do especially when you were forced to carry on with the pregnancy against your wishes.
So much has been done in regards to women’s equality recently, but if we are still having a debate on things such as a woman’s right to end her pregnancy or not I think we have a long way to go still.
In my mind perhaps slightly naively it is a simple question, with a simple answer.
Give the woman the power of choice.
It is not a privilege for her to have a choice over her own body.
It is a basic right, and one she should be free to make and live with on her own.
Sally @wifeofawigwearer wrote an amazing blog post that inspired me, which you can view by clicking here.