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8th amendment

'Please come home Mam, I'm in agony': Parents of women who had crisis pregnancies urge Yes vote

Elaine Bedford spoke about her daughter’s experience taking abortion pills last year.
I didn’t know much about abortion pills. She came to me one night, sat on the bed beside me and told me she was pregnant.

ELAINE BEDFORD’S DAUGHTER Kate became pregnant last year.

Kate has type 1 diabetes and had been very seriously ill two Christmases ago. Her mother said she “nearly lost her”.

“That Christmas Day I was walking up and down Beaumont Hospital not knowing if my daughter was going to live, she had a really bad infection she’d picked up. She spent three to four days in intensive care, she came home,” she said.

3212 Sinn Fein_90545588 Elaine Bedford said she never wants another mother to have to see her daughter in this situation. Leah Farrell / Leah Farrell / /

The following year, despite taking the contraceptive pill, the 25-year-old got pregnant.

Elaine asked her daughter if, with her health issues, she was going to be able to have a baby.

She said ‘no Mam, I know I’m not well enough’.

Kate has polycystic ovary syndrome and with her diabetes, she had been warned of the dangers of an unplanned pregnancy. Her mother said doctors told her that if she ever planned to have a baby, her blood sugar levels would have to be stabilised for months before she should even get pregnant.

And she would have to be monitored very carefully throughout.

The young woman decided the best course of action for her was to terminate her pregnancy. She ordered abortion pills online and when they arrived, she took them at home.

At lunchtime that day, Elaine got a text message: “Please come home Mam, I’m in agony.”

She went to a pharmacy to buy painkillers for her daughter before she headed home.

There were two cats, two dogs sitting on the bed with her not knowing what was going on. She was crying. The fear in her eyes. I said ‘please let me get a doctor, can I call a doctor for you?’
‘No Mam you don’t understand, you can’t get a doctor.’

Elaine said this ”went on for hours” and it is not something she ever wants another mother in this country to witness.

My daughter got married last Monday. The last thing she said to me before I left the wedding was ‘Mam I’ll give you a grandchild very soon’. That’s all she wants, is a child. She wants a healthy child.

Elaine Bedford was speaking at a Together for Yes press conference today, the last full day of campaigning before the referendum.

3276 Farmers for yes_90545596 Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine Michael Creed spoke to the media earlier today. Leah Farrell Leah Farrell

Later on, a group of farmers who are promoting a Yes vote gathered in Merrion Square with Minister Michael Creed to urge the public to vote this Friday to change the Constitution.

Liam Dunne from Athy in Co Kildare was among them.

“I’m a father whose daughter back five years ago had a crisis pregnancy and the first thing that we discovered was the family are excluded from any decision-making.

The very basis of our society is the family and I’m voting Yes to put the family back into the centre of decision-making.

Minister Creed said the farming community is “no different” when it comes to the impact of the 8th amendment on their lives. He said the “blue book” as no role to play in terms of medical care for women going through pregnancy.

Farmer Lorna Sixsmith told reporters: It’s not right that my cows can get better healthcare and more compassion from me, my husband, my family and our vet than pregnant women in crisis can get in Ireland.”

She said she knows “many other farmers feel exactly the same”.

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