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Monday 25 September 2023 Dublin: 14°C
Shutterstock/Sergey Furtaev
I made a decision to abort at seven weeks for many reasons, writes an anonymous contributor.

TODAY SOME PRO-LIFE literature arrived in the door of the family home. My father is a devout Catholic who subscribes to several religious magazines so it was most likely aimed at him.

My father has no idea of the irony of this. You see, I had an abortion last year.

I found myself in a situation that I had never in a million years expected to be in and I made a decision, which I believe was right for me.

There were no fatal foetal abnormalities nor am I suicidal, which I believe are the only grounds for legally having an abortion in this country. I made a decision to abort at seven weeks because I suffer from depression and anxiety, was unemployed and in very unstable circumstances. I was in a relationship that I knew would not last the moment I found out I was pregnant.

I am not maternal and have never wanted to have a child nor would I be able to cope with having a child. I know a lot of struggling single mothers and I did not want to join their ranks. I struggle to manage on my own at the best of times and bringing a child into the mix certainly wouldn’t improve my circumstances or my own well-being.

Not an easy decision 

Having an abortion is not an easy decision to make. Of course, I weighed up the pros and cons of going through with the pregnancy with and without the support of my partner but ultimately, as the person who would be carrying the baby to term over nine months and would then be ultimately responsible for raising that baby, I decided that I would have to look after my best interests. And my best interests did not include having a child that I didn’t want. I don’t believe it would be in the best interests of the child either.

I am sickened by the attitudes and judgement of people in this country who have never walked a mile in my shoes. I am sickened by the fact that most of our government representatives, mainly men, are too afraid to legislate definitively on this issue. It seems to me that more thought and concern is given to the ‘rights’ of the unborn child than to the rights of the mother.

What about my rights? There are those who would call me ‘selfish’, a ‘criminal’ and a ‘murderer’ because of the decision I made. So be it. There are also those who would argue that I was irresponsible and should have used protection. Perhaps, they’re right. I was naïve and I believed my partner when he told me he couldn’t have children. I should have insisted on condoms. I should have done a lot of things.

I made a mistake 

But, I didn’t and then I had to deal with the consequences. I hold my hands up. I am human, I made a mistake. Do the people who send this pro-life literature never make mistakes? Should I be forced to bring into the world a child that would be very much unwanted just because the Irish state refuses to allow me access to safe abortion in my own country?

The hypocrisy of a state where I can legally obtain information about abortion, but then have to take a flight to the UK in order to obtain that same abortion is galling. I was one of the people who voted ‘Yes’ for marriage equality in the referendum as I believe people should have the right to marry whoever they want. Live and let live and all that.

However, Leo Varadkar now seeks to prevent women like me from having full access to my human rights. He is prepared to ‘amend’ the 8th amendment, but not repeal it. Is abortion an issue that will ever affect him personally? No. So therefore, he and all the other male politicians who continuously refuse to deal with my reality are putting their heads in the sand. It’s not a priority for him or for many in government because he’s not a woman and he will (fortunately) never be in my position.

This article is written by anonymous contributor. 

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