I’m currently having a lovely weekend in Malahide, Ireland with some of my good friends. We’ve eaten out, chatted and had a really good catch up. All the fun things you would want to do with good friends.
We took a coastal stroll around beautiful Malahide and as well as the scenery, my eyes were drawn to the posters displayed everywhere. I had to take a double take. Emotive images were everywhere. Pictures of baby scans, young children with Downs Syndrome and statistics; statistics that made you sit up and take notice. Statistics illustrating the abortion rates in Britain, at what pregnancy stage and even why.
My friend immediately apologised for not pre-warning me. Of course I was aware of the referendum coming in Ireland but I won’t pretend I understood all the details and all the specific history. I won’t pretend to understand all the emotion and strong opinions.
On Friday 25th May 2018, the Irish population will be asked to vote on a proposal to change the Constitution of Ireland. The proposed change to the Constitution concerns the regulation of termination of pregnancy. Currently it is illegal unless there is risk to the mother’s life. The life of the baby is equal to the mother. The Irish people are voting to decide if this will change.
The pictures were hard to look at and difficult to stomach. As a parent, a mother and someone who has felt baby kicks and seen my little girl at 9 weeks old on a baby scan, I had to admit it made me stop and think. My friend explained how emotive and passionate people were on both sides of the argument and her confusion about what she would eventually vote. For some it is everything to them and entering a discussion where there is any disagreement could cause arguments and upset.
It’s been a hot topic of discussion this weekend for us! It has made me sit and question my views. I’ve always been pro choice and ultimately I know I still am. However, I think if I honestly sit and question could I get rid of a baby? If I got accidentally pregnant? I don’t think I could. If I look back at my life and imagined getting pregnant at 16. Would my decision be different? Probably yes. I wouldn’t want a baby then. I wouldn’t have been ready. What if my baby was unwell or had a serious health condition? Would I want to proceed with the pregnancy? I don’t know. You never know until you are in the situation. You never know until you are in someone else’s shoes.
I’ve read some horrible stories about women having to travel to Britain to have an abortion, one recently who was refused one, when they knew her baby was dead. Just unimaginable.
Thinking all of this answered the question for me. What would I vote if I lived in Ireland? It would be Yes because it’s not about all the specifics, the scenarios, the whys and whats. It’s about me having a choice, a chance to make that decision. That I feel women should have. It’s their right. Many may continue with their strong no views and never even entertain an abortion but women deserve to be able to have a chance to think and choose.
So for me it is a yes.
What about you?