Is Abortion Ever Right?
YES, yes it fucking it!
And what's more, it's nothing to do with anyone else what a woman chooses to do with her body!
On the day of the Irish Abortion Referendum, I can't stay quiet, I can't pretend it doesn't matter to me, that it doesn't affect me, that it doesn't trigger me or make me re-evaluate my own views on the morality of abortion.
And each time I am asked to visit my thoughts, fears, and morals on this topic, I always come back to the same conclusion.
Abortion is a personal choice, a choice made in personal circumstances for personal reasons, it's not an experience that should be controlled or judged by others, and it most definitely is not an experience that should be controlled or judged by men!
You see, abortion isn't just for careless teens or girls with loose morals who put it around too much.
It's for women and girls who have been raped or sexually abused and impregnated against their will by strangers.
It's for white middle class, middle-aged women who get caught out whilst having an affair and who decide on abortion rather than blowing apart two families brought on by their just for fun, living in the moment, mistake.
It's for the virgin who has a bright academic future all planned out, but who got caught out on her first time with her long-term boyfriend.
But the abortion story I really want you to hear is one that is closet to me.
It's a woman who spent her whole life being told by her own mother "you're only here because I don't believe in abortion".
She had spent her whole life knowing she was unwanted and only born at all due to her mother's simplistic moral code.
She spent her whole life wishing she'd have been aborted, rather than raised so openly as an unplanned, unloved, resented accident.
She got married, had kids, got divorced, ended up in an abusive relationship and unexpectedly pregnant, an accident, totally unplanned and unwanted.
And so she found herself having to make the no-win decision about whether to abort, the whole time her mother's message ringing loud in her ears.
Should she bring a child into a relationship where there was abuse just because 'she didn't believe in abortion'? Is that the best thing for her to do? She was already keeping the abuse secret from her family and her kids, how could she choose to inflict this life of secrecy and pain on an innocent child who never asked to be born?
A child who would grow up to find out that its own father stood in a court of law and pleaded guilty to beating its mother?
Nobody deserves to be brought into that. Not while there is another option.
So she booked to see the GP, a man, she sat and poured out her story and tried desperately to justify her decision, whilst trying to hide her abuse, her internal and external bruises. He sat back listening and then he said: "I can't refer you for abortion as I feel abortion is ethically wrong".
She was defeated, she went home, she sobbed, she questions her own morals and choices, but this wasn't about her, this was about doing what's right for all involved.
She booked in to see another GP, another man, she sat and poured out her story and tried desperately to justify her decision, whilst trying desperately to hide her abuse, her internal and external bruises once again. He sat back listening and then he said "I can't refer you for abortion as I don't agree with abortion on religious grounds"
She once again went home, she sobbed even harder, she felt even more alone, even crueler to even consider such an action, an action that can spare a whole heap of unnecessary pain onto another.
She would not bring a child into this situation; she would not inflict her lifetime of hurt on another child. She knew what she needed to do.
She got herself an overdraft to cover a private abortion, she took herself and her grubby secret(s) to the clinic and walked herself through protesters and placards that shouted 'murderer', she took that hit and went inside.
Once inside when she was called for her turn, she sobbed so hard, deep guttural cries of not wanting to go through with it but feeling she had to.
Still alone, still trapped and now publicly judged and in debt.
She was sedated, a luxury only offered to the most distressed, and the abortion was carried out.
She didn't celebrate, she didn't feel free, and she would never be free of the choice she made.
ALL of this heartbreak and judgment, fear, and loneliness, self-loathing and extra finical burden could have all been so different if others understood the pain of a scared and desperate woman who is faced with making a life-changing decision.
But just like the GPs that turned her away, some will never understand the truth about abortion, and why women choose to do it. Instead, they sit on their moral high-ground, casting judgment over others from a place of ignorance and uninformed.
It is not our job to judge the acts of others, as humans all sharing a planet it is our job to understand and support others.
Women deserve to have autonomy over their own bodies in EVERY sense of the word, and freedom of choice should be available to ALL women, not signed away in some game of historical hierarchy.
It's 2018, it's time.