I can’t think of anyone who values the potential of the unborn foetus more than those women that are desperate to have a child. Myself and many women I know have spent thousands of pounds over the years on countless rounds of fertility treatment. We are poked, prodded and scanned for months on end, in the hope that a tiny life will begin.
Every four weeks, we are willing our eggs to grow, hoping that an embryo will fertilise and then implant-nobody is more aware of these crucial stages than us. Even if they might be just a bunch of cells to begin with, we look at the screen during scans and imagine these cells dividing, becoming a foetus and eventually forming the little person that we’ve dreamed of for so long. We even get photographs of these stages to take away with us, and maybe imagine adding them to the family album some day. If we are lucky to get pregnant, it is hard not to think ahead and imagine what the child will be like. How can we not, especially if we feel them growing inside us? Even at the early stages it’s possible to feel these symptoms.
If we miscarry, it is devastating and feels like our hopes and dreams have died with this precious, potential child. Of course, thinking rationally, the foetus is not a child, but has the potential of becoming one. So each time we have a failed round of IVF, or a miscarriage, it feels like the baby we have dreamed of has died, and a little bit of us dies each time with it.
Despite this fact, every woman I have spoken to who has undergone fertility treatment, and knows (more than any pro-lifers) how precious the foetus is, believes that every woman has the right to choose what they do with their body. So many pro-lifers believe that they are taking the moral high ground when they insist that every pregnant woman in Ireland should give birth. I believe that this makes them pro-birth, not pro-life. What if that foetus that they value so much becomes a young girl who is raped at 9 years old and becomes pregnant? Is her life no longer valid? Or maybe you approve of abortions in cases like these. But as this Facebook post by Aidan Comerford highlights so well, women and young girls cannot have an abortion if raped, as long as the eighth amendment is in place. Maybe you think we should just rewrite the eighth amendment to allow for rape. This isn’t going to happen, so if you feel this way, you should vote Repeal.
You can be against abortion but still be compassionate by voting Yes. You will never get a chance to vote for the abortions that you approve of. You must, instead, trust women to know what it best for them in their situation.