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The Abortion Referendum – Valuing Life

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 Is her life no longer valid?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.

 

 

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4 thoughts on “The Abortion Referendum – Valuing Life

  1. Well said Nuala. It’s fantastic that the result had gone the right way. Now it leaves absolutely no excuse for the situation in the North regarding abortion. I don’t know how that will be fixed since I don’t think there will be a referendum on it, but it is a lasting shame and embarrassment.

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    1. Thanks Damien. Great result. It’s a shame so many think that abortion is being celebrated rather than progress for women. I saw a placard that said ‘Get your rosaries off our ovaries’ which I liked!

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  2. I disagree. Not meaning to be argumentative, but thought I’d leave my two cents. All life is a gift, and the child that you dream of is already a child in the womb. It doesn’t become one with time. Every life deserves the chance to live, and anyone with the title “mother” should not even consider ending that life for any reason. Giving your child up for adoption may be a hard choice to make, but it is a choice that reflects genuine love, verses choosing to end that life for one reason or another. People argue women should have the right to choose, as you even state, “what is best for them”. What part of that isn’t selfish? Truly pro-life people would not support any abortion, and are simple arguing that any baby has a right to live. We speak for the young baby who isn’t able to yet, but I would guess that if they could, every one would choose to live. As a billboard I saw says, “It’s easy to be pro-choice when you’re not the one being killed.”

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    1. I got an email to ask if I wanted to approve and publish this comment – I’ve chosen to publish it as everyone has a right to an opinion. What you say is your opinion and not actually factual – for example calling women selfish and other labels. Typical of many people with a pro-birth stance. I myself have never had or could never imagine the horror of having an abortion. But, in an unselfish way, I am still able to empathise with women and young girls in extreme circumstances. It is a luxury to sit back and judge others who are in situations you cannot imagine, it would be easy for me to do that having had a healthy pregnancy-having the means to care for the potential child, having not been raped, knowing that the child was not going to die when born or endlessly suffer for a few weeks before dying….etc etc. So many situations that I can empathise with. I find it difficult to empathise with the very small minority of women who might use abortion as a form of contraception – but it is their body, not mine and I’m not a dictator. I don’t see why women with very valid and sensible reasons to terminate a foetus should suffer because of a small minority. Ultimately I trust the woman to decide. I wouldn’t be so arrogant as to assume I know her situation. And besides, abortion is legal in the rest of the UK, so women are going to abort if they choose to. I am merely commenting on allowing women to be able to stay in Ireland – this is about where abortion takes place, not abortion itself. Many people in Ireland would prefer to brush it under the carpet and not have it happen in their country-I wonder are all these people fostering and adoption as they care so much about the child? Or do they only make it their business when another woman’s womb is involved?

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