Abortion. The hottest topic of the year. There is no escaping the talk about abortion and the 8th amendment; it’s on the radio, it’s the headlines for the news, it’s the posters everywhere and anywhere with tiny 12 week old fetuses on display.
I hate the idea of abortion. I hate the procedure that women have to endure, I hate the toll it takes on their bodies, and I especially hate the reasons people have to choose to have an abortion.
I am one in four. I am that person who has a mental health issue, the person whose behaviour is slightly (or not so slightly) out of whack, who doesn’t behave like everyone else. I am stable and not a risk to myself or others at this moment, but a pregnancy would change all that.
I want to have a child. I would love to be pregnant and bring a new life into this world. Any pregnancy that I may have would be wanted and loved. Any pregnancy I may have could also kill me.
I have, and I still am, receiving the correct mental health treatment for my condition. I am on medication, a medication that is literally keeping me alive. The medication I am taking has not been fully tested with pregnancy, and because of that my psychiatrist has told me that I would have to come off it if I were to become pregnant. I have been warned not to become pregnant. Not now. Not yet. I can’t survive off that medication currently; without it I’d be back in hospital, or dead.
If I were to become pregnant tomorrow, I’d have no psychiatric medication in my system to support my less-than-perfect neurons, and I’d be straight back where I started years ago before my recovery. I’d be paranoid. Scared. Delusional that people were poisoning me. Cars would be following me again, and the people around me would be trying to destroy me. I wouldn’t be eating at all, or eating so much that my stomach may rip. I’d be self-harming and suicidal. I’d be in and out of A&E so often that the nurses would know my name again. I’d become resident in the nearest psychiatric hospital for the sixth, seventh, eighth time.
I have a form of long-acting contraception. I have the most effective contraception available in Ireland, but even that has a 0.2% chance of failing. I am doing everything in my power to not get pregnant until I have been mentally well for a number of years and completely off medication, but if I am that 1 in 500 who becomes pregnant even with this contraception, I am screwed under the 8th amendment.
I want to have a child. I would love to be pregnant and bring a new life into this world. My partner wants a child. He would do anything to be a father.
We both know that now is not the time. We both know that if I were to get pregnant, it could become very dangerous very quickly. We both know that in order for us to build our family, first of all we need me alive.
Currently there is legislation that allows abortion in Ireland if a person is suicidal, but the process is invasive and degrading; a panel of three specialists must decide the fate of the pregnant person. If they vote against abortion, there is no other option but to travel. Having to choose abortion is a hard enough decision as it is, but needing the approval of three strangers is even worse.
I hate the idea of abortion. I hate the procedure that women have to endure, I hate the toll it takes on their bodies, and I especially hate the reasons people have to choose to have an abortion. What I hate most of all is the fact that women do not have access to the healthcare they need in times of emergency.
I hate abortion but I do not hate women. I support a woman’s right to choose about what happens to her body. Whether the pregnancy was wanted, or it was accidental, a person should have a say in what happens to their own body.
I know what it’s like to lose control of my mind.
I don’t want to lose control of my body too
Vote Yes on May 25th, and give women the control over their bodies that they need.