Repeal the 8th-An Opinion

I am not a political person. I don’t really understand the lingo. I don’t understand the party dynamics.

I didn’t vote on anything until I was over the age of thirty because I didn’t see the point. Now I’m a parent that is running a home and rearing children that has changed. I see how the decisions made by those in power can affect the lives of those at ground level. As far as educating myself on the intricacies of political systems I have a long way to go.

But I’m trying.

There’s one issue that is swarming around my social media and the campaign is entitled Repeal the 8th. Everywhere I look there’s a digital influencer urging me to Repeal the 8th and I had no idea what that meant. Off I went to take a look and it made me examine my own belief on the issue of abortion.

Firstly I needed to look at this 8th. The 8th of course is the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland. The Constitution consists of the fundamental rules that govern how a country is run. No other law can contradict what is set out in the Constitution. The Eight Amendment recognises that the life of the unborn is equal to that of the mother.

This means that no laws that allow abortion can be introduced into legislation. Sitting in my home with my three children it was difficult to put myself in the position of someone who did not want to continue with a pregnancy. For me it was something that I could not do. I believe that from the moment of conception that it’s a baby. Throughout my pregnancies if any referred to bump as a fetus I was visibly irritated. Don’t speak about my child as if it’s some sort of a medical condition.

This is the miracle of life going on here.

Yet despite my own beliefs I believe I am pro choice. I acknowledge that many people don’t believe that it’s a baby from conception and that’s perfectly ok. I believe that there should be a cutoff point of around twelve weeks for abortions without complications and then on a case by case basis after that with the focus always being on the life of the mother.

I do feel like my stance on the issue is a little contradictory. It’s such a complicated issue I can’t pack it into a tiny little box. I visited an exhibition in Dublin and there was a display of every stage of the development of the baby in the womb and the rate at which a baby develops is so rapid. That is what leads me to the opinion that the timescale needs to be quite small.

The real reason why I consider myself pro choice is because even though I could never have an abortion under any circumstances I do not have the right to make that decision for anyone else. There’s always the argument that some people will use it as a form of contraception but unfortunately you cannot legislate for the irresponsible behaviour of a minority.

There are women who couldn’t bear the thoughts of raising a child with a disability. They are entitled to feel that way. There are young girls who fall pregnant by accident and would be disowned by their families with no way to provide for a child. There are women in abusive relationships that couldn’t cope with another mouth to feed in a hostile environment.

They deserve to make their own choice.

The victims who become pregnant as a result of rape or incest deserve to regain autonomy over their bodies.

Even though I’ll never be in a position to have an abortion the attitude in Ireland of not on my doorstep is archaic. Let our women be at home surrounded by people who love and support them after going through one of the most difficult things any woman will go through. So come referendum day I’ll be proudly voting to Repeal the 8th.