Repeal the 8th. #Together4Yes

Oh here I go, about to get not-bookish and a little bit opinionated. It happens sometimes but it’s fine – it helps keep things fresh and I kind of had to make this post because I’ve seen a lot in recent weeks about the Irish Referendum to repeal the 8th amendment and it’s really got me thinking because actually, it continually baffles me that this is even a thing.

I mean, having a baby changes your entire life, carrying a baby changes you in ways you cannot imagine and so the decision to become a parent or not is perhaps one of – if not the most – defining decisions a person can make don’t you think? How can it be fine to take that decision away? To make the making of that decision a criminal offence?

It’s about autonomy isn’t it, something we all have a moral right to. By making abortion illegal you are taking away the autonomy of a pregnant person, which means, put simply, that the foetus has more rights than the person carrying it and how can that make sense?

It doesn’t. It makes no sense at all.

(Also some of the horror stories I’ve read – and horror stories they are – make it clear that this is exactly what is happening here; in 2018 Ireland the life of a foetus would appear to be the life more highly valued. Women have died because abortions have been denied, because it’s been left too late, because even if your pregnancy isn’t viable you have to wait until the heartbeat stops naturally before the foetus can be removed . What world are we living in?)

Also let’s be real here – legalising abortion in Ireland doesn’t mean people all over the show are going to go and get themselves preggers just because they can now legally get a termination if they want. That’s not how it works. If you think anybody gets an abortion without a ridiculous amount of soul-searching and heartache then you’re kidding yourself; if you think it’s a decision anybody ever wants to make then again you’re kidding yourself; and, if you think abortion is a road that other people go down then again, soz: kidding yourself. I would be happy to bet that you know somebody who’s had a termination, you perhaps just don’t know that they have because holy stigma, batman.

There are the obvious cases – the heart-breaking stories of rapes that end in an unwanted pregnancy for example – but I think it goes further than that. It’s not about how you got pregnant; it’s about your right, as a person, to make your own choices about your body and your life. I just fail to see how what a person does with their body, whether they want to use their body as a vessel to sustain life or not, can be anybody’s choice but theirs.

If you want to be a parent, if you want to have a child, if that’s the route you want to go down then super – you deserve all the love and support the world has to offer, but here’s the thing: if you don’t, if you find yourself pregnant and you don’t want to be and you know that for whatever reason being a parent is not going to work for you and you feel like the best option for you is to get a termination then you also deserve all the love and support the world has to offer. And the thing is, with this whole Repeal the 8th thing is that abortion does exist in Ireland, it just doesn’t exist legally or in many cases, safely. People that want abortions will have abortions, they’ll find a way -  what repealing this amendment will do is ensure they can do that without  a risk to their life or facing ridiculous archaic criminal charges and YEARS IN PRISON.

If you don’t agree with abortion then don’t have one. It really should be as simple as that.