Abortion: normal or not?
Sir, – I was so relieved to read Anthea McTeirnan’s piece (“Women are not hurt by abortion. It is normal”, Opinion, October 4th). At last some honesty.
Having moved to Ireland from England some 20 years ago with my returning Irish husband and our two young children, I found myself pregnant at 44. Our children were then eight and six years of age. I had had two difficult births resulting in emergency Caesarean sections and by the time of this new pregnancy had become very overweight. I had no doubt that I could not proceed and within days had made preparations for the four of us to travel back to England to stay with my mother; to be with my family who understood my decision, sad as it was. I was also able to confide in my old friends back there.
I went to the clinic to be checked out, to find out exactly where I was along the line (eight weeks), to discuss the procedure and my decision with doctors.
This next description is what upsets me and angers me still, two decades on. The hypocrisy. I was in a small ward (with maybe 10 beds), filled with Irish women. Very young and not so young. A woman who already had six children and just could not cope with, or afford, any more. She had flown over on a “shopping expedition” to London and was returning home to Ireland that night, calm and determined.
I ended up with two very young girls lying on my bed with me, crying their eyes out. Scared. No, their families did not know. No, they had not been to their doctor in Ireland. Nobody knew their situation and they were flying home that night. No follow-up care. No counselling. Nobody to talk to. Nobody with whom they could share their feelings, their doubts or their fears. And, hopefully not, any repercussions from the surgery. After only a few hours in hospital in London, they flew back to Dublin and Limerick. Alone. Scared.
As advised, I stayed in for the night. Then my husband collected me and took me home – to my precious children, my mother and family to be cared for before returning to Ireland. Where I could not say a word to anyone for fear of shock and condemnation.
I don’t regret the decision. I regret the hypocrisy that allows thousands of women to travel secretly. Alone. To another country and without the support they need and deserve to go through what is undoubtedly a difficult and a sad situation following a decision which they have taken after careful consideration. – Yours, etc,
Greystones, Co Wicklow.
Sir, – Anthea McTeirnan (Opinion, October 4th), claims “women do not die of abortion”. McTeirnan seems to forget, or ignore, the multitude of unborn women who die due to abortion. – Yours, etc,
Upper Rathmines Road,
Sir, – Anthea McTeirnan’s piece, “Women are not hurt by abortion. It is normal” (Opinion, October 4th) is the first sensible article that I have ever read on the issue! (I am over 60). – Yours, etc,
Sir, – The foetus is a different biological entity to a woman, not a part of her body like a tooth. Are you really a patriarch or a priest if you believe that a foetus has a greater claim to the right to life than a tooth? – Yours, etc,
Templeogue, Dublin 6W.