Menstruating is normal. Sex is normal. Contraception is normal. Abortion is normal. It’s time to get over it.
Opinion: Many women are not hurt by abortion but relieved by it
Think, for a moment, of a person in Ireland who needs a tooth removed. Imagine if they had to plan to travel to England: they had to save money, book flights, book a babysitter, locate a dentist, get directions. Then – all on an empty stomach and in a rush after a procedure – they had to bundle themselves, tired and bleeding, onto their non-transferable flight home. No you can’t imagine it because it is ridiculous. It would be ridiculous to put anyone through such nonsense. Yet women in Ireland must live in that ridiculous world.
I am not equating having an abortion with having a tooth out. Every woman has her own experience of an abortion. For some women it is a challenging and upsetting experience. For others, it is not.
“I was not hurt by abortion, I was relieved by abortion” is the reflection of one of the thousands of women who have left Ireland in 2013 to have an abortion. “Sometimes I feel obliged to appear sad.”
Jenny (not her real name) was relieved, but she decided not to tell the friends she was visiting the next day about the abortion. “I could either be quiet or appear broken. That’s what people expect. I didn’t feel broken. I kept quiet.”
The worst thing about having an abortion is not the procedure, it is not being able to have that abortion where you want to have it, when you want to have it. In your country, near your friends, near your bed.
Of course, thanks to the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013, the worst thing may be the up-to-14 years imprisonment for ending your pregnancy in this country by taking a pill readily available via the internet and legal in many jurisdictions.
Thirty years ago next Monday, article 40.3.3 of the Constitution was enacted. It is time to repeal the Eighth Amendment and end equating of the lives of women with an implanted embryo. Women are not hurt by abortion, women are hurt by denying them safe, legal abortion. It is time to be kind.
Watch the Irish Family Planning Association and International Planned Parenthood Federation video about women and abortion in Ireland at: http://iti.ms/1a3uXGJ