Vessels

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Content note: abortion, suicide, obstetric violence, force-feeding.

I long for a day when Ireland is no longer synonymous with brutal patriarchy.

I long for a day when a person’s reproductive choices do not make it into the headlines.

I long for a day when pregnancy no longer means that you surrender your dignity, your bodily autonomy, your basic humanity.

I long for a day when our health services and legal system no longer violates women.

I’m furiously tapping away at the keyboard in a cold rage.

A young woman, a vulnerable highly distressed young woman was admitted to hospital, seeking an abortion. She was assessed by a panel of three experts, and they agreed that she had suicidal thoughts. According to the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act says a termination can be carried out if a woman’s life is at risk, including a risk of suicide.

Her request, however, was refused. She was forced to wait until the foetus became viable, at which point she had to undergo a C section.

In Ireland, once you become pregnant, your life is not your own. Your body is not your own.

This week, we heard a lot of public figures making sympathetic noises about mental health and suicide. Talk to someone! Don’t be afraid! Open up!

Where does forcing a suicidal pregnant woman to continue her pregnancy, force-feeding her and making her get a C section against her will fit into the National Conversation we’re all meant to be having?

The dire warnings of floodgates and abortion mills from last year look darkly comical in the light of this horrendous case.

Nothing has changed. We’re still merely vessels, and nothing more.

 

Repeal The Eighth.

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