Why I’m Not Going To Be ‘Calm’

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Content warning: this post deals with abortion, anti-choice politics, death, misogyny.

As I write this, I’m at home in bed in the throes of the worst flu I’ve had in years, surrounded by tissues and every item in the medical cabinet. I’m sleep deprived, cranky, miserable and not feeling in the least bit rational.

Rational. That’s what I’m supposed to be. That’s what even folks on “my” side of the abortion debate are always urging me to be. Calm down dear, it’s only your basic bodily autonomy and human dignity that’s at stake after all.

I am done with being calm. I am done with being rational. I am sick and tired at being lectured to and condescended to by wealthy, white cis men for whom this will never be anything but an abstract topic to debate.

Last night, as our politicans voted to put this whole nasty Eighth Amendment business on the long finger once again, another tragic case was emerging that illustrated a new dimension to this utterly macabre, unworkable legislation. The disconnect between the moralism and political cowardice of the folks in Leinster House and the reality of life for Irish people was never more pronounced than last night, as we once again had it confirmed for us that, even in death, you cannot escape from being reduced to a vessel at the hands of the state. We heard the usual lines about “no mandate” and no public appetite for a referendum. Meanwhile, roughly 10 women were packing an overnight bag to make a trip across the Irish Sea that 150,000 others have made since the 80’s.

As long as the Eighth Amendment remains in place, if you have a uterus, your body is not truly your own in Ireland.

We have heard the tragic cases before. The names, the stories are familiar to us all- Sheila Hodgers, Michelle Harte, Savita Halappanavar. Between the A, B, C, D, X, Y cases, we’ve nearly exhausted the entire alphabet at this point. This year
26 migrant women were forced to continue pregnancies against their will because they could not travel for abortions. We have read the stories of people attempting to crash a car in such a way as to end the pregnancy but not cause serious injury or death.

How many more women lives will we sacrifice or utterly destroy to preserve this lie, this really disgusting lie that Ireland is some kind of shining pro life beacon?

And yet.

They’ll tell us to be calm, to be rational. Sit down and debate this calmly and maturely, not like the hysterical harpies that you are. Wait for the next government. Wait for the next report.We’re told we want abortion on demand. You see, when women need access to essential healthcare, it’s a demand.

So, no, I’m not going to be calm and rational as my intimate life is being legislated. I cannot be calm when I see what this law is doing to real people every day.

If you’re not angry too, then why the hell not?

Repeal The Eighth.

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