By Sarah Mac Donald - 16 May, 2018
A number of women living in Ireland who underwent an abortion in the past gave their testimonies on a Dublin street on Tuesday and called for a No vote in the upcoming referendum.
On Grafton Street, the four women offered their first-hand perspective on the reality of abortion to passers-by and outlined the negative effects the abortion had had on them.
Aine from Kerry spoke about how she had learned to cope after an abortion.
“I denied it had happened and fooled myself for some years. The regret and pain that came from experiencing abortion happens silently. I suffered silently for years.”
She said she wanted to share her experience in the hope that it would save other Irish women from abortion.
Another woman, Rachel, explained how she had had two abortions, and why she had her abortions and what changed her mind on the issue.
“I had two abortions, one when I was 18 years old and my other when I was 22. I was awake for my second abortion. The doctor counted all the baby body parts after my abortion. This was ‘best practice’ but it was horrific. My eyes were open that day to the reality of what an abortion involves. Abortion was a brutal way to treat me and my babies.”
Galyna, who is originally from Ukraine but is now living in Ireland, explained how she had thought abortion was a quick fix.
“But it was a ‘quick fix’ that broke me. I will never see the colour of my children’s eyes or their smiles, all because abortion was legal and freely available in my home country. I love my new country of Ireland and its people, I don’t want you to suffer from the reality of abortion the way I have and my country.”
Bernadette from Cork didn’t have to travel for her abortion as she was living in England at the time.
“It was quick, ‘safe’ and successful. Nobody told me that the success of my abortion meant that there was no longer a heart beating under my heart, that the ‘clump of cells’ was a real baby.”
“It was devastating to later realise just what had happened. Today I am in contact with women from all over the world who are grieving after their abortions. They were ‘wanted abortions’ but the grief and regret they feel after is immense.”
She added that, “There is a spiral of silence around the issue and a denial about abortion regret and the research and evidence that backs it up. Listening to women and men every day who experience this loss, regret and trauma, I see very clearly that abortion is destructive and tragic. We can do so much better for women in Ireland. That is why I will be voting No on the 25th May.”
Separately, former Taoiseach, John Bruton has once again urged people to vote No in the referendum.
Writing in Tuesday’s Irish Independent, Mr Bruton said that there were those arguing that because the unborn is dependent on its mother, it is therefore not human and has no human rights.
“But dependency is part of life, and not a sound ground for denying the humanity of anyone. Babies after birth and older people at the end of their lives are deeply dependent too. They could not survive on their own. But, to date, no-one is suggesting they should not have human rights,” he stated.