Once again, I am angry and ashamed again to be Irish and scared to be an Irish woman. Except, of course, I’m white and middle class and this will never happen to me. I would end up going to England for my abortion as thousands of other women each year do. Just like the Irish government wants so that it doesn’t have to actually deal with the problem. Instead, the women who are affected are those that are too sick to travel (Savita Hallapanavar), those that are prevented from travelling (the 1992 x case) and this girl who couldn’t leave the country because of her immigration status.
This is a girl, as vulnerable as it is possible to be, who went to the government, apparently in fear for her life from her family, after being raped, carrying a child she was clearly not capable of taking care of and feeling suicidal. And my government turned around and forced her to carry that child for 17 weeks while she went on hunger strike. Because of prejudice against immigrants, mental illness and women and fear of alienating politically conservative voters.
And you can bet, once again, nothing will change and this will keep on happening here and thousands of women, who should be treated at home will keep on travelling to England and Europe, like they always have. And abortion will be swept under the rug like it always is and there will be more quiet desperation or unnecessary risks to women who have to travel for medical procedures they should be entitled to at home. And of course even more women and girls forced to give birth here because they don’t have the resources or ability to leave the country.
To the girl forced to give birth, I’m so sorry, you deserved better. To those who forced her into that position, I hope you are ashamed of yourselves.