This personal story was shared with Cork Feminista. We have the authors permission to reproduce it and have honoured their wish to remain anonymous.
“I was born in 1983 the year Ireland introduced a constitutional ban on abortion
Twenty one years later I travelled to Birmingham to have an abortion. I had just finished an undergraduate degree and could theoretically have supported a child. It wasn’t something I decided under duress but it was – for me – a logical decision. I knew I wanted a career and to travel and that I did not want to have children.
I think I am representative of a lot of Irish women who take ‘ the boat’ because they had a different idea of what their life could become, unlike our mothers, who had to give up their jobs under Irish law when they got married – we had bigger dreams.
I travelled to a clinic in 2004, a clinic staffed by women wearing the hijab, who for many naive Irish people are ‘opressed’.
Right now I am glad the Irish government is humiliated internationally, but I don’t share the feminist movements optimism, nor do I think making a martyr of Savita devastating case will achieve anything.
Irish people are still incredibly pro-life and I feel it’s even sadder that those who share the ‘indignation’ of the feminists are in fact opposed to abortion in 90% of cases. Under their logic people like me should not have been allowed to go to England essentially making me a prisoner to their Catholic mores. Like a lot of young Irish people the only resonance Catholicism ever had with me was getting wads of communion cash from relatives. I didn’t even like the dress.
As feminists we must remember that those who turn out to protest with us do not share our views and unless we are dying or raped we wont fit the criteria for a abortion.
I think we should move away from our hyper-emotional connection to martyrs into a rational discussion on womens right to determine their own own future and have a say in what happens to their bodies.”