So I’ve been trying to think of something to write about for this post, and I couldn’t come up with anything remotely to do with writing… then I thought about what I’ve been studying for my exams and a certain taboo kept rearing its head over and over… the Big ‘A’ – Abortion.

It’s been an issue in Ireland for years, every now and again it is propelled back into the spotlight by a new court case challenging the law against abortion. It was criminalised in 1861 and ever since then, partly due to the influence of the Catholic Church, it has remained illegal in Ireland.

I just wanted to see what everyone’s stance on abortion is, personally I’m pro-abortion. Now, I don’t see it as a form of contraception at all, but I think if somebody gets pregnant and feels that they’re not ready for a child, then they should be allowed to have an abortion.

Currently in Ireland, women are only allowed to have an aborton here if there’s a serious risk to the mother’s life because of the pregnancy…or if the mother is suicidal. Otherwise, it’s off to England for a weekend to have it done there. last year something like 5000 Irish women travelled abroad to have an abortion.

That figure kinda shocked me, but a lot of women seem to be so ashamed of having an abortion that they just keep it to themselves.

I have one friend who’s mother told her that if she ever got pregnant, she would be on the first flight to England. And almost every girl I know would have an abortion if such a thing happened. I really think that if it were put to another referendum today, it would probably be legalised.

Of course, this is just an opinion. In fact, I probably wouldn’t be here today if abortion was legal in Ireland back in the early 90’s. I asked my mum what her thoughts were on the subject and she said that she probably wouldn’t have had 5 children if the option had have been presented to her, although she’s glad she didn’t have the option.  So I guess I dodged a bullet there 🙂

It is a taboo in society but my friends talk about unplanned pregnancies all the time – what would happen if one of them got pregnant or indeed if one of the guys in our group got a girl pregnant. And we joked about it…..

“I’d push her down the stairs” said one of my friends.

“I’d Take a really hot bath….i mean scalding…boil the thing outa there,” said one of the girls.

“Eat a lot of pineapples….all the acid should take care of it,” said another.

“Drink a naggin or two of vodka everyday for a week,” said another.

“Have a boiling water fight with her,” chimed in one of the guys.

“Get some knitting needles and….(I’ll let you use your imagination on this one,” said another one of the girls.

And we laughed and joked about it because although we can talk about pregnancies, no one mentioned the “A” word because nobody wanted to bring up.

We don’t think about the young girls in Dublin with their babies, it doesn’t register that not everyone could afford an abortion. We are trapped in our own little middle-class bubble. And in fact, i’ve deduced that middle-class/upper-class girls are a lot more promiscuous than anyone would think. I have one friend who between the time of me starting my leaving cert and finishing it had sex with about 6 guys….and not one person batted an eyelid about it…it was deemed “normal”

I’ve noticed i’m straying away from my point here….What do you think about abortion? should it be legalised, should it remain illegal? I should really have started with a disclaimer but  I am sorry if I’ve offended anyone.

Also, would you ever write about abortion? I have, and I don’t think that it’s me trying to force my views on anyone, but I think it’s ok to write about anything… artistic licence and all that jazz. Taboos in general really, i think it’s important to write about them, but I’d like to know what other people think about it?

Brendan McL.

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