Why I’m voting YES on May 25th

When I was 15 I was forced to watch a video of childbirth in science class. I went to an all-girls Catholic school, and I assume this was done to try to prevent teenage pregnancy. To this day, at 28 years of age, I’m terrified of becoming pregnant. I do not want children. I’m not a monster, but I’m not going to change my mind. Having children was never in the cards for me, I knew I couldn’t marry my first love because he wanted children, and I didn’t. You can’t compromise on a child.

The day I was born I nearly killed my mother. Ok, that’s a bit dramatic, but I did damage to her body. To this day she still suffers the consequences. Now I was desperately wanted, loved unconditionally and so was my younger brother. However, my parents had to discuss if it was safe for my mother to have another child before she became pregnant with him. Woman have to give some of their body and soul to have children. Of course, when a child is wanted, this is a small price to pay for the mother-to-be.

It’s a huge price to pay though, for the woman whose liberty has been taken away. Childbirth is traumatic. So when you say ‘love both’, you are telling the frightened teenager, who got pregnant by accident, that she will have to go through this trauma. That she will have to give birth, and then ‘give up the child’ as you so easily put it.

Even if you thought you were ready to hand over the child, when you’re suddenly faced with the reality of giving the baby away, it’s harrowing. Woman are not monsters and when we hold a baby in our arms, we want to love it. This isn’t always possible. When you say love both, you’re saying to a woman, you must carry this child to term, give birth, and then decide can I, A) give up some of my life force to raise this child or, B) give the child away. All the while knowing that when the child grows up, they will feel rejected because you couldn’t keep them.

That’s what your love both is saying.

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Here are some tweets by the Vote No side, which have validated my feelings on repealing the 8th:

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Trust me, if a woman is considering having an abortion, she is way ahead of you. Abortions are not just physically painful. Women do not have abortions as a form of birth control, and the decision is never taken lightly. Can you imagine if you’re trying to make this awful decision, and you read something like this?

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This person is particularly callous. Note how they say, “Abortion to treat a “mentally unwell” mother is much like treating anorexia with liposuction.” Aside from that horrific statement, lets read what they’re referencing. Yes, in cases abortions may take place after the limit of 12 weeks. Why? Because continuing with the pregnancy will not only result in the death of the child, but the death of the mother. How can you love both if they are both dead? Savita Halappanavar would be alive today if it wasn’t for the 8th amendment. Please get your facts straight, and try to be kinder to those who are already suffering.

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While I agree that maternal mental health care, childcare, flexible work hours, housing, financial aid, and emotional support are valid issues in themselves, they are not the issue we are voting for on May 25th. The vote will repeal the 8th amendment, which will stop women from being criminalised in their own country. They will be able to access safe abortion care, rather than travelling or ordering abortion pills.

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This could be true, constitutional issues surrounding abortions are exceptionally complex. However, I would like to point out, that it will not remove all rights for the unborn baby. This is very important, and I will continue to state it. A women who is 5 months pregnant will not be able to walk in and get an abortion without a valid, medical reason. When it is repealed it will take 2 years for laws to be constructed and passed to for the female citizens of Ireland.

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These numbers are a reflection of the abortions being recorded. They were not recorded as well before 1968 as they were illegal or abroad. Also they are not taking population growth into account. It’s very easy to manipulate numbers to show what you want.

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This was tweeted by a male. He thinks, “killing a child in the womb because they are ill or terminally ill is barbaric.” Well I think that making the mother carry a dying or dead child to term is barbaric. I think allowing a sick child to be born, who will only suffer and die, is barbaric.* I think that compassion is right answer here. Compassion for the mother, (who may have children at home already), and compassion to the unborn child, who will be lost.

*Update: An old friend contacted me regarding the language I used here. It really affected them in a negative way, and reading it back I understand completely why. I want everyone to know, that mothers who carry their sick babies to term are absolute heroes. I don’t think that it’s the wrong choice (although it sounded like I did), I think the situation is unique to each and every person. I am absolutely appalled at the idea that I hurt anyone’s feelings on this matter. I have no idea what it feels like to be in this situation. I want to thank my friend for calling attention to it. If anyone felt personally affected by anything I wrote please know, I’m truly sorry, and you are welcome to message me anytime so I can be held accountable for it. 

 

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When a child who has been neglected all their lives, turns to drugs and overdoses, this is a unique life being destroyed. When a father is murdered on his way home from work at 3am, this is a unique life being destroyed. When a girl is raped and forced to give birth to a child, this is a unique life being destroyed. Why is the life of the unborn, of a foetus more important than the already living, breathing, unique life? This is a non-argument. Once the child is born, if it lives in poverty, people couldn’t care less. Also it’s ‘foetus,’ not ‘fetus.’

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This is not being supressed, this kind of information is readily available on any legitimate governmental medical site. This is a insensitive description of some hard cases, and is not the norm. What is not being said here, is that these unborn children, are probably already dying. They will not survive in the world without their mother, and will soon perish. This is a terrible tragedy, and no one should have to go through it. Yet when at all possible, shouldn’t we do everything we can to preserve the life of the mother? Of the human beings suffering from the death of their child?

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Of course she was distressed at having to travel. Her own government made her a criminal in her own country. I have said this, and I will say it again. No one has an abortion on a whim, or as birth control. The entire experience is traumatic, and we are compounding the issue for the women who have to leave their country to do it.

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No side debunked:

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  1. Yes it will, but there will be laws created in place of it. At the moment, women are criminals in their own country because of this constitutional amendment. If the amendment is repealed, it will make updating the law much easier. As a ‘yes’ voter I want the children protected as much as the ‘no’ side. Unborn babies will have rights. It’s important to state this.
  2. Yes it will legalise abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks / 3 months. A women who presents herself to a doctor, looking for an abortion will undergo a 3 day period in which she will be counselled and presented with each option. These women are being painted as evil, and that needs to stop. Life is not perfect, and sometimes a woman will need to avail of this service so her own life can continue. Don’t make an already difficult decision, more difficult by sending them abroad.
  3. When I see something like ‘Mental Health,’ on a political poster, I wince inside. As someone who has mental health problems, it only exacerbates how we are viewed. As if it’s not a real health issue. The cases they are talking about here are exceptional hard cases. You must remember repealing the 8th will save women like Savita Halappanavar. She was diagnosed, and she needed an abortion. She died because of our restrictive laws. This cannot be allowed to happen again, regardless on your views of what constitutes an illness.
  4. Finally I agree hard cases are the exception to the rule. However the argument is once again, when does life begin? A foetus cannot survive outside the womb. We must be compassionate to the living, breathing woman with a harrowing decision to make.

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To end this post, I would like to post some information for the Yes side of the campaign. If you are in doubt, if you are undecided, please read these.

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Abortion will continue regardless of the 8th being replealed. Women have a basic medical need withheld for them in their own country. If they need to avail of medical attention, they will travel so they can fulfil that need.

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We can save lives. Read this as many times as you want. Savita Halappanavar would be alive today, if it were not for the 8th amendment. We cannot let women die, because the law is criminalising them. We need to stand up for ourselves and vote Yes on May 25th.

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There is a reason, human rights advocate Colm O’Gorman and others like him are voting yes on May 25th.

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When a women, whose just been told that her baby is dying, and killing her along with it, has to go abroad to seek the appropriate medical attention, a hard case is created. Woman have had to leave their baby in another country, when they died from a fatal foetal abnormality. How cruel is this? We cannot allow this inhumanity to continue. Vote Yes.

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Make them keep the baby. Force these woman who have already been violated in the worse way imaginable, to carry their rapists child. To go through the trauma of child birth, and then give up the child. A child who will either, A) find out they are a product of rape, and how is that going to impact them? Or B) will never find out why their birth mother rejected them, and have to live with the consequences of that.

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Our Taoiseach is a conservative. Yet he is voting yes.

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If this was the other way around there would be all out war. The ‘No’ side’s vitriol, spawned from a generation said and lead by the Catholic Church has providing proof of their awful natures. I can’t help but notice there are 3 men in this photo, taking down a poster which says ‘Stop Policing My Body.’ Horrific.

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Why Vote Yes?
  1. Woman should have the right to bodily autonomy. Vote Yes to create a compassionate country for woman in crisis.
  2. Abortions will happen anyway. Vote Yes so they can access abortion care at home. In Ireland,
  3. Babies that are already alive will be loved, woman that are already alive will be loved. Vote Yes so women making a difficult decision, will not have to do it alone in a foregin country.
  4. Woman will not die because of something that never should have been in the constitution in the first place. Vote Yes to allow doctors to treat women without fear of breaking the law.
  5. The UN and the EU are I agreement, Ireland is violating some of it’s citizens basic human rights to safety and bodily autonomy. Vote Yes to regulate and restrict abortion care according to Irish law.

 

T4Y9

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The Diet Drink Puppets

Diet Drink Puppets

Knowing that I have better things to be occupying my time with I offer you this question. Do you ever find yourself insulted or even just generally concerned by advertisements?

I tend to find certain advertisements sexist, something I painfully admit. Normally I let it go because my sense of duty to take my outrage further is usually halted by the simple fact that there is not much I can do about it. There are a few occasions however I find certain advertisements so offensive that I have to speak up. On many forms of media at the moment, there is an advertisement in regard to a certain diet version of a drink that I cannot let pass me by.

You will not find a much of a description of the advertisement here as I find this will be beside the point. The advertisers found the means to their end. As much as I may blame them for their actions, they are but one of many sexist advertisements in our current spot in history. It is not this one advertisement that is the problem but the accumulation of many more ads made in the same vein that is having a negative effect on the perception of women in modern society.

That familiar feeling of readers finding themselves ‘bored now’ of this rant and switching to something else pops into my brain. Unfortunately, this type of reaction is an apathy prevalent in our generation. We cannot complain if we are too busy to bother with a protest of any kind.

Despite the usual problems I have with these ads of the seemingly underweight model drinking the diet drink (with this particular diet drink they have made the models into puppets). They are perfectly sized, beautiful dolls in what is implied to be very expensive clothing and handbags.

Now although I find them offensive, I can see other views on the subject. Why would or how could anyone be bothered to be that offended by puppets? My brain refuses, as usual, to take what it sees at face value and I see deeper implications, different causes and effects. Advertising is so incredibly clever as an industry that is dominated by incredibly clever people. In my opinion the general public either doesn’t understand the harmful effects or they simply choose to be ignorant on the subject. People believe they have their own mind and will not be affected by advertisements unless they so choose. I can be quite certain in my declaration that they are incorrect in this thinking.

No matter how hard we argue that we remain unchanged by them, advertisements are one of the most influential entities in existence. They have wormed their way into every form of media. The pandering is so severe that I can only surmise they know us on a deeper level. For me though there is a certain aspect of advertisement we don’t consider, which most people would label as merely influence. In my own mind, I label as determining, especially when we consider the younger viewer.

Now the ads I’ve mentioned are on every form of media going at the moment. You’ll find them on television, popular websites, and radio. Young girls can see them and they absorb them more than any adult would care to realise. There are the usual outcries from advertising companies when they are accused,  they just go with the party line of, “Don’t let your children be exposed to the ads if you don’t want them affected by them.”

Excellent point, but what about the mother, aunt, grandmother, older sister etc… in their lives holding the diet drink? They are just as responsible as the big advertisement companies for the development of the child. If they say nothing, they cannot passively blame the ads.

Are we becoming Diet Drink Puppets?

If I have not said it quite clearly enough I will say it now, I do not enjoy the way women are portrayed in the media. It puts me ill at ease. These ads have a hand in shaping the future generations of women. The younger the child the easier it is for advertisements to influence their development. I truly believe that as people grow up, a part of them becomes what they have seen in the media. How much of us really belong to our own subconscious?

This is the danger I see. Are we allowing a generation of girls to grow up thinking they should be like the diet drink puppets? If this is true we are creating a generation of girls who think that their sole purpose in life is to be beautiful and possess expensive clothing.

That is enough of my ranting for now. I am also not that woman who says it’s not ok to be happy being like the diet drink puppets. I would just hope that it was the woman’s choice and not because a boardroom in an advertising company made her that way.

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