Saturday 23 June 2018

Final Results

Repeal the Eighth Amendment?

Yes 66.40% 1,429,981

No 33.60% 723,632

  • Constituencies declared: 40/40

Referendum Hub


Aisling: I'll vote yes for the Sineads or Orlas or Maireads who'll make the trip today

Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen authors of the novel Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling
Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen authors of the novel Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling

Aisling (Oh My God What a Complete Aisling)

I don’t think I’d ever have an abortion.

Sure, I’m 29 now – that’s far too old to be scandalously pregnant. When you hit about 26 you notice women stop shrieking “Jesus, what are you going to do?” when someone announces they’re pregnant, and instead start planning baby showers (which are fierce American but don’t get me started. A tiny hurl is always a good present if you’re stuck though).

Anyway, I take serious heed of the anti-babby pill only being 99pc effective, so John never gets near me without covering himself too.

We’ve never even had a scare. Although there was that one time after Titch Maguire’s birthday party that we were caught short and decided to risk not doubling up on the aul contraception.

I had misjudged the strength of the cocktails – they were lethal. And John was wearing an irresistible check shirt and lovely new stiff, bootcut jeans. We were lucky that time. And the time I was on the antibiotics for my bad throat.

Antibiotics and the pill don’t mix, everyone knows that. We were lucky that time too. Even if I did get pregnant, I’d just have it, I think. I wouldn’t have an abortion. They’re for other people. Nobody I know. Desperate young girls, God love them.

I suppose there was Cliona, though. She’s my best friend Majella’s cousin’s friend. She went to England for one when she found out her baby had no chance at life.

It was fierce sad. Majella and her cousin held a table quiz down home to raise the money (they just said it was “for charity” or they might never have sold any raffle tickets, even though there was a heifer and a year’s supply of briquettes among the prizes). I helped them with the correcting on the night and my eyes were on stalks looking out for anyone using their phones.

If you don’t know the capital of Colombia without Googling then you don’t deserve to be in the running to win a €25 voucher for a curly blowdry at Crops and Bobbers. Anyway, they raised €400 and the cousin’s friend was able to travel and we never really talked about it again.

And there’s the mammies too, I suppose. Denise Cloghessy told us at her hen (it was on a barge. Willy straw earrings. Very tasteful) that her mam had an abortion 15 years ago, and only told Denise about it just before she died last year.

She had three children and not enough in her to raise a fourth. She went to stay in some hole in Liverpool and Mr Cloghessy stayed at home with the other three and according to Denise nearly burned the place down trying to cook fish fingers.

Denise was in bits telling us, feeling so sorry for her poor mammy and feeling so sad that she wasn’t there with us. Majella took off her flashing L-plate as a mark of respect, which was a lovely touch. Poor Mrs Cloghessy. What a state to find yourself in.

Sadhbh in work says she knows plenty of people who’ve had abortions and she insisted that I do too. I told her “no way” but I suppose there’s Majella’s cousin’s friend and Mrs Cloghessy.

And Sadhbh’s old flatmate Holly, who was 27 and just distraught at the thought of having a baby, according to Sadhbh. She had no full-time work, no contact with her parents and no will to carry on.

Sadhbh loaned her the money and Holly went over and back to London in a day. I’ve met Holly a few times and you wouldn’t even know to look at her. She has lovely shiny hair, even if she has dyed it grey on purpose.

If I didn’t have John and I found myself caught like that, I don’t know what I’d do. But I’d hardly have an abortion, would I?

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