Watch: Two siblings - two sides: How they will vote in the abortion referendum
Two pairs of siblings have shared their personal experiences of abortion and why they will be participating in tomorrow’s referendum.
Sisters Rachel and Roz Purcell revealed that they are voting 'Yes' following Rachel’s Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML) diagnosis. CML causes a high risk of miscarriage and fatal foetal abnormalities.
Speaking to Independent.ie, Rachel spoke about the fear she faces if she were to have children.
“When I found out that if I got pregnant and if my baby ended up with a severe diagnosis and it would die in my womb, I am denied the right to actually go in and end that pregnancy. That’s horrific.
“I think there’s two questions people need to ask themselves. Do you think healthcare should be a constitutional issue? And do you believe in the fundamental right to choice. I’m pro-choice but I’m also pro-life and I think we should give people that choice to make for themselves.”
Roz said her sister’s experience opened her eyes to the different situations Irish women face when debating abortion as an option.
“With Rachel’s experience with CML it really opened up a new way of looking at it. A new scenario of why someone would have to leave Ireland to go get medical care.
“Some women find themselves in that situation and who are we to judge how they found themselves in that scenario.”
Former UCD SU President Katie Ascough and her brother Andrew Ascough spoke about their reasons for voting 'No'.
Katie, who was impeached from her position at UCD last year after removing abortion information from student pamphlets following legal advice from the union’s lawyer, said she realised all unborn children had the right to live following her own mother’s miscarriage.
Katie said: “When I was 15 years old my mother had a miscarriage and delivered the baby at home. I was asked if I wanted to meet my baby brother and I said yes. I remember being so shocked at how formed my baby brother was at just thirteen weeks.
“He had a fully formed body. He had a face with eyes, ears, nose, and a mouth. I remember looking at him and thinking that him and children like him deserve the right to live.”
Andrew said he finds the current new proposals on abortion “extreme”.
“It’s very extreme to jump straight into unrestricted abortion up until 12 weeks without considering other options, other positive options for women who have found themselves in crisis pregnancies or just situations.
“I want a genuine response from the Government to those women who need aid and who need help rather than a simple solution,” he said.