Wednesday 23 May 2018

Private stories that shouldn't be told

Savita Halappanavar
Savita Halappanavar
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Sir - It was 2013. I was sitting watching my one-year-old son playing, while I was having a miscarriage. This was day three. It was an early one, nothing very dramatic. I went to work the next day and the Early Pregnancy Unit the day after to check it was all gone, and that was it. It was a period with a few clots and a flush of the toilet. No funeral, no burial, I could've dreamt it. It was a sad experience, but manageable.

The Savita Halappanavar inquiry had been in the news. I was oblivious really to the Eighth prior to that. It seemed normal that women had to travel for an abortion. But it hit me, as I looked at my one-year-old playing, that I was more important than that foetus at that time. I was this child's mother. He needed me alive and healthy. Then my husband came in, a look of concern on his face. Not for the foetus at that point, but for me. I was more important than that foetus, at that time. He needed me alive and healthy.

In the three pregnancies I brought to term, my connection and love evolved over time and in uncomplicated circumstances. If, at any time, there had been a conflict between my needs and the demands of the pregnancy, I could only make any decision required based on the gestation at that time and the issues coming into conflict with it. And I know any decision would have been based first and foremost on how it would impact the lives and well-being of my family. I could only make that decision for myself, with my husband, guided by a health professional.

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