Tuesday 22 May 2018

Time for change... our women deserve care and compassion

Broadcaster Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain explains why she will be voting Yes in the referendum

I’LL TRUST IRISH WOMEN: Broadcaster and academic Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain in Castlebar yesterday. Photo: Conor McKeown
I’LL TRUST IRISH WOMEN: Broadcaster and academic Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain in Castlebar yesterday. Photo: Conor McKeown

Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain

I was not always in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment. There was a time in my early 20s where I thought the issue of abortion was black and white. It was my wonderful aunt, a midwife and family planning nurse who had spent time working in the UK, who carefully talked me through the difficult and heart-breaking discussions she had been part of with women who had decided to have an abortion.

Stories of women who knew their babies would not survive and, with dignity and respect, could say goodbye to their child. Stories of women with diagnoses of cancer who could not be treated without terminating their pregnancy.

Stories of women who had been raped; of women who were victims of domestic violence and were afraid for their lives; of young girls, under the legal age of consent, who were not ready to be pregnant. Stories of very many Irish women, in those same situations, who had gone to the UK because they could not speak to a doctor or a nurse in Ireland.

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