On Irish Education ; Contraception, Abortion

Discussions about contraception and abortion this evening have got me thinking seriously about what I would really do if this situation arose for me. At this moment in time, if I happened to become pregnant, I believe that I would do everything I could to procure an abortion as soon as possible. I can’t imagine how I would gather together enough money to travel to England, for somewhere to stay, and for the actual procedure. I’m not financially independent and I can’t imagine turning around to my poor father and asking for money for an abortion. The poor man would have an embolism.

A part of me, though, berates myself for my arrogance – an arrogance that a childless teenager such as myself can hardly help but lay claim to, I suppose. I can’t, and in any case would not, presume to understand or encapsulate what it feels like to be a mother. How could I? What do I know about anything involved? My lack of understanding isn’t wilful as much as it is indicative of my life experience. I’m not going to throw phrases like ‘bursting pride’ and ‘all-encompassing love’ around when I’m quite aware that no experience of motherhood is the same and that, in any case, I don’t know what it’s like to be a mother myself. I’m undecided about whether I want children at any point in my life, I think that I’m far too selfish and immature to bring a baby into the world. I can’t quite reconcile holding my new-born godchild in my arms yesterday and falling absolutely in love with her, with the act of wilfully denying myself the experience of motherhood. It’s merely that no, I don’t necessarily feel that all women are wired to be mothers.

As much as the innate ignorance of most of the pro-life movement rankles with me, I can’t imagine how I would feel after terminating the life of what would have been my own baby. Nonetheless, as has been said elsewhere this evening, I ”…hate that women are essentially trained to associate abortion with depression. The imagery of the crying girl at the abortion clinic is a bit overblown, as is the imagery of the woman with prolonged regrets.” I don’t know what it’s like to have aborted a child. I just can’t stand the blind, manipulative stance of those who label abortion as a method of contraception for the lazy and immoral. I sincerely doubt any woman has ever just sailed along until she arrived at this decision, and made it on a whim. And while I can’t imagine the multitude of emotions which might be felt by a woman who chooses to abort, all of which she has a right to, I’m absolutely against the notion that anyone should be made to feel that she must pay for the decision she made by years of emotional anguish. Such bullying and manipulation alters inherently the meaning of the word ‘choice’.

If I’m to be labelled by anybody a horrible person to advocate abortion in a case where a woman feels that this is the right decision for her, I’m probably not fit to be a mother, am I? The pro-choice argument which I find myself returning to most often is this – if you can’t trust me to make a decision for my own body and my own life, how could you possibly trust me with a child? I think motherhood is as wonderful as the decision to remain childless, but what I prize the most is the fact that the choice to be either exists. I just wish it did in my own country.

– Emma Nestor

NB: Check out Emma’s adventures in France over on her blog! In July, Emma kindly agreed to let us feature her post once we’d made ourselves a site. 😉

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “On Irish Education ; Contraception, Abortion

  1. Zoe

    Really well written and expressed Emma, this line does it for me – “I just can’t stand the blind, manipulative stance of those who label abortion as a method of contraception for the lazy and immoral.”

  2. Emma Maria

    Thank you, Zoe! I’m really glad you enjoyed reading. I think that stance bothers us all, I only wish there was something constructive we could do to change it.

  3. I’ve only just found this, and I wanted to say (a) this was a fucking stunning post, incredibly well-written, and I love the “if you can’t trust me to make a decision for my own body and my own life, how could you possibly trust me with a child?” argument – I’ve never thought about it quite that way before.

    And (b) if you or anyone else is in this situation, two fantastic resources are Women On Web (http://www.womenonweb.org/), which provides medical abortion in the first 9 weeks, and the Abortion Support Network (http://www.abortionsupport.org.uk), which offers financial assistance towards travel & the procedure and can also arrange somewhere to stay before or afterwards.

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