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Pro Life campaigners protest outside the Dail (Irish Parliament) Photo by: TheJournal.ie

Irish woman describes her abortion experience in New York - 'Termination is never an ideal choice'

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Pro Life campaigners protest outside the Dail (Irish Parliament) Photo by: TheJournal.ie

An Irish woman who had an abortion in New York has written about how lucky she feels compared to what happened to Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar who died after doctors refused to terminate her unviable fetus’s life.

Writing on the Women’s site Xojane.com, the anonymous woman stated, “I would truly love to be able to submit this piece with my name attached. However, as a young woman in modern Ireland, I feel it’s not possible due to the stigma and negativity attached to the subject matter.” 

The article entitled, “It happened to me I’m thankful I had an abortion in America and not  in Ireland,” continues, “I love being Irish, I love my country, I love my small town, but this is a very dark moment for Irish women and their rights.

She wrote about a sexual encounter with an acquaintance and then taking the “Morning After” pill to prevent pregnancy.

“In New York, I easily obtained the pill at CVS, popped it that day, light-heartily joked with my friends about the incident, and vowed never to be careless again.

About 6 weeks after that I was constantly tired, had low energy levels, and weird cravings for red meat (which I rarely eat) and chocolate. I was telling my friend about these cravings, which I suspected were signs that my period was coming, as I hadn't had one since I had taken that morning-after pill.

The next day at a bar, a friend bought me a shot, which I drank and promptly puked back up. 

The same friend who I had had the "period coming" conversation with looked at me worryingly and promptly popped out to pick me up a pregnancy test.

I went to the bathroom with her, giggling at the ridiculousness of the situation; I felt at the back of my mind that I was overreacting, but that I'd do the test to calm my mind.

And it was positive. 

That night, I repeated the process 4 more times, just in case the others were faulty. Surely I couldn't be pregnant? I'd barely had sex AND I had taken Plan B.

Long story short, I was young, single, alone and pregnant in New York; and scared shitless. I told the father, but he proved to be not very caring, understanding or supportive.

However, I was surrounded by a most amazing group of friends who were willing to help me with anything, from arranging appointments with Planned Parenthood, to accompanying me there, to offering assistance with the expense. It really showed me the true kindness and love of the people I had met in a foreign city,” she wrote

She says her New York experience was nothing like what it would have been in Ireland.

“In New York, I was able to be open with my friends about what was going on and have the ability to talk through my feelings with an incredibly supportive and non-judgmental network of people. 

“I was lucky to have gotten pregnant in a country where I had the right to choose and the ability to be open and honest about my situation. Hngs with an incredibly supportive and non-judgmental network of people.

“In Ireland, one simply does not talk about such an experience openly among their peers, even though I would consider my group to be liberal, intelligent young women. 

“I have told a few close friends, and while they have reacted to my experience with kindness, compassion and sensitivity, I’m utterly terrified of my parents and wider social circle finding out. I returned to Ireland a few months after, carrying this secret, unable to tell friends and family given the stigma surrounding it.

“Termination is never an ideal choice; however, it was the right one for me at the time, and I feel that I have learnt and grown as a person as a result of this experience.”

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