The reality of one Irish woman's trip to the UK for an abortion

The difficult personal decisions Irish women make daily about abortion. Part of the debate the nation has not recognized.

She cleaned shops at night.  She cleaned hotel rooms.  She worked in an office (for three days).  She did many training courses, and during these times she was off drugs and sober.

She really felt she had a hold on her life, and then one small thing would happen and everything would be upside down again.

She became pregnant a fourth time and did contemplate keeping the baby.  The father was an alcoholic and battled depression. She loved him but wasn’t sure he would make a good dad.

So she decided another abortion was on the cards. However, it wasn’t as easy getting the money for a third one, and when all else failed she ended up having to go through the nine months of pregnancy, but she felt she couldn’t keep him.

It was a boy. She gave the child up for adoption, the biggest mistake of her life she now tells me.
Her son is now nearly a teenager. He has yet (if he will ever) try to make contact with her, but she hopes someday he will.

My friend is now in her thirties.  She is currently employed in a gym and is doing a course by night.
She still battles with drink. She might go off it for four-five months at a time, and then can’t handle being sober anymore.

There is usually a trigger she says. It might be something as simple as a bad day at work or just feeling depressed.

She has had an endless string of boyfriends (some who have died – some by suicide) and is currently dating a guy she met at an AA meeting. She thinks he might be the one.

When I asked her does she regret the abortions she says no. She admits she was never in a good state mentally or physically to bring a baby into her world.

She does battle in her head every day with the son she does have somewhere in Ireland. She doesn’t know where he is and is afraid to go and search for him.

She hopes to someday marry and have a proper family, but she is also aware that her life has been difficult and some days continues to be.

She is now on a steady course of contraceptive tablets and feels she won’t be falling pregnant again anytime soon.

She admits she is a lot more mature now and hopes to really get her life together soon.  She has tried suicide herself and thankfully wasn’t successful. She has tried counseling (many different counselors) but feels she gets enough from AA now.

After we hugged that day I felt devastated for her. How can we both start off with pretty much the same background and our lives take two very separate paths?

We will keep in contact, and I will do what I can when I can (if anything) to help her in the future. She is a great person.

If you met her you would be blown away by her beauty and intelligence. Her smile is infectious, and even though we talked very candidly about her life and abortions she still managed to make light of a lot of it.

We didn’t get into the debate of should abortions be allowed in Ireland because I know what she would say, and I respect her opinion.

Our conversation really wasn’t about politics or religion. It was about real life, her real life and the crazy things she had to go through.

I pray that her future is brighter because she deserves it. She really does. It’s her time.