I have been thinking about (and speaking about) this referendum a lot over the past few months. I put some of the feelings I’ve been having into the below poem. I have never experienced any of these things, I just tried to put myself in her shoes. I hope I haven’t done anyone a disservice, or trivialized any of the scenarios in any way.
I hope the people of Ireland look into their hearts on May 25th, and finally make this country a safer place for its women.
She takes the test, two lines appear
Nervous anxious gripped with fear
She wasn’t ready for this, it’s not the time
She can’t do anything about it, because in this country it’s a crime.
For months he’s beaten her, black, and blue.
Is it fair to subject a child to this too?
She doesn’t want anything else to tie her to this man
She’s desperate, scared and willing to do anything she can.
She orders an illegal box online
The pills arrive.
Shaking, she tells herself it’ll be fine.
Alone she takes them, on the advice that she will bleed.
A prisoner of her own body, she waits to be freed.
She’s not the only example that much is true,
Oh yes, there are many others too.
The expectant couple full of joy,
Happily looking forward to their little girl or boy.
“There’s nothing we can do, the baby has a fetal abnormality”
Shock and disbelief etched on their faces, surely this cannot be reality?
“How can I carry this baby knowing it will die?”
The doctor turns his back, unable to look her in the eye.
“You have options, but we can’t help you here”
The woman can’t quite believe her ear.
Abandoned by Ireland, tossed out by the state
Sent across the waters to deal with her fate.
It’s either that or wait for nature to take its course,
A smile for all the well wishers she must force.
No empathy, care or compassion.
Sweeping it under the rug in true Irish fashion.
Forcing wombs to become walking tombs
Then there’s the woman, the victim of sexual assault
Forced to carry her attacker’s child,
Sure it isn’t the little babies fault!
At the end of the day it’s a precious life,
Ireland doesn’t care about her personal strife.
No. she must become an incubator
For the life of the fetus is far greater.
The church tell us to vote no -“love both” they say
While 12 women are forced abroad a day.
Let me be frank:
They put our women in laundries and our babies in a septic tank.
Unmarked graves, lies cover ups and deceit
They would rather abortions stay unsafe and back street.
“She” is your mother, sister, daughter, friend
It’s time we stopped punishing tragedy, it has to end.
We won’t go out and abort enmasse, trust us to make our own decision.
That’s not the sort of Ireland any of us envision.
Women are not irresponsible, careless or inhumane
Please don’t continue to let the 8th cause us pain.
You might not agree with abortion, or ever have one, and that’s okay.
But someone, somewhere might badly need one someday.
Vote yes on May 25th and repeal the eighth.
Our bodies should no longer be up for debate.