The Life Institute in Ireland recently launched a new campaign,#MyAbortionStory. A battle is brewing in Ireland between those who want to legalize abortion and repeal the 8th amendment which offers constitutional protection for the right to life of the unborn child and the mother and those who want to keep the 8th amendment and protect unborn children and women.
The Life Institute writes:
Here are the abortion stories you will never hear. This is the #RealityOfRepeal
The Save the 8th campaign has launched the #MyAbortionStory platform, which will give a voice to those who have seen what the reality of legalised abortion can mean, including former abortion workers, nurses who have seen children who survived abortion and women hurt by abortion.
Speaking at the launch today in Buswells Hotel, Caren Ní hAllacháin, a nurse, said she believed the government had put together this abortion proposal without fully consulting with medical practitioners and without considering what legalising abortion can mean for medical staff, even for those who do not carry out abortions. She told the press conference that she had witnessed a baby who survived an abortion, but had been powerless to help the child because abortion was legal and she was not permitted to intervene.
“I was an agency nurse in Sydney Australia in the early 90s and I was on a ward one night when a woman had come in for an abortion. She was 22 weeks pregnant and had been told her baby had a chromosomal abnormality. I went into the sluice room and I saw the baby, a 22 week old baby boy, in a kidney dish in at the sink where all the clinical waste was flushed. He was small but he was perfect. You could see his toes, his hands, he seemed like he had blond hair. He was the full size of the kidney dish and he was alive. I could see the rise and fall of his chest, he was breathing,” she said.
“I was a young nurse and I did not know what to do. Because this was an abortion I wasn’t allowed to intervene, I couldn’t get help for the baby, I couldn’t hold him or comfort him, or get oxygen for him or ask anyone to help him live. To see that baby trying to breathe, and nobody helping him, was so distressing and it will haunt me for the rest of my life,” said Ms Ní hAllacháin. “I fear for nurses like me if this abortion proposal is passed, and for the culture it will create in Irish hospitals. I fear that doctors will be expected to sit in judgment on the value of a baby’s life because of a suspected abnormality. There is a heart-breaking reality to repealing the 8th amendment and legalising abortion that is largely being ignored. I never want any nurse to see the heart-breaking reality that I saw.”
The conference also heard from Noel Patrún, a psychiatric nurse who also worked as a scrub nurse for a considerable period of time in gynaecology & obstetric theatre units in the UK and who assisted in carrying out abortions.
“I got placed in gynaecology and obstetrics theatre department, which also handled STOPs which are suction terminations of pregnancies. I often saw women coming in for abortion in great distress, and sometimes under obvious duress from their partners. Many other women came in on their own, because men do not man up and take responsibility, sending women for abortion while they were nowhere to be seen. I heard patients say ‘my boyfriend bullied me into this’. It began to prick my conscience that what was being described as a matter of choice felt more like women having no choice because they were being bullied and coerced into having an abortion.
“When I told my Charge Nurse however that I didn’t want to do terminations anymore I was shocked and upset to find that, in reality, my right to opt-out of performing abortions was not protected. I continued to be rostered to assist with abortions despite repeatedly stating that I did not want to do terminations anymore. I then became the target of persistent bullying, and experienced verbal attacks and psychological harassment which became more and more difficult to endure. In the end I was forced to leave my job,” said Mr Patrún.