Mother with abortion regret hits back at Irish politician who called it a "makey-uppy thing"
5 December 2018
Patricia Gaughran: "I’m absolutely disgusted and so angry that you can dismiss women like me."
"You do not understand what abortion does to a woman."
Last week, we saw how vicious the abortion debate in Ireland has become when a pro-life TD (member of the Irish Parliament, or Dáil), was personally attacked and accused of having "a visceral hatred of women" for trying to amend the extreme abortion bill being rushed through by the Government.
Not content with labelling pro-life TDs as "malicious and vindictive" for seeking an amendment on collecting data on abortions on the same scale as the UK does, pro-abortion politicians have also made comments denying the pain of women suffering after an abortion.
Abortion regret "is nothing".
In a video that has now gone viral, an Irish woman who had an abortion 13 years ago expressed her anger and disgust at remarks made by Lisa Chambers TD.
Ms Chambers said "abortion regret is a makey-uppy thing, and it does not exist," in response to an amendment put forward by pro-life TDs Carol Nolan and Peadar Tóibín on access to ultrasound scans. When Mr Tóibín countered that he included the access to ultrasounds "because abortion regret is a significant issue," pro-abortion TD Kate O'Connell chimed in, saying "No, it is not. It is nothing."
Filming in her car so that her three living children would not hear her, Patricia Gaughran hit back at this dismissal of abortion regret.
Are you telling me I've made this up?
"I’m absolutely disgusted and so angry that you can dismiss women like me and thousands of other women out there who have suffered with depression, with anxiety, from suicide, drink, drugs, hospital stays--like me," she said. "I have suffered. I’ve been in hospital after my abortion twice from trying to end my own life because I couldn’t live without my child."
"I’ve suffered for the last thirteen years from anxiety and depression," she added. "Are you telling me that my symptoms, that my abortion story, that what I’ve suffered was a makey-uppy thing? Are you telling me that I’ve made this up?"
"You do not understand what abortion does to a woman," she said. Ms Gaughran demanded that the politician go and "educate" herself and offer an apology to post-abortive mothers who have suffered from the choice they made.
The video has currently been viewed over 50,000 times.
Care for women?
Ms Chambers offered a belated apology "for any upset or hurt caused" but insisted her words were taken out of context and she was seeking to highlight that abortion regret is not an accepted medical term - something no pro-life TD had claimed. (The research around the mental health implications of abortion can be found in Abortion and Women's Health).
Care for women seems to have increasingly little to do with the debate in Ireland, as ministers insist that abortion services be ready by 1 Jan, despite there being no clinical guidelines in place, and doctors not yet being trained.
Northern Ireland abortion inquiry
While Irish politicians seem determined not to listen to the experiences of women like Ms Gaughran, stories like hers could still have an impact north of the border. The Women and Equalities Committee is running an inquiry on Abortion in Northern Ireland, and is particularly seeking evidence on the views of women in the province. Written submissions can be made here before 10 December.
If you or anyone you know is suffering after an abortion experience, you can contact the Abortion Recovery Care and Helpline on 08456038501 for free, confidential, non-judgemental counselling.
News in brief: