Why I’m Marching: Two choices, both valid

As we do every year, we’ve been asking you to tell us why you are marching in this year’s March for Choice. Thanks to all who have sent us your thoughts. In this post, Joanne talks about two people, two pregnancies and two choices, and the importance of supporting both those choices equally. If you would like to tell us why you’re marching this year, please email hello@meathforchoice.ie

“We trusted ourselves and we were right to. For me, this is a perfect example of how women know what is right for them. We don’t require a group of politicians, the church, our neighbours or colleagues opinions on whether or not we should become mothers.”

Almost three years ago, I found out I was pregnant. It was unplanned to say the least! I weighed all my options which included travelling to the UK for an abortion; Would I be able to afford it? Would I get the time off work? How would I cope in that situation on my own?

Ultimately, after much deliberation, I decided to keep the baby. Thankfully, for me, everything worked out and I’m happy with my choice.

Roughly one year later a close friend found herself in the same situation, and facing the most difficult decision of her life. She made the decision to travel to the UK, alone, taking holidays from working and feeling that she had to hide the truth from friends and family. She decided to have an abortion. It was the right choice for her and I support her decision 100%.

We were both faced with the same life altering decision. However, with my choice comes love, support and good wishes from friends, family, colleagues and even complete strangers. I was applauded for the choice I had made. With her choice comes stigma, fear and isolation as well as a long, lonely and scary journey alone, risking her own safety. Why can both of us not get the support we need for making the responsible choices that we made? Because whether it is the law here or not, people are still making that choice everyday.

Either of us could have regretted our decision but neither of us did. We trusted ourselves and we were right to. For me, this is a perfect example of how women know what is right for them. We don’t require a group of politicians, the church, our neighbour’s or colleague’s opinions on whether or not we should become mothers. We can make these decisions ourselves.

Wouldn’t it be great if that decision meant no matter what, women would be supported in the safety or their own country? – Amy, Mayo

 

Image: March for Choice 2016. Credit: Renee Summers