Women have been failed if abortion is only choice
For three days this week it saddened me to read and hear about the proceedings at the High Court. Why? Because I have personally experienced abortion, so I know what Sarah Ewart has gone through. I feel for her and my heart has always gone out to her.
But that is not what saddens me. For the past 20 years I have worked voluntarily in various forms of abortion recovery work and I am now the national trainer for the UK and Ireland for an abortion recovery programme.
If there were no problems after abortion, there would be no need for abortion recovery programmes. Yes, I am a Christian. Yes, this programme is a Christian programme for Christians. And, yes, our Churches provide this free eight-week programme, because we stand alongside women who have chosen abortion and are actively seeking help in recovery.
We do not judge or condemn. We're called to stand with the broken-hearted and come alongside them with love and compassion.
It saddens me that women in Northern Ireland are being told we are second-class citizens because we do not have legalised abortion. I half-expect to see pictures of us in the national newspapers, living as in the Famine days and with pigs in the parlour.
How patronising and insulting is that? We Irish women are strong, confident and resilient. We are nobody's second-class citizens.
The trauma is not in the travelling to England. The trauma is the abortion itself. It doesn't matter if I get a bus ride or a taxi to my abortion. The end result is that abortion changes us forever. It is never a positive experience. It is never uplifting. It is never empowering.
We have seriously failed women if they still see abortion as their only "choice" in this day and age. Abortion is never good healthcare for us as women, men, families and society.