Why I Marched – Amanda Azams

Moving from being pro-life to pro-choice isn’t easy, but for Amanda Azams it became necessary when she saw the impact her beliefs have on others.

I support the right for women to have a choice of getting an abortion when it comes to their physical and mental health being at risk. At least two women (Bimbo Onanuga and Savita Halappanavar) have died a few years ago because they were refused an abortion as an option to save their life. Many other women have pregnancy complications that results in giving birth to a dead child- for some of these women. An abortion should have been an option if they needed.

For me, as far as I know, the 8th amendment that equates the woman to the fetus/child. Though to me personally, it doesn’t seem too equal if it results in the woman dying or both woman and child dying due to complications. Repealing the 8th means that the option of an abortion can at least be acknowledged without women being automatically in danger of being arrested if they attempt to self-administer one.

I’d say its a divisive and hard subject that’s personal to so many people, whether they’ve experienced pregnancy or not. I was a staunch pro-lifer when I was younger and though I do believe in the life of the other and child, my opinions changed when I chatted with a girl who was terrified about the idea of pregnancy.

I felt it wrong to have to force her to carry a baby to term to quell my own beliefs. I say be open to both sides and check out what a variety of people think on it. It’s really not a black and white issue for everyone, hence why people are on the fence.

There are people in both the pro-choice and pro-life campaigns that would agree with the ‘other side’ to an extent. But may feel there’s no room to speak up about even feeling on the fence about it; there’s no such thing as a baby killer (as [some] pro-lifers love to call us). And I doubt people on the pro-life side don’t care about women. We aren’t bad people for trying to figure out where we stand on this issue. But with such a vital issue to means so much to many people (on both sides) try to speak up about what you believe in and let’s try to listen to each other and see where we’re coming from. If it’s hard for you to speak up, get to know those who could for you and gradually become honest about what you personally think.

– Amanda Azams from Fried Plantains Collective, a multicultural project curating different community events in Dublin designed to unify people from all backgrounds. Recently collaborated with the Dublin Fringe Festival for ”BLACK JAM”. An afro-punk Irish gig that showcased different African talents of the Afrobeats, hiphop and punk genres

The aim of this series is to be a starting point for conversations. Talking to others is vital if we’re going to make positive changes in society. You can also help by voting. If you are unsure whether you are registered to vote or not, make sure you check the register. You have until Nov. 25th to inform your local council if your name does not appear.

Read more from Áine Mulloy,  Louise O’Neill – author, and Fiona LawlessKaren Cowley – Wyvern LingoMango Dassle –  rapper/spoken word artistClare ‘Clisare’ – YouTuberKaren Miano – co-founder DIAxDEMAndrea Horan – The Hunreal Issues/Tropical PopicalLily J. (pseudonym)Susannah Appleby – founder Imp Hour EventsNicole Kirwan – student/YouTuberJess Kav – singer, and  Michael Dillon, and Michael Pope – Le Galaxie.

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