Why I Marched – Nicole Kirwan

The lack of abortion rights makes women, like Nicole Kirwan, feel unsafe. The inability to access adequate healthcare, when needed plays heavily on her mind.

I support the abortion rights movement because from a very young age, I have always known that I did not want to have children. And always assumed that the option of an abortion would be there in the case of an unplanned pregnancy. As I got older, I found out that it was not that simple. I also started to learn more and more about the campaign, and the threat that the 8th amendment has on every pregnant person. Women fought for their right to vote, so I think it’s only right to encourage people to use their vote for their own safety and healthcare purposes.

Repealing the 8th amendment means giving people security, human rights, safety, and the freedom to live without fear. I personally had been on birth-control for years, firstly for the menstrual issues, but as time went on, it was my safety net.

Birth-control was my €16-20 a month safety net…in the case of sexual assault. Even in as I am in a long term relationship with a woman, I still fear my lack of access to safe, legal and affordable healthcare in my home country in the case of assault. Repealing the 8th amendment to me, on a personal level, is a feeling of safety.

I would encourage someone on the fence to consider all sides of the campaign. Abortion rights are not just related to unplanned pregnancies, sexual assault, or even fatal fetal abnormalities. Abortion rights are important to all people who can become pregnant, in all walks of life.

Abortion is a choice that people should be able to make for themselves. For the health and well-being of themselves, and their families. The pro-choice campaign is not about aborting every unplanned pregnancy. It is not about aborting babies conceived after assault, it is not about abortion as contraception (a ridiculous claim).

The pro-choice campaign is not a pro-abortion campaign. You can be pro-choice and never have an abortion, or never intend on having an abortion.

Being pro-choice means that you trust the person who has become pregnant to make the choice as to whether or not they are ready to introduce a child, or even, another child, into the world. Whether or not they have the means to give a child a life worth living. Or if they want to have the child, and many more situations where abortion comes into the equation.

Those of you who are afraid of speaking out about what you believe in, I would ask you to remind yourselves of why you believe in this movement. Why is this movement important to you? These answers should be enough to relight the fire in your belly to speak up. Speak out and fight for your right, and the rights of others to safe, legal healthcare. Influencers afraid of damaging their following, should put morals before money. Without focusing on the subject entirely on your platforms, the simple task of acknowledgement can do SO much. We do not always get the chance to turn such an injustice on its head. This is your time to do what you can. Even if that is to just have some tough conversations. The regret could be much more overwhelming than the fear of speaking up in the case of an anti-choice result in the referendum. Do what you can, now that you can.

– Nicole Kirwan, 20 year old final year student blogger, YouTuber based in Maynooth

The aim of this series is to be a starting point for conversations. We’ve the chance to make history, and you can be part of that by registering to vote. 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 MulloyLouise 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), and Susannah Appleby – founder Imp Hour Events Jess Kav – singer, and  Michael Dillon Faye O’Rourke – Little Green Cars,  Amanda Azams – Fried Plantains Collective, and Michael Pope – Le Galaxie.  

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