When you told me you’d much rather hear my opinion as a friend and woman living in today’s Irish society, I thought I had to make that effort to try and write down why I’m voting no.
We’ve heard a lot of stories from both sides, heart breaking stories that would in some way want to make you vote both yes and no. The reason however why I’m voting No is because in the end abortion always takes away life and that is a negative in itself, while keeping the baby, let’s life live and is a positive. As horrendous the circumstances of a pregnancy may be, if that life is removed it leaves an emptiness, a negative on an already negative situation, while I am convinced that a baby in whatever circumstance has a powerful healing effect because that is new life. With a network of support or maybe even just one person who supports and encourages you, so much more life can come out of the suffering, while taking it away can only but have a negative effect, if not in the short run, definitely in the long run.
I would wish for every person in our society to find this support, to find that one person who can help us through the difficult times and help us make the best choices in life. With a bit of encouragement, we can do amazing things. We are all capable of more we could ever imagine if there is someone who believes in us and gives us even that little bit of encouragement.
I am also voting No because I want to live in a society where life is valued to the full. Having grown up in a very liberal society where abortion was already very present when I was a teenager, living in Irish culture is like a breath of fresh air. Ireland still has so many values of life, family, community, support, which many other European countries have lost. If the yes vote wins then I know that sadly this precious gift that Ireland can offer the world will be crushed a little bit more and may let it even fall deeper than other countries have fallen before.
Instead today Ireland has the chance to send a message to the world that there is still a people in Europe who value life to the full and hopefully wake up those countries who have gone way too far down the line to realise it’s time to take a step towards life.
Whatever the outcome of the referendum, I feel today I want to commit to create spaces where anyone can come and be accepted and loved; where women with unwanted pregnancies can find support and encouragement; spaces of support for women who have had abortions and are suffering from the hurt it’s caused them; but also for men who often suffer quietly in the background; spaces where we can also openly talk about sex education and all the emotions and desires one feels, so we can help our children, teenagers and young people to make the best decisions in life which will lead to their happiness and the happiness of those around them.
For isn’t that what it is all about, for us all to be happy – I am convinced that by voting No we will contribute to the overall happiness of Irish society which will overflow into that of the world.
With much love,
Your dear friend,