My husband left me for another woman.  I was rearing 5 children alone with ages ranging from 3 – 14. I was heartbroken and vulnerable. My ex-husband played on that. One night I slept with him and fell pregnant.  

I knew I could not have this baby, I could barely cope as it was. I went to my GP, a gentleman who had been my GP for 16 years. He was kind and compassionate.  He gave me the information I needed about abortion and some much needed reassurance that this decision was the best one for me and my wee family.  

After a consultation in a clinic in Dublin, I made the arrangements to fly to England. I told no one. I said I was going to Wicklow to visit friends. My mother was only too glad to mind the kids so I could have a ‘break!’

When I arrived in England I travelled by taxi to the clinic. It was the week that Madeline McCann had went missing in Portugal and I remember discussing it with the taxi driver.

The staff at the clinic were fantastic – sympathetic, but practical. It was over quickly enough. I got a taxi back to the airport and the lovely lady driving gave me a blanket and told me to take a nap! The taxi drivers were accustomed to driving Irish women to and from this clinic and they we’re so kind.  

I’ve never told anyone. My ex-husband didn’t want me to have the abortion, but he wasn’t prepared to step up and look after this child or any of his children. He has no part of any of our lives now.  

It was a horrendous decision, but one I’ve never regretted.  Ireland, do the right thing and never have your daughters  make this awful journey again.

Artist: Gemma Cagney

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