Women have been through a whirlwind of difficulties since the 1930s: men doing the work while women were meant to stay home and do the household chores, patriarchies thinking that women couldn’t do a man’s job, women having to fight for their right to vote, their right to a voice.
Nowadays we have secured our right to vote, our right to work a job that men were only permitted to do back in the day, but women have a different fight nowadays: a fight for their health.
The recent decision in the United States to ban abortion has shocked not just America, but other nations too, people taking to the streets to protest against the ban. As someone who voted for pro-choice in the abortion referendum in Ireland, I believed that every woman had a right to what happens to their body: her body, her choice.
Many women have no choice when it comes to pregnancy because they are a victim of sexual assault or rape and other personal circumstances while others are just not ready to welcome a child into the world yet. There’s the personal side of the matter, but then there’s the danger it could pose to the female body.
Many women suffer when carrying a baby from miscarriage or the fact that their body isn’t healthy enough to carry a baby. Complications can result along the pregnancy path, complications that can be life-threatening to not just the baby, but the mother too. It’s in times of crisis like these where abortion comes in, it could save someone’s life.
If we take a look at what’s happening in Ireland we can see the gaps where women’s health is being overlooked: the ten-year death anniversary of Savita Halappanavar and the recent death of Lynsey Bennett from Longford. There are many other cases too that add to the fact that Ireland needs to pay closer and more careful attention to women’s health.
Ireland needs to do better. We need them to do better. We are placing our trust in those to keep our health and our being alive and at its best level without little to zero complications. When we want to submit a smear test sample, we want to be at ease knowing the sample will be handled with care and looked into for any signs that we should be wary of, for any signs that could be fatal.
We have a battle to fight and to win, don’t be the cause of us losing it. Lastly, we need to know that we are in full control of our bodies. Women have been through too much for someone to make the choice for them, a choice that results in death. It’s our bodies. It’s our choice. We don’t need someone making that choice for us. We are women, we are capable, we know what is best for us. Not you.
Rachel Garvey is a Co-Editor for Features for Student Independent News for the year 2023/24. She works full-time, but dedicates her free time to writing and being involved in SIN. Rachel has been a contributor to SIN since 2017.