Why Death is Not a Choice

By Rebecca O’Rahilly

I have always been pro life.

I was in primary school the last time Ireland faced the question of abortion. It was discussed in whispers around the bin with my friends as we pretended to sharpen our pencils.

‘But what about for rape?’ some of my friends asked, none of us fully comprehending what that meant. ‘It isn’t the baby’s fault how it was made.’ I answered confidently. My friends nodded in agreement. At 11 years old we knew it was a baby, and our own innocence allowed us to understand the innocence of the unborn child.

Many things have solidified my pro life views throughout my life. I was adopted myself. My birth mother is now very much a part of my life, and I will be forever grateful to her for choosing to give me my right to life and placing me in the arms of a loving family. She faced a crisis pregnancy, in the late 80s when there was still a stigma to single motherhood in Ireland. Yes, she could have travelled, but she didn’t. She chose life. She knew it wasn’t the right choice for her to parent me. And that’s ok. Because that was her choice. That’s the choice every woman, every mother, should be entitled to. You find yourself pregnant, under whichever circumstance, you are entitled to choice. Parent or don’t parent. But you cannot kill. Once you are pregnant there is another human being who exists now, who has rights just as you do. My birth mother made a choice, and chose to place me for adoption. I have the most wonderful family as a result of her loving choice, which only grew once I turned 18 and met my birth mother again, and my siblings.

This year, this month, I will turn 28. It marks 10 years since my family grew. 10 years since I met the wonderful, brave, kind, loving woman who gave me life. 10 years since I met my brothers, who are uncles to my sons and godfathers to them also. My mother is eternally grateful to my birth mother for choosing life. She allowed her the chance to be a mother. They have a wonderful friendship, call me their ‘shared daughter,’ and are both ‘Nana’ to my sons. One of my brothers has a son and I have a nephew and a cousin to my sons. His girlfriend is like a sister to me, she is kind and loving and was brave herself when she became pregnant young. She chose to parent. Again her choice. Her right to choose. Parent or don’t parent. Death is not an option. Her son is a blessing and we are all so thankful she is pro life and brave and strong and a wonderful mother to an adorable little boy.

Two examples of crisis pregnancies. Two choices. Two different choices. Both choices made with love. Both choices allowed tiny innocent babies to live and thrive.

I myself have two sons. My oldest son just turned 3 and my youngest son is 1. I have lost two children. My 3 year old was a twin. We lost his twin at 11 weeks. We also lost another baby between my 3 year old and 1 year old.

While pregnant with my oldest son, we went for a scan and the doctor told us that baby B’s heart rate was a little slower than baby A’s and that was not a good sign. I prayed so hard for baby B, begged him to keep time with his brother’s heart beat and to stay with us. We went back for a follow up scan, he was gone. Not long after, while still pregnant with my son, I watched a documentary on abortion. They stopped a baby’s beating heart. My baby’s heart stopped on its own and I would have done anything to keep it going, and here were these people choosing to stop an innocent child’s heart. Death is not a choice any woman has the right to make for her child. As mothers we should protect our children, even if we choose not to parent them, we should want them to live and be placed with a loving family. This woman did not realise her baby’s heart was beating until it was too late. She didn’t think about it. She was ‘pregnant’. It was something happening to her. Not someone inside of her, dependent on her, alive. She regretted her abortion and I do not judge her. I do judge the doctors who coldly and callously took her money and murdered her innocent unborn child. They took a woman in pain, a woman in a crisis and exploited her. They hurt her and killed her child. And that is unforgivable.

I’ll never understand groups like ‘Parents for choice’. I have no idea how any woman who has felt a baby kick and move inside her, noticed sleeping and waking patterns that continue when their child is born, can think that this tiny creature in the womb is anything other than a baby.

This referendum all comes down to one question: is the unborn child a baby? Anyone who answers yes it is a baby, should know that it is not okay to kill a baby. There are no circumstances in which the death of an innocent is a choice anyone is entitled to make. Anyone who answers no it’s just a clump of cells, needs to do some more research and look at ultrasounds and videos of premature babies and miscarried first trimester babies. Because I have seen them. They are readily available and deeply upsetting to look at. A tiny human being is still a human being. It is our duty as kind, loving, compassionate human beings to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

I go back to that moment quite often these days, to that circle of 11 year olds discussing the humanity of the unborn child. Something that would have seemed to adults, had they overheard, a topic too mature for our understanding. But we did understand.

We were children still, just on the cusp of adolescence, and we knew that children were vulnerable, and dependent on adults to protect us. We saw ourselves in the unborn child, saw innocence and trust in those in a position to protect us. If the 8th is repealed, the unborn child loses that protection and is left vulnerable to politicians who flip flop and can’t make up their mind from one minute to the next. We owe it to our children, our grandchildren, our most innocent, our unborn, to vote No. To vote to retain the 8th amendment and show the world that we value life and will not allow anyone to harm our most defenceless human beings.

This article was written by Rebecca O’Rahilly, National Party member and social media curator for the Abortion Never campaign. Follow Abortion Never on Twitter here.