‘It felt like torture’ – new video showing pain of 8th launched today

Video showing pain and distress of women with fatal foetal abnormality diagnoses launched

Mary Lou McDonald and Rhona Mahony join five women affected by the 8th to urge for Yes vote

A moving video illustrating the pain and distress of the 8th amendment on women who receive a devastating diagnosis of fatal foetal anomaly was launched by Together For Yes this morning.

The video features a number of women, including Amanda Mellett who won a landmark case against the State, who speak about being forced to travel to the UK because of the 8th amendment.

Five women directly impacted by the 8th amendment launched the video this morning in Together For Yes Headquarters. They were Siobhan Donohue, Amy Walsh, Aoife Lowry, Gaye Edward and Caroline McCarthy, each of whom are members of the Terminations For Medical Reasons group. The five women were joined by Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald, Master of the National Maternity Hospital Rhona Mahony and Together For Yes Co-Director Ailbhe Smyth, who each reiterated the need for a Yes vote on Friday week.

In the video, ‘Ruth’, who told her story, said: “My dad drove us to the airport. And it was just horrific. You know, being on a plane with people who are going over there for business or shopping or holidays or whatever. And you’re sitting on the plane and you’re thinking “I don’t know where I’m going.” I just have this address in my handbag that I have to get the taxi driver to bring me to, I don’t know what’s going to happen, I’m away from my family I’m away from my home, it just felt like torture. And it felt like I was being treated like a criminal for our decision that we made that was right for us.

‘Laura’ added: “Your options basically are that you go to the UK and you terminate the pregnancy or you stay and you continue on. To be presented with those two options is just horrific. I mean, how do you make that kind of decision? You have to get on a plane or on a boat and go away from Ireland to go through all of that and I just didn’t know if I would be able to honest. Our only relief might be that we might get to meet it for a little bit of time. I hope we do. But we mightn’t.”

Fiona said: “And we hopped into this big black cab and my husband said, “The Liverpool Women’s Hospital, please” and he said “Stork Hotel”. The midwife that was talking back and forth to my husband, when she said she’d meet us at the hospital door she was there. And she was just amazing. I found myself saying, “I’m not here by choice, this baby was wanted. I, like, love her. I know she’s not going to survive but I’m just thankful that you’re letting me come over here to give birth.”

I was angry that I was made go across the water. I was angry that I didn’t have the love and support of people who would have been able to hold my husband up and I remember wishing I could make all the pain that I saw in his face, that I’d never seen before, that I’d love to be able to fix him.”

The video can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/M4xQ2eFfvTI


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