I’ve been blogging off and on for just over 3 years and in that time I’ve managed to keep any political views away from the blog. I have a few half written drafts about Brexit and how it will affect my family but that’s about it.
So why then is Repealing the 8th amendment a topic I’ve decided to write about? There are a couple of reasons.
- As a father, this is an area I may be confronted with in the future
- I have personal experience of this.
- I have the ability to look beyond my own personal opinions.
I remember at 17 a conversation with my then girlfriend about what would happen if she was to become pregnant. Unlike me she had dreams and ideas about what she wanted to do with her life. Having a child at that point wasn’t one of them. In what to me seemed a callous and uncaring manner, she told me she would go for an abortion.
I on the other hand was desperate for a family of my own. My own flesh and blood. I was adopted as a child, old enough to know what was going on yet still young enough to not have any real memories of my birth parents. To me the idea of aborting my child was simply unthinkable.
Yet as she pointed out to me. What I think or want doesn’t matter at all. As a man I have no say in the decision. Growing up I thought this was unfair. I would after all have been the father. With an older and wiser head on my shoulders I can see now this is a pretty stupid line of thought. After all how could you force a woman to carry a child to full term that she didn’t want?
When I was just a father to boys I used to laugh at the memes and jokes about dating daughters. I was known to even comment. “If I had a daughter she wouldn’t leave the house till she was 18 and that would be to an arranged marriage!” Now before you go on, that was only said in jest and I certainly don’t advocate for arranged marriages! Now that I have a daughter I find these jokes and memes abhorrent. I even recorded a short rant about it.
With my older wiser parents head I can think now, why should anyone be forced to have a baby that isn’t wanted? Unless that woman/girl wants to bring a life into the world, will cherish them, love them unconditionally and spend the next 18 years at least raising them. We are only forcing pain and suffering onto both the mother and child.
On New Years Eve 2001 I had to work. I was living in Peterborough and working in Sunbury on Thames. As it was very quiet and the boss knew how far away I lived she let me finish early. Instead of driving straight home to the girlfriend and her children. I stopped off in Luton along the way to meet some friends and wish them a happy new year. I then set off home. I was talking to my best friend on the phone (using a hands free kit) when my Girlfriend rang. I took the call and she asked me had I finished work and to stop at a shop and buy a pregnancy test. You would have thought I would have been delighted to hear this. After all it was what I had always wanted. A child of my own. My heart sank. I had made the decision to finish with her. We weren’t suited together and had different ideas in practically every area of life.
I bought the test and went home. She took it and showed me it was positive. Instead of joy I felt like I had been punched in the gut by Mike Tyson. Needless to say she sensed my feelings and we broke up. Many will think I’m cruel and heartless, but by this point I had seen many friends and colleagues who were with or had stayed with partners for the sake of the kids long after their relationship was effectively over. In my experience it never worked out. The ones who suffered the most were the children. Was it right to stay with her just so she would have the child for us to be arguing and fighting all the time? I knew I didn’t want to be a weekend father which in all probability was what would have happened in the long run.
She went and had an abortion.
Looking back this was the best thing for all concerned. Her, her children, myself and the child. I wasn’t ready to be a father in a committed relationship, never mind co parenting. How would she have been able to raise her girls and look after her elderly gran whilst working to support her family whilst pregnant.
I’m in a position now where I have my children. Four is plenty. Do I want to force my daughter or son’s partner to have to go abroad to get an abortion if that is what they think is the best thing for them? No I don’t. Do I want to get a phone call from the hospital to hear that my daughter or son’s partner has died in labour because they weren’t allowed to perform an abortion to save the mother’s life? No I don’t
This is why I will be voting YES to #Repealthe8th