Abortion is not used as contraception.

On the 25th of May, 2018, the people of Ireland will go to the polls and vote on whether a constitutional amendment that guarantees foetal right to life should be repealed. If the people of Ireland choose to repeal this amendment, it means that the government can legislate for abortion and allow for it in certain cases.

Since the referendum was announced, one of the arguments that I’ve heard Vote No campaigners throwing around is that repealing this amendment will pave the way for women to use abortion as a means of contraception. As if scores of promiscuous women are going to be stampeding into hospitals to get a quick and easy abortion.

Regardless of your opinion on abortion, you should know that this is complete and utter bollocks.

“What are you up to today?” “Ah, you know yourself. I’m just gonna do some shopping and then swing by the hospital for a quick abortion! Might order a kebab later this evening. Did you see X Factor last night?”

Nowadays, there are a number of contraceptive measures that people can avail of. You can take the birth control pill, you can use condoms, you can get an implant or you could use spermicide. And that’s not even a comprehensive list.

Yet for some reason, a number of people seem to be under the illusion that a woman will choose the hardships of abortion over all of those easy options. As if a woman is going to turn around before sex and say “Ah feck the condoms, sure can’t I get an abortion anyway?”

Most women dislike having to resort to taking the Morning After Pill, so it is absolute madness to me for someone to suggest that they will go several steps further and needlessly put themselves through the physiological and psychological effects of abortion.

The people who believe in this myth must think that taking abortion pills is a walk in the park. You just pop a few pills and away you go, right?

This is not the case.

A medical abortion can be an extremely painful experience – both mentally and physically. I’ve spoken to women who have said that the pain was so extreme and unimaginable that they curled up into a ball and felt like they were going to die. They just kept wishing for it to end. It is one of those pains that is so severe and overwhelming that it makes you forget about everything else that is going on in the world. Somebody could tell you that you’ve just won the lottery and it wouldn’t matter. It is that type of pain.

Then, there is the grief and the emotional torment – feelings that can wash over you regardless of your views on abortion.

Why would a woman opt to go through all of that instead of just taking the pill or insisting on using condoms? The answer is: They wouldn’t. And anyone thinks that they would has obviously never been through the experience of an abortion.

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