TFMR

“Dear Taoiseach, 

“I am not sure why I am writing this email, I have never written an email like this but I wanted to share the experience I am going through in the event that it might give you some insights into the challenging few months that are ahead of me as a result of the abortion legislation in Ireland.”

“I am a 33-year-old married woman, pregnant with our much-anticipated, wanted and longed for first child – the excitement of welcoming our first child as I am sure you are familiar with, is huge.”

“However our world crumbled last week when the 20-week scan showed fluid in the brain and after some tests in Holles St our little boy has been diagnosed with Trisomy 13 also known as Patau Syndrome – a syndrome that is known to be incompatible with life, one where we are likely to lose our little boy at any day or if we were to go full term where he will only live for hours or days at the most.”

“We were faced with the huge decision of what to do next; the realisation that we have no choice and that I am now caught up on the Irish abortion debate as a 33-year-old married woman is overwhelming.”

“We have decided not to travel to another country where we would have options; another country that would look after our needs better than the Irish medical system can. We have decided to allow nature to take its course – which means putting our lives on hold for five months; waking every morning not knowing if this is going to be the day that I will miscarry or whether I have to face another well wisher congratulating me on my ever expanding bump telling me ‘isn’t it so exciting’ or ‘summer is a lovely time to have a baby’- yes it would be a lovely time to have a baby but unfortunately medicine tells us that this baby is incompatible with life, is unlikely to make it full term and if it does he will like only last hours or days at most….however the Irish Government would prefer to put us through what will be the toughest months of our lives…”

“We talked about the fact that if termination was an option in Ireland – would we have gone down that route? We cannot answer that question but the fact that the choice has been made for us by people in government adds to the heartache of the whole situation. We are grieving for a baby that will never live, a baby that will be with us in the womb-only for possibly 5 more months or possibly 5 more days, a baby that will be loved unconditionally and a medical system that is prolonging this painful process far longer than is necessary.”

“To sum it up, my email is essentially for you to consider babies with terminal illnesses when your team is discussing the abortion debate, it is not just about women whose lives are in danger it is also about the well being of women like me who are faced with a long road that will ultimately lead to a heartbreaking end.”

“Doctors should have the power to assess a situation and offer an option of inducing labour if people are faced with this situation – it is not an abortion, it is offering women the option to termination a pregnancy on medical grounds – I urge you strongly to consider the difference for any legislation changes that are being considered.”

“Thank you for taking the time to read my email.”

 

An email to Enda Kenny on February 5. The author says she received no response or acknowledgement from the Taoiseach’s office. She then resent it on April 17, requesting an acknowledgement which she received from Patricia Collins, Mr Kenny’s assistant private secretary. She gave birth to a stillborn baby boy on May 4.

TFMR