Ireland, one of the few countries that has consistently defended women and children by saying no to legalized abortion, has seen the issue hotly debated over the years. Most recently, Ireland has been battling misleading legislation that falsely claims it will protect life during pregnancy, when in fact it would be a direct attack on pre-born life and open the floodgates to a reinterpretation of the Irish constitution on abortion.
Like Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade, who was used without scruple by lawyers in the 1970s as a puppet in the game to get abortion on demand legalized in the United States, “Miss C,” who underwent a forced abortion at the behest of her nation, was used and discarded by the legal system in Ireland to further a disturbing political abortion agenda that had nothing to do with her, or her well-being. The irony is that her well-being was erroneously touted as the reason for what was really a forced abortion. Like many women who experience abortion after rape, Miss C attests in the Independent that the abortion caused more problems and heartache in her life than the brutal rape she suffered:
[F]or me, [the abortion] has been harder to deal with than the rape.
It only really hits you after you have children. You never forget your missing baby. It plays on your mind every day. Any woman who has an abortion and then goes on to become a mother will know all about it afterwards.
I didn’t want to become a mother at 13, but I realise now that baby didn’t deserve to die. I would have loved to give her up for adoption to somebody who really wanted kids and couldn’t have them. She’d be a teenager today and maybe we could be friends, even if she didn’t call me mammy.
Here’s a recap. In the early 1990s, a young teenage girl (“Miss X”) became pregnant and allegedly insisted that unless she could travel to England for an abortion, she would take her own life. Irish courts put a nine-month stay on the girl, which prevented her from leaving the country for an abortion, so Miss X’s child was born in Ireland. The decision to hold her in Ireland was appealed, however, and the courts determined that in cases where suicide was threatened by the pregnant woman, an exception could be made and an abortion could be obtained in England. Fast-forward five years to Miss C’s rape. She was a 13-year-old Traveler and the eldest daughter in a large family. She was mostly uneducated and spent the majority of her time helping to care for her family. She was abducted and brutally raped by a man for whom she babysat when he was supposed to be driving her home one night after babysitting.
Irish officials became informed of the rape, and they took Miss C away from her family, placing her in foster care with another family of Travelers. After exhibiting some severe pregnancy symptoms, she underwent a pregnancy test, and the results were positive. In the interview quoted above, Miss C recalls that at the time, she did not even know what pregnancy meant, or how it had happened to her. She says that if she had been asked what her choice was, she would have placed her child with an adoptive family. Regardless of her well-being or wishes, however, she was ushered to England by Irish authorities who explained very little of what was going on, and it was not until after she was forced to undergo an abortion that Miss C was told that her baby was dead.
Miss C is open about the fact that she was the victim of rape, but today she is more vocal about the life-altering, devastating effects that being forced to abort her own child had on her life long-term. You an read more about her story here, and get an idea of the history of Irish abortion laws here.