A CORK doctor has told a pro-choice audience that the Eighth Amendment must be repealed so she can “be a better doctor and provide better care”.
The Blackpool-based GP Mary Favier was speaking at an event organised by the Together For Yes campaign in St. Peter's on North Main Street yesterday, a month ahead of the vote.
The audience also heard from singer-songwriter John Spillane, who is advocating for a Yes vote, and a couple from Blarney whose lives were devastated when their daughter was diagnosed with a genetic disorder in utero.
“I see so many women affected, there is nothing about the Eighth Amendment that is good for women’s health,” Dr Favier said. “It affects all aspects of the health of women of reproductive age, everything from getting an X-ray to chemotherapy.
“I have seen everything from the 14-year-old who comes in with her parents before travelling to the UK to the 40-year-old who has to leave her two children with her husband, who has a disability, while she travels. My heart goes out to them. Abortion is a feature of Irish life, whether we like it or not.” She also highlighted the increasing number taking abortion pills bought online, which she describes as ‘safe medication taken in unsafe circumstances’.
Luke Field, Deputy Chair of Cork Together For Yes said the campaign in Cork city and county was inundated with help and public support.
“We are ready to bring women back here and let them be cared for by their families and loved ones and doctors here in Cork.” Susan Corcoran was delighted when she became pregnant shortly after her marriage to Tim and things initially progressed as normal. But a scan showed issues and an amniocentesis confirmed their daughter had a chromosome disorder. The pregnancy was unlikely to go to full term but even if it did, their daughter would not survive.
“We were told, if you decide you can’t continue the pregnancy, we won’t be able to help you,” Susan said. “We went home and it was the longest week of our lives.
“We eventually made the decision to terminate the pregnancy. We felt it was the fairest and kindest thing to do for our baby after hearing everything she had.” Susan grew up in London with Irish parents, who still lived in the UK and were able to help her organise an admission to a hospital in London. But the couple found having to travel added another layer of distress to what was already a traumatic experience and are calling for a repeal of the Eighth Amendment in order that other couples do not have to go through what they did.
Cork Together for Yes also launched its office at 14 Father Mathew Quay yesterday. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was carried out by Sarah Monaghan, a member of the Together For Yes national executive.