A mother in the Republic of Ireland says she has no regrets about refusing to abort her daughter – as her country prepares for the upcoming abortion referendum.
Voters will be asked on Friday whether or not to repeal the Irish constitution’s Eighth Amendment. The amendment pledges to “defend and vindicate” the equal right to life of the unborn and the mother, “as far as practicable”.
It comes as a Sinn Féin politician, Carol Nolan, has defended her decision to take a stand for the right to life, in a break from the party’s official position on the issue.
‘Incompatible with life’
Vicky Wall’s daughter Líadán was diagnosed with Edward’s syndrome, or Trisomy 18, after a 24-week scan.
Doctors said that Líadán’s condition was ‘incompatible with life’ and strongly recommended that Vicky travel to England to get an abortion.
But Vicky wanted to choose life.
Not an option
Speaking to Sky News, she explained: “Abortion would not be an option for us. It wouldn’t have been our right to abort her.
“She was unique and she was our daughter and she was valued to us so we decided to go back home for our care.”
Líadán died in the womb at 32 weeks, but Vicky is happy that she decided to choose life.
“I take great comfort in that – that we didn’t travel and we didn’t have an injection to stop her heart”.
It wouldn’t have been our right to abort her.
Vicky added that her other children spent time talking to Líadán before she died.
“I came out of work and my dad built a patio at the end of the garden and we would spend the day with her talking to her, telling her Dr Seuss stories and how much we loved her.
“My older children would play music into my bump for her. I knew we had to spend what time we had with her.”
‘Right to life’
Carol Nolan TD was suspended by Sinn Féin for refusing to back a repeal of the Eighth Amendment.
But she says it was worth it.
Describing herself as someone who passionately believes in the right to life, Nolan said: “It is about choosing whether to allow the most vulnerable, the unborn, to continue to have a right to life or to deny them this basic, fundamental human right, upon which all others are built.”
“We must protect and defend the right to life of the unborn. That is what I have chosen to do, in taking a pro-life stance, as a politician.”