Abortion Rights panel hears of Donegal woman’s pregnancy fears after rape

first_imgA young Letterkenny woman who survived a rape attack in 2015 has spoken of how her fears of an unwanted pregnancy put her on the verge of suicide.Dominique Meehan, 25, shared her deeply personal story ahead of the Abortion Rights Campaign March for Choice in Dublin this Saturday.Dominique was raped in 2015 when she was volunteering at a gaming convention in Dublin. Her rapist was jailed for 12 years last June. She has now joined the ARC movement to highlight her views on the effect of the Eighth Amendment on survivors of rape. Dominique said: “I represent a quarter of all women in Ireland who have been raped and who have to deal with even the thought of an unwanted pregnancy.“I told my parents that if I’m pregnant we’re going to England. How is that fair for anyone in my situation, knowing that my own government would look at me as a criminal because I couldn’t carry my rapist’s child?”Speaking at a pre-march press conference yesterday, she said she suffered nightmares in the days after her rape, dreaming that she was pregnant.Dominique said: “In my dreams I watched my stomach swell, I had morning sickness, I even had back pain. I was terrified, more than I have ever been during my attack.” “That fear is utterly debilitating. I couldn’t get it out of my head. I was feeling my stomach every day to see if it was swelling like it did in my dreams.”“I told my parents that if I was pregnant I needed to go to England. How is that fair though?“Can you imagine someone in my position couldn’t be treated by the HSE, that treated me so well, in Ireland they couldn’t treat me here.”Linda Kavanagh, Spokesperson with the Abortion Rights Campaign, Brid Smith TD, Krysia Lynch of AIMS Ireland, and Dominique Meehan, rape survivor and activist. Photo: David Thomas Smith.Dominique said she had taken six pregnancy tests before being admitted to the psychiatric unit.“Everything came out negative, but the stress of believing and thinking to my very soul that I was pregnant still managed to send me into the psych unit. I was suicidal. “If there were options in Ireland other than having a baby to just send it into a foster system or killing it on my own with alcohol or my own suicide, then I would never have needed to be admitted into the acute psychiatric unit at all.”“We can’t carry on like this, giving rape survivors no option but to carry their rapist’s child no matter the psychological consequences to the rape survivor.”Photo: David Thomas Smith.The March for Choice will take place on Saturday 30th September at 2pm, beginning at the Garden of Remembrance, Dublin. The March will coincide with the annual Global Day of Action for Safe and Legal Abortion.The theme of this year’s march is “Time to Act”, which the Abortion Rights Campaign says is a comment on the upcoming referendum on the Eighth Amendment and the importance of action for the thousands of people denied abortion services in Ireland over the years. Time Travellers for Choice, a group of historical and vintage costumiers representing through dress the many eras of time during which women in Ireland have been forced to wait for their rights. Photo: David Thomas Smith.ARC spokesperson Linda Kavanagh said: “The reality is we have an instrument of violence against women written into our constitution, violence that is enacted every day on all pregnant people in Ireland. The Eighth Amendment has caused untold misery and damage, and it’s time we removed it once and for all.”Ms Kavanagh said the organisation’s judgement on the announcement of a stand-alone referendum on the Eighth Amendment will be reserved until the wording is made known to the public.“We have all waited long enough to finally be allowed to make decisions about our own bodies, it’s vital that the government get this right,” Kavanagh said.Other speakers at the conference were Krysia Lynch, Chairperson of AIMS Ireland (Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services) and Bríd Smith, the first TD in Ireland to share her abortion story.Abortion Rights panel hears of Donegal woman’s pregnancy fears after rape was last modified: September 28th, 2017 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:abortion rights campaignDominique Meehanmarch for choicelast_img

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