Aoife terminated an unplanned pregnancy in 2012 when she was in her mid-30s. She found the decision extremely difficult. The man she had gotten pregnant with lived abroad and did not want the baby. “That was hard to hear, but I heard it” she recalls. Aoife was also unable to afford to pay rent at the time and was living in a temporary house-sitting situation. “I work in the arts and it was the beginning of all the cutbacks and a lot of work had gone down the pipeline so I wasn’t earning. So these were my considerations at the time. After the death [of a childhood friend] I was depressed and not working or earning and I just didn’t feel strong enough to do it [raise a child] on my own.”
Aoife borrowed money from her sister to pay for the abortion, which she paid back over the following year. She travelled to a clinic in Manchester that she had found online and which was the “easiest and cheapest to get to”. She thought that she was less than 12 weeks pregnant, but the clinic said she was more than 14 weeks pregnant, which made the procedure much more expensive. Overall, she estimates that she spent a total of €1,000; about €700 or €800 for the procedure, and another €200 for travel.