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26th May 2017, 12:03:17 UTC

“It’s the human rights aspect, the fact that we all know that some women can afford this and we all know that some women can’t and we’re just happy to see some of our citizens live out a life of poverty… And that is not OK, that’s not how modern democracy should operate.”

In late 1997, A.F. found herself with an unplanned pregnancy. She was working several part-time jobs and leading a “very hand-to-mouth existence”. She told Amnesty International that she started thinking about suicide: “I was literally wandering around Galway, walking down a really busy street, past lots of traffic thinking if I just fell into this traffic I wouldn’t have to worry or if I walked over a bridge – there’s a bridge in Galway over a really busy part of the river – and if I just fell into that river, then I wouldn’t have to worry… I didn’t have money, I didn’t feel I could tell my parents… I felt very alone.”

Ultimately, A.F. received financial help from her sister to travel abroad and was able to terminate her pregnancy. She says, “There was no doubt in my mind that what I was doing was the right thing”.

If her sister hadn’t helped her, she told Amnesty International: “I don’t doubt I would have tried something.”