Reader's Blog: Stop using my children to ‘win’ an argument

I am responding to a Prime Time episode broadcast on January 18, in particular the debate between Maria Steen and Ivanka Bacik.

As a parent of a child with a profound disability, and two other children who have been diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder, I am offended by the narrative of parents worrying that their disabled children might not be here if abortion were legal in Ireland.

It implies that, once a diagnosis is given in utero, all parents would opt for a termination, which, quite frankly, is insulting.

That implies that, as parents, we see our children as less. In fact, if anyone who actually touted that narrative spent a day in our shoes, advocating and fighting for scraps of an under-resourced and over-worked service, they would see that we value our children the same as any other parent would.

I am tired of my child being used as an excuse to deny a full medical and healthcare system to a whole demographic of people. I am tired of my child being used as an excuse to force women to travel to get, in many cases, vital medical treatment. I am tired of my child being used by a campaign to further a cause by slapping pictures on the side of a van and driving it around the country, in the name of defending them. Defending them from who or what? From what I can tell, there is only one sector of society that is touting the line that they are lesser individuals... If they care so much for children like mine, why have they not put their money where their mouth is and advocated for the children here and now, who are crying out for more than the scraps at the end of a budget, instead of campaigning on behalf of hypothetical children (who will have parents able to make fully informed decisions on their behalf, should they ever come into fruition)?

They claim that the pro-choice lobbyists are campaigning for eugenics, yet it’s the pro-life campaign that is stating that my children are less. Otherwise, why would they presume every pregnancy with a known utero diagnosis would end in termination?

Samantha Kenny


Co Kildare

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