Clare Crowley, 27, is a final year medical student from Co. Cork
“For as long as I can remember abortion has been a divisive issue in Ireland. At times, it is not easy to hold pro-life views as a medical student. I, like many other medical students, decided to pursue a career in medicine to help people and save lives. It is very easy to claim to be pro-choice, but committing the act is starkly different.
“I have read and heard the testimonies of doctors in other countries who have, and who continue to conduct abortions. It makes for very bleak reading. Initially, an emotional conflict often exists, a tug of war between the woman’s right to choose versus the humanity of the unborn baby.
“In time this conflict of conscience is slowly eroded and one becomes completely desensitised to the unborn baby, irrespective of the stage of pregnancy.
“Ireland has an excellent maternal care record. Despite the many faults of our broken healthcare system, this is a fact we should be very proud of. During my training, I have witnessed the amazing work of all those who are involved in caring for pregnant women from GPs to midwives and obstetricians. All deserve great credit for their unwavering work and dedication.
“Best obstetric care advocates caring for two patients · the pregnant woman and her unborn baby. Irrespective of the circumstances of pregnancy, a doctor has a duty to care for the health and well-being of both.
“Some pregnancies are planned, some unplanned and some even unwanted. In such instances, a woman needs compassionate care and support. The Eighth Amendment gives women in unplanned pregnancies time, instead of hastening into a rash decision they may later regret.”