It’s so hard to talk about it with people in Ireland

This morning on The Anton Savage Show on Today FM, Anton spoke to Tara, a 24 year old woman from Cork who agreed to be filmed for a BBC Three documentary, Abortion: Ireland’s Guilty Secret, which airs tonight at 9pm.

Tara and her partner Steve were filmed by documentary maker Alys Harte for BBC3 as they flew to West London for a termination. In her first broadcast interview since the documentary, Tara told The Anton Savage Show that it took about two weeks for herself and her partner to raise the money needed to travel to England for the procedure: “That shouldn’t have happened to me and that shouldn’t have happened to the 150,000 women that it’s happened to.”

Outside the clinic, protestors kneeled and prayed as the couple walked in, something Tara had been warned about ahead of going in “I had been warned that this was going to happen. Marie Stopes rang me that morning to confirm that I was on my way and they said that there were resident protestors outside. I didn’t go into it blindsided luckily enough, and I will say luckily they didn’t interact with me because I have heard of horror stories where they try to convince you to go into the house next door to the clinic and try and change your mind. So luckily, I didn’t have much interaction with them so I just said well look, their opinion is just as valid as mine at the end of the day”

Speaking to Anton on Today FM, Tara said that she was surprised by the attitudes of some people, who she believed were Pro Life: “I don’t think their ideologies should have a place in my life at all. I wouldn’t tell them what job they should do or what procedure they should go for, so at the end of the day, I just don’t understand why they think have the right to tell me what I can do with my body and my future.”

Tara, who does not want her last name broadcast, as she fears a ‘backlash’ for sharing her story, told The Anton Savage Show that she was on contraception when she found out she was pregnant last year: “It’s not anyone’s business how I got pregnant. It happened and it was an accident. I didn’t want it to happen at this time of my life. I wasn’t ready for it. I’m still not ready now.”
Tara didn’t feel any pain afterwards in the recovery room, but says she did feel a sense of loss: “I still felt it was the right decision for me and there definitely was a sense of relief that I knew what the whole thing was because I guess, the entire time up to it, I didn’t know what to expect because it’s so hard to talk about it with people in Ireland.”

Tara told Anton that she agreed to be filmed by the BBC because she said someone needed to speak up about the issue of abortion

“I guess my main reason for going forward with the documentary was the simple fact I think that so many people have been silent about it because they believe that they need to be quiet about it. They are afraid of what their neighbours are going to think of them when they are passing them on the street.”

“Now my face is all over this, so I have to accept that. I still think I made the right decision to go forward, because it is an important issue and someone had to stand up at the end of the day and put a face to it. If I am to be targeted for that, then fine, but hopefully it will help a few other women to understand that it is their choice and that no one should change that for them “

Listen back to the interview in full here.