This is a reblog, a poem about postnatal depression, stunningly accurate and transported me back to my experience. Thanks to Erin Darcy for sharing…
For the last week we have witnessed the spat over the ownership of the National maternity hospital play out in the media. So many people say ‘why does it matter who owns it’ or ‘women need a state of the art facility’…the answer for me is yes to both these questions, the latter is easier, we know that our three Dublin maternity hospitals are very old and in great need of modernization, reports have told us over the years that co-location is the ideal model of care, with greater outcomes in relation to safety, of this there is no dispute. I am sure that regional maternity units are in equal need of funding and expansion. With such urgency does it matter who owns it? YES it does totally, what this week has shown us is that the thought of the Sisters of Charity owning the new hospital it totally unpalatable to the majority general public and most particularly to those who have been victims of religious abuse. In the recent past we have seen awful tragedies/abuses uncovered before our eyes, the religious have not always served us well in the area of health and education. Of course not every nun or clergy were involved in abusive activities, I like to count a nun as one of the best mentors I had in college and afterward within our work for The Elephant Collective. However it is what they represent historically in an Irish structural context that is so unpalatable and why their non contrition is galling to so many. Someone asked me on twitter why does it matter to me so much, is it worth making such a fuss over for the sake of not having our new state of the art institution? YES it is worth it, I have witnessed with my own eyes the hurt that religious sexual abuse has done to a loved one, the pain is never ending and reaches to the core of their being, it shapes them. It matters to me to in regards to bodily autonomy and agency, the right for a woman to make decisions that are not based on some other persons religious beliefs. It matters to me especially in regards to the decisions made at the Citizens Assembly today that I can care for equally for women who decide to terminate their pregnancy in the case of fetal abnormality and one who decides to continue it. Nearly 89,000 people signed a petition saying ownership by the religious is not what they want, that has to mean something, women are speaking out, and as healthcare professionals we have to listen. I feel as a nation we have reached a critical turning point, we want and need to separate Church from State to care for women as best we can, so lets we brave, stand tall and together, get this right this time for the sake of our future and our children’s future…
Edited at 20.00
This afternoon on advice I listened to a podcast from the Marian Finucane radio show, I had seen some comments on twitter however not one mentioned Midwife Patricia Hughes who as former Director of Midwifery in the Coombe hospital and now a midwifery advisor. Patricia gave her opinion on the ownership issue. I would advise fellow midwives/obstetricians to listen, Patricia talks so much common sense, particularly her comment that we are now have a great opportunity get the decision right…intimating that decisions as important as these shouldn’t be made on where people to decide to kneel every Sunday but for what is most important, the women and children of our state.