Ireland Should remove the 8th. Period.

I want to start this post by stating plainly, I am Pro-choice.
I will always be Pro-choice and I will always be Pro-Abortion(Legal).
Legal and medically safe abortions should be available to every woman everywhere it’s my simple held belief.
I will always support a woman’s right to make any choice regarding her body and fetus and if you are pro-life I do respect your views and your right to hold them for YOU.


A lot of you may know me as “The English Portuguese” I have lived in Portugal for most of my adulthood it’s true and I’ve been involved with devilish Portuguese men even longer still.
What some of you may not know is that before moving to Portugal I lived in Dublin, Ireland for around a year.

I had come to expect a certain level of care reproductively and in terms of contraceptive and sexual health.
My Birth control was free on the NHS ( information and helpful links can be found here) and condoms were available for free at family planning clinics and I believe are now even more widely available.
Family planning, maternity care and postnatal care are all free.
Seeing a gynaecologist is free, tests for a reproductive disease are free, fertility tests are free.
Basically, in the regard of being safe and well during a pregnancy and those crucial months afterwards, I would be ok, I would be safe and I would be healthy, no matter how or when my pregnancy ended.

I honestly and naively thought, in “Modern Europe” and especially a country that had such close relations with the UK, shared a border with the UK and were ultimately trying to put the horror of the Magdalene Laundries behind them, things would be much the same.

I was wrong

Whilst there was a more relaxed attitude in terms of sexual freedom, there certainly was not a relaxed attitude towards pregnancy  and pro choice.

“If you fall pregnant, you have the baby, the child shouldn’t pay for the sins of the mother”-A direct quote from a neighbour of mine.

I was flabberghasted.
Could we really, still be touting this to women, girls and even men, who last I checked, generally have an equal part to play in the creating of a foetus.

“What about if the girl is raped? ” I asked
“Well then, it’s still not the baby’s fault is it?”
I stood aghast.
“Anyway They can always go to England if they are really so desperate to end their child’s life”

To be clear, Abortion in Ireland is (or should be) legal only in cases where the mother’s life is at risk, even in the case of suicide.
However, speaking to a number of Irish and foreign girls during my time in Ireland, the picture that is painted is one that is quite different.
Often even in cases where a woman may be at risk there feels an underlying pressure to try and keep the child and often abortion is never even mentioned as an option, adoption is often discussed in the cases of mothers feeling suicidal.In cases of rape, incest or foetal abnormality, Abortion is not legal.

More information can be found here.

This is simply unacceptable.
Post-abortion care is offered and actual abortion is not.
You are tying womens hands and uterus’ up in government red tape and making them travel abroad during a time when they most need support are most vulnerable and ultimately most at risk.
You can not make up for a lack of a safe medical option by having after care available in the capital city( those in rural areas are even more cut off from the services they need)

You can not make a law less restrictive by offering during face to face counselling sessions leaflets and advice about abortion as long as you can afford to go aboard.
(There are no charitable options that would/could help with the trip and the costs involved)

You are forcing women( Up to 5000 a year estimates indicate) into situations they shouldn’t be in.
You are treating them as second class citizens.
You are pro birth not pro life.
A woman’s life has to be worth SOMETHING, we’re not simply hosts for new life.
We are not dirty, filthy, sinful or destitute.

This HAS to stop.
Repeal the eighth*, abortions WILL happen, you won’t ever stop them, at least have the decency to protect your citizens and their families.
Amendment 4.3.3 does not help.



The Happiness of a Vimto in a Hormonal Haze.

For years, my sweet Husband has had to deal with my hormonal shenanigans, with poise and charm and lets be real… throwing chocolate at the monster from afar and hoping she doesn’t bite off any fingers.

I make Jabba look cute.

steve,jabba or me?
Steve,Jabba or Hormonal Natalie.. No-one can quite tell.  (Photocredit:-Jabba The Hutt With Hair)

I get spotty, I get bitchy and generally only calories make me feel human again, that plus a facemask and long ass shower.

Just today I have snapped his head off three times, for the most mundane of things. (Once for folding my bath towel when I didn’t want it folded)
However there is light at the end of this hormone riddled hell hole in the shape of a deliciously ice cold can of Fizzy Vitmo.

This for some might seem an overstatement, but let me tell you, this is one of the greatest things I have discovered in Lisbon since I arrived here.

Sure Pastel de Nata is awesome, Walks in Baixa are awesome and sitting next to Pessoa, but Vimto, in Lisbon, without having to catch a bus or train to my English soul is more than I can handle.
Portugal has so many delicious things, things that I could easily fall into a sugar coma with again and again(Regina pineapple flavoured Chocolate for example) but sometimes, you need a taste of home when you are a long time expat**, it comforts you like grandmas cooking or a proper cup of tea and for me being a northern girl nothing really feels like home like a Vimto.

30 seconds from my front door, and in unlimited supply(alongside Cadburys whole nut dairy milk and Crunchies)
I don’t even really have to take off my period chillax clothes.
If only they sold Irn Bru, my life would be complete.

So today, if you were to ask me,what makes me happy more than anything else, I would have to tell you:-
“It’s Simple, a cold can of Vimto and Crunchie Bar followed by the untold happiness it brings to my hormone riddled self.”

**( Yes I am aware my expat algarve dwelling brethren have English produce in spades but a three hour drive in this mood will just send me into a Godzilla like haze and you left watching Portugal burn)