On Tuesday, The Pat Kenny Show spoke to Melissa Ohden, a self-described 'abortion survivor'.
Founder of The Abortion Survivors Network, Ohden attended a rally organised by the Pro Life Campaign in Dublin over the past weekend, and spoke to Pat Kenny about her story, saying she survived "what people call a failed abortion, nearly 39 years ago in the United States".
During the interview, Melissa stated that her mother hid the pregnancy for many months, and that "an abortion was forced upon her" when the family found out she was pregnant.
However, she also outlined her belief that abortion should not be allowed in cases of rape: "If you do some research and talk to some women," said Ohden, "what you often hear form them is that women who have been sexually assaulted find the abortion procedure far more traumatic than the rape itself."
Her comments were met with a passionate reaction from both sides of the debate, as listeners tweeted and texted into the show, but on Wednesday morning, a listener emailed in their powerful response to Melissa Ohden’s comments.
You can read the letter in full below:
“It's not. Nothing prepares you for the rape. There is no time to make a choice.
You are not involved in any decision process of the action.
You are not making the decision.
You are not free to make the decision.
You are humiliated. Degraded.
Raped of all and any sense of being.
Any sense of self respect.
You are lost.
You are voiceless for the duration of this hideous action and for months if not years afterwards- never perhaps being able to tell anyone because of fear, shame, self harm.
Rape steals your soul.
Rape steals your life.
Yet somehow thousands of us manage to claw our way back to some sense of 'normality' - of course it’s not normal.
Abortion leaves you lost too.
Lost for making a decision that goes against every fiber of your being.
Yet the complexities of having the child by the monster that raped you is never discussed.
But the person who is having the abortion makes the choice.
The person who is raped does not."