Dear Santa, all we want is #choice4xmas

Hi Santa, how’s it going? I know you’re pretty busy in Central Asia at the time of writing, but I’m also pretty sure the sleigh has Wifi, so I thought I’d drop you a note anyway. I’m writing from Ireland and as a nation, about 80% of us really want choice over our own bodies this Christmas.

I know that’s a bit metaphysical compared to most lists you’ll get (although possibly not from my colleagues in academia; we also want things like an end to oppressive gender performativity and an acknowledgement that systemic racism is a blight on populations across the world, and also an espresso machine each, please, because we should be writing, like, a lot). I think a man like yourself would be on board with it, though.

See, I know you’re trustworthy on these things because you manage to break into people’s houses through some quantum physics trickery, but to my knowledge you only ever go where you’re invited, and you only ever try to improve their lives when you get there. You’ve also, to my knowledge, never looked at someone’s list and said to yourself ‘hmm, she’s asked for a pony, but I think I’ll leave her a tiger cub  instead. Sure, it may not be what she was expecting, and depending on circumstances it could be more than a bit dangerous, but hey, that’s what you get for wanting to celebrate Christmas.’

(I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t get the pony either, by the way, but my parents explained that although you could have provided the pony, you didn’t have the authorisation to enter into a contract for livery services on my behalf. It seemed logical, so no hard feelings.)

You see a lot of families this evening, Santa, and I hope you look in on adults who are by themselves during this season too. I think that kind of perspective would lead to you having sympathy for those of us who’ve been working on pro-choice positions all year. You see families who maybe aren’t so well off for one reason or another, and who really need to be able to control whether their size grows any more. You see kids growing up in Direct Provision centres – and thank you for remembering them – but you also see their mams, who have no way to travel abroad to access reproductive healthcare if they need it. You see people whose health, or trauma, or gender identity, would make a pregnancy exceedingly dangerous, and for a man whose job it is to make things merry and bright, I can’t imagine but that you’d be furious with the level of darkness the Irish government imposes on their lives. Not only that, Santa, but you and Mrs Claus have been married for – I don’t want to reveal a lady’s age, so I’ll just say a while – and you’ve clearly made some decisions about your fertility. It’d be nice to say that Irish people could also choose whether to have kids, to decide against that, or to adopt a bunch of elves and set up a fairly-waged, unionised toy workshop in their garden shed instead. Yours is an unconventional lifestyle when you put it like that, but I don’t judge. It’s your choice.

I have to go finish wrapping some presents now, Santa, so I’ll wind up here. When you’re delivering Enda Kenny his Mayo GAA jersey and a new Fóclóir later, it’d be great if you could leave him a note about giving us a referendum on the Eighth Amendment next year. 13000 of us have already told him our thoughts, but you’re a person of great influence and it’d be particularly sound of you to give some input. Maybe this time next year I’ll be writing less publicly to ask you for a Yes vote, but for now, we really just want a referendum.

Thanks for taking the time to read, Santa. By the way, I’ve grown up now and I’ve been studying law for ages, so if you want to leave me that pony this year, I’ll sort out the livery contract myself.

Safe travels,

Sandra (aged 28 3/4).

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