Maria Coleman had just started at the Royal College of Surgeons when she became pregnant through difficult circumstances. Canadian by birth, she grew up in a culture where abortion is available on demand up to full term.
The 24-year-old went to her GP and was told that abortion was the best route to take; that having a baby would mess up her career. Maria was surprised. It was the sort of reaction she expected from a Canadian doctor, not an Irish one.
By that point she had made her mind up anyway. That happened the moment she did a pregnancy test.
"From the second it showed positive, I knew there was another life growing inside me," she recalls.
"There was no denying that. As easy as it might have seemed to get rid of the 'problem', I knew I had no right to end another human life."
Almost three years on, Maria has a beautiful two-year-old boy who is the light of her life. Now in her third year of medicine, she's also a first-class honours student.
Her personal experience has deeply informed her professional ethic as a young medic planning to specialise in obstetrics. She has observed the recent abortion controversy here with deep concern, fearing that if Ireland legislates for abortion, it will end up going down the road of her own country, where up to 100,000 terminations take place every year.
Continued here: We'd rather give up medicine than perform an abortion