02 Sep

Every child wanted

“Abortion is very, very ordinary and a mark of civilisation – liberty for women and every child wanted.”

I had written and scheduled yesterday’s post about my abortion before I saw Polly Toynbee’s article in The Guardian. In fact I wrote it quite a while ago, in response to a request from the BPAS for case studies to debunk the myths that people who have abortions are reckless teenagers, or that they are somehow scarred and regretful for the rest of their lives.

As Toynbee points out, the media still treats abortion as a back street business, a dirty scandal, a secret we must never share. The storylines that end in miscarriage before the fateful decision is made tell us that as a society we are very confused about unwanted babies. We know it’s better for them not to exist, but we don’t want to admit that. Certain saintly (often childless) people may take the view that their god’s creations are all sacred and we mere humans don’t have the right to deny them life, but it is questionable just how relevant this is to the majority of women who find themselves in the position of having to make the decision.

I want abortion to be talked about in terms of a woman’s right to have control over her own body, not a shameful thing that we mustn’t mention in polite company.