I’ve had to rethink some of my assumptions about myself recently. I was a pretty idealistic teenager. I’ve grown up atheist, liberal, I guess I’d describe myself as feminist. I also describe myself as pro-choice. I started calling myself that before I really understood what I was saying. I got irate about the emotive tactics my R.E. teacher took to tell us it was always horrible and wrong. I got so angry for the women who have been victims of incest or rape or had medical reasons for seeking a termination. But I’ve had a lot of time to think about it and it has changed my mind in ways that have surprised me.
Let me just state though that I am still pro-choice. It’s not my body, it’s not my life and it’s not my decision, but I can’t help but find abortion for anything other than a very narrow set of reasons, totally repugnant. Doesn’t mean I’m going to campaign against it but I think I can support someone’s right to choose without having to agree with them.
I stupidly spent a portion of this afternoon reading the blogs of women who have had abortions (I didn’t google it or anything, I just started reading an article about iPhones and there was a link and then it had other links etc). I guess it was interesting to read, it’s the flipside of this blog where I’m talking about trying to get pregnant, going through a pregnancy etc. My only personal experience of abortions are with women who decided to have them but very much wished that the circumstances were different and that it wasn’t the only option they felt was open to them. It was eye opener to read from the perspective of women who were just so damn angry and unapologetic about their decisions. It’s not that I think someone who has had an abortion needs to ask for forgiveness or go around in sackcloth or anything, but I found the venom directed towards their embryos/fetuses really hard to take. I think they’ve pushed past the point of saying “it’s just a ball of cells” to calling them “parasites” or “tumours”. One blog seemed so enraged that the embryo had dared to be conceived. I just wanted to say it’s not it’s fault, you’re the one who fucked up on the contraception, take your anger out on yourself and your inability to take the pill correctly, have the abortion if you feel that is what is right for you but don’t treat it like it’s not any different to going to the dentist and having a bad tooth taken out, show a bit of respect. It may not be a person yet in your eyes but admit it had the potential to be, and that in itself is something.
Make the decisions that are right for your life and your situation, but please, show a bit of respect.