There's been a lot of talk about abortion this weekend. Forty years on from legalisation, it's still a hot potato to the point that you would never, unless you're one of those odd women who tell strangers about having a shallow vagina or something (these girls do exist - they're usually crying in the toilets, though, so easy to avoid), admit to in public. No sane woman is particularly proud of making the decision to terminate a pregnancy, yet most who do know that it was the right one and are thankful beyond belief that that choice was there for them to make.
There's a misguided belief, propagated by pro-lifers that abortion clinics are full of the feckless and the flippant. That women use the procedure as a form of contraception. Which shows just how blinkered these people really are. Who cares about the gut-wrenching guilt and the whomp of reality that grips you at every turn of the day that if only things were different this would've been one of the happiest times of your life, not the worst.
The highest proportion of women seeking abortions in the UK are those in their mid-twenties to early-thirties. These aren't girls getting fucked by a faceless hoodie whilst downing their fifth WKD Blue. These are women who are struggling to get their lives off the ground and quite simply cannot give a child what they need. Equally, I doubt that they're all power-hungry business women, removing an inconvenience. They're women like you and me who feel that they have no choice: not the right man, not the right home, not the right financial situation.
Still, at least we're not American. In a world where the morning-after pill is up there with heroin and referred to as the Abortion Pill in hushed tones in college dorms, US clinics are picketed daily by brutish men and women bearing grotesque placards, shouting abuse at terrified, vulnerable women. Doctors, nurses and admin staff who work in these clinics are verbally and physically attacked - remember Brookline? It's fucking crazyland out there. How Pro-Life ARE you exactly with a gun in your hand? Thankfully, Bush didn't get rid of abortion as was feared, but he has ploughed millions of dollars into teaching abstinence as the only form of contraception. Neato!
But back to Blighty. Women shouldn't be vilified for making the choice to terminate a pregnancy. They shouldn't be applauded or congratulated, either. They should be allowed to go through what will remain with them forever with the dignity and respect that they probably lost the moment that line went pink.
Monday, January 22, 2007
It's very dark in here. Dark and cold. And if it weren't for the sequins on Chantelle's boob tube reflecting off Jade Goody's mum's neon teeth we'd be completely blind to everything around us.
The delightful Jodie Marsh is keeping us going, though. Her and Michelle Macmanus, before, of course, Michelle found the trap door and escaped. There's a rumour, though, that she hasn't escaped at all. I heard Myleene Klass say that the door was actually a portal into Gillian McKeith's kitchen which had been put there specially for Michelle. Michelle had told Myleene that her agent had told her this when they were doing some situps. But while she was there, she, and Jodie, kept us going. They both agreed that, seeing as they were the only two who could actually lose a bit of weight without become medical marvels, we'd feast from their muffin tops.As long as we didn't all go for it at once and ensured that everything was balanced when we left off. Good old Jodie, though. She's a trooper that one and hasn't reneged even though the mighty MacManus legged it. We just treat it like a diet.
Michelle Heaton keeps us entertained during dinner with a lovely song and dance routine that was choreographed by Lisa Scott Lee. I must say, we were all very disappointed when it was announced Lisa wouldn't be joining us, but apparently she's doing something for charity. I made a joke about the charity being rather more top-shelf than expected and I don't think Michelle (Heaton) has spoken to me since. I think there's some familial loyalty there or something :( .
But weird bright lights keep breaking through the darkness and it feels like someone's poking me in the arm but it isn't any of us in here. To be honest, they keep their distance. I hide my shameful volupt beneath my wrap dress and too-high boots and shield my lack of extensions and press-ons behind pretending I'm funny. Still, they can't understand how I got in there. I'm not one of them. They're suspicious of me and keep their distance. Even at meal times - as much as they can, anyway.
The lights are getting brighter and I can't quite understand why the pinching had started, especially as my controversial announcement that I thought Preston was too short and Desperate Housewives was nish has landed me not so much in Coventry as Birmingham Central - it's worse; the kind of ignoring that only very hormonal girls can do.
Then, comes the voice. At first I think it's God, but then I realise I'm not an R&B singer who comes from a pushy, American family, and as such God's probably otherwise engaged. I'm pretty sure it's not the devil - I gave him a kidney one fuzzy night way back in Mexico and we'd agreed that that was that for a while.
The lights, the pinching, the voices - they all get stronger and louder until I can hardly hear poor Girl's Aloud (choreographed by Michelle Heaton this time) and I can't help but start to get distracted and find myself yelling out: what? WHAT DO YOU WANT? KEEP SINGING CHERYL TWEEDY COLE! whilst smiling encouragingly at the girls - carry on, I say as they twirl uncertainly round their chairs.
Then, the room's bright white with light and the voice is deafening and I have the sudden sensation of being wrenched from the womb; wrenched and dragged and then ...
"For God's sake, can't you just ONCE make it to bed?" I barely hear him over the sound of Celebrity Big Brother Live on E4. I'm on the sofa. A copy of Now magazine is stuck to my cheek and the remenants of a bumper bag of peanut M&Ms litter my clothes. I blink and pull the magazine from my face and burp a tiny burble of sugar. Standing, I see in our over-mantel mirror that the front cover has transferred onto my cheek - Jade Goody's mum beams her neon, 300k smile at me over a minor acne break out. I trip over an empty litre bottle of coke.
One of these nights I'm going to go cold turkey.