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.