Like so many of my peers back in the late Sixties and early Seventies, I passionately argued the case for abortion law reform. We knew how our mothers and grandmothers had feared unwanted pregnancies and what horrors were inflicted by illegal abortionists.
No woman, we proclaimed, should be forced to carry and give birth to an unwanted child. Which is precisely why we celebrated the availability of the Pill. Women, we said, should have control over their own bodies. ‘A woman’s right to choose’ was the slogan.
Believe me, I’m not ashamed of those arguments. No one in their right mind would want to go back to the dark age of the back-street abortionist, and there will always be accidents and mistakes.
Carelessness: The NHS is spending £1m a week on repeat abortions
Yet every movement has its backlash — and when I read that the NHS is spending just under £1 million per week on repeat abortions, I found myself plunged into another sort of depression at the sheer carelessness of my own sex. Yes, some of those terminations will have been carried out for sound reasons.
I should know — I had an abortion just over 30 years ago for medical reasons. And, frankly, I’ve no wish to see babies born to schoolgirls. But too many abortions are clearly happening because grown-up women are just too sloppy to take proper control of their own bodies.
When my generation marched with placards asking for ‘Abortion on Demand’, we were not suggesting abortion should be seen as merely another variety of contraception — although that view was held on the wilder shores of the women’s movement.
But, shockingly, today that seems to be how many young women treat a medical procedure which, let us not forget, terminates a life.
The latest figures paint a bleak picture. Around one third of all abortions in England and Wales are repeats, and in a London borough (Croydon) that proportion rises to half.
To put it most neutrally, this means large numbers of young women are not learning any lessons from a first mistake. To be more emotional, it means countless unborn babies are being sacrificed because women are too irresponsible and/or indifferent to treat sex and fertility with the seriousness it deserves.
Indifferent: The evidence suggests some women simply don't learn from their mistakes
Yesterday in the Mail, we read one appalling case study that involved not one but four repeat abortions between the ages of 12 and 16. Lucy Lanelly said: ‘I’ve blanked out my abortions and I have too much self-respect to go through all that again. I just wish other girls would respect their bodies enough not to give them up to anybody.’
It’s interesting that she doesn’t blame anybody but herself. She was given advice on contraception but it had no effect.
There are many issues tangled up within this question — and it would be wrong to point the finger at single women when some 9,564 married women had a repeat abortion in 2010.
But whatever happened to contraception? No one nowadays can plead ignorance. When we were young, my married friends and I used to discuss the Pill and the coil, grimace at the messiness of caps and condoms — and take those contraceptive choices for granted. Most of us know somebody who’d had an ‘accident’ but coped when the new baby arrived.
My own shock came at the end of 1980. I’m open about this to demonstrate my understanding of why an abortion can be necessary, as well as my level of disquiet at the new figures.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2144495/Ive-regretted-abortion-postbag-shows-trauma-lifetime.html#ixzz1uxPkH7Oh