So why does nobody talk about it, I pondered then, and do again now. Why are there never any abortion jokes? Why is it unthinkable to discuss it without prefacing everything with "of course, it's terribly traumatic, no woman enters into this lightly"? [...]
The prevailing attitude these days seems to be that abortion is state-sanctioned murder and we put up with it because if we didn't, women would have them in back alleys anyway. It is the lesser of two evils, therefore, and as such, must be cloaked in silence, since whichever way you look at it, it still has an evil at its core. This line has taken hold because it is the least controversial way of supporting the right: so an MP standing up and saying "Women need this right, because otherwise they will put their health at risk having illegal terminations" will not find the pro-life lobby instantly rearing up against them, petitioning their constituents with what a murderer he or she is. If, however, an MP were to stand up and say "I am pro-choice because I do not consider this to be murder. I do not consider it to be evil. I do not consider a foetus which a woman has a one in three chance of involuntarily rejecting anyway to be a viable life unless she deems it so. I do not buy this craven sentimentality about the unborn, this pseudo-spiritual cleanliness we ascribe to it. In fact, it makes me sick", then votes will be lost. In other words, there are no votes to be won supporting abortion in an ideologically honest way, and lots to be lost.It dominates US politics here and people have very strong opinion about the issue. But nowhere have I seen a frank discussion on abortion as another fact of life as I think it is. The issue gets glorified into Life v Choice and other labels which muddles the underlying issue of a woman's health and right. Glad to see someone putting things into perspective.