My Facebook feed and the news are flooded with images from anti-abortion campaigners. I am not going to show them here, or add links to this blog, because there is no way that I am going to do anything to support their campaign.
These images are upsetting. They are chosen to be upsetting. They are chosen to upset you so much that they will put off having an abortion.
Now that I am a mother, I know that there would be very few circumstances in which I could bring myself to have an abortion. A life threatening medical condition affecting both me and the foetus might be one such example. But I know that I would not, in my own mind, be able to dissociate the pregnancy from the wondrous little thing that Cygnet has become.
Now that I am a mother, these images affect me more. Those photographs of tiny limbs, torn apart and smeared over a blue hospital tissue. Those diagrams of how the foetus is torn apart inside the womb to remove it from the woman in pieces. They are horrific.
Now that I am a mother, I more and more angered by the immorality of the anti-abortion campaign.
What these images don’t and can’t show is the upset, pain, anguish and suffering that a woman may be going through when she has an abortion. Getting an abortion is not something any woman would choose to go through. An unplanned pregnancy is highly stressful, and for many it is humiliating evidence of a failure in judgment. And what about all of the other scenarios in which a woman may have an abortion? Rape. A serious medical condition affecting the foetus. A serious medical condition affecting the mother. A serious medical condition affecting both!
If I am ever fortunate enough to be pregnant again, I know that abortion would be torture for me. A torture which may be in the best interests of both me, the foetus and Cygnet. Depending on the circumstances, abortion could be the only sensible option.
By publicising these images, by harassing women outside of abortion clinics, by spamming my Facebook feed, anti-abortion campaigners are wielding the weapons of torture.