Tag Archives: Abortion

Dear Nadine Dorries


This letter was actually written on Sept 1st 2011 in comments on Stavvers Letter to Nadine Dorries. But now I have this very suitable blog given that it is a letters blog to host it on I am posting it here:

Dear Nadine Dorries,
I am following the lead of @Stavvers and writing to you about the contents of my uterus. I think you might be especially interested in mine. You see it has a 21 week old foetus in it and I know how much you love foetuses. Sadly if my baby was born now it would be extremely unlikely to survive no matter how much you try and pretend that extremely premature babies have a fighting chance of survival as an argument for reducing the abortion time limit- they really really don’t. In the very low chance they did survive they be beset by health problems. I really really hope my baby stays alive and kicking where it is until full term- this is a planned and very much wanted baby.

We recently had our twenty week abnormality scan- we are having a little girl- as far as they can tell from the scan she has no abnormalities. I don’t know what our decision would be if major abnormalities were found and I am thankful we were not put in that position to decide but I am also incredibly grateful that we would have been able to have the choice and up to 4 weeks to decide (or possibly longer if needs be due to the situation).

I think you might be interested in the history of my uterus. I had a miscarriage at 10weeks once. We had had a scan at 6weeks- I saw a ball of cells with a flicker, the cells stopped growing after that and 3 weeks later I lost it. That was a planned and very much wanted pregnancy, I was absolutely devastated when I lost it. Where was the counselling then to support me through that- or even the support about my decision whether or not to actually have a baby? How come only women deciding whether or not to end a pregnancy have to have counselling? Seems a bit unfair really.

I also had an ectopic pregnancy recently- I lost my fallopian tube and nearly my life. Thankfully although ectopic surgery although still technically being a termination of pregnancy they are not subject to rules around two doctors approval or getting counselling- because if I had waited I would have died. Again no counselling was offered but eventually after a lot of pestering and a waiting list I was able to get 4 sessions through my GP. Why wasn’t it automatic in this case?

Actually as it happens I am far more traumatised by my pregnancy losses and a horrible birth of an extremely ill baby than any of the many women I know who have had terminations. Where is our support and counselling or don’t we matter because our babies weren’t able to be saved? I’m not sure why you are so obsessed with saving unwanted babies- why do you want to bring more unwanted babies into the world when every day wanted babies are lost- surely a more positive valuable use of your time should be focusing your attention onto saving them?

Although I am extremely fortunate not to have been in the position of needing to look into the possibility of having a termination, I still wholeheartedly believe that it is an essential option that needs to be available for all women to choose if they need it. Counselling should be offered but not mandatory for a woman if she requests it. It is essential that that counselling is impartial- but that’s the thing- it already is- what you are trying to implement will be to offer possibly extremely biased prolife counselling and delaying treatment. If I ever do need a termination of pregnancy (and I do hope I don’t but I recognise that no method of contraception is 100% safe- or do you suggest I abstain from sex with my husband for the rest of our lives so that we don’t get put in that position?) I would want that termination done as soon as possible- within days not weeks- for me personally I like many women would want a first trimester abortion and really before 9weeks gestation. As you know the abortion procedure is much less invasive and traumatic the earlier it is done. Delaying will cause additional upset where there needn’t be.

I think me and my uterus are very worried about what you are trying to do. Soon I will have two daughters. I hope that when they grow up their rights to access abortion are stronger and not weaker than they are currently.

Yours sincerely

Me and My Uterus.

Advertisements

Dear Political Baby


Dear Political Baby,

I’m kind of feeling a bit odd about taking you on a pro-choice demo on saturday and I think I need to ponder why.

I guess I did it because I knew the anti-choice lot would mostly likely be using children to make their point (and of course they were- no babies but about 4 or 5 clueless indoctrinated kids holding signs), and so I kind of thought well why not have a baby along to make my point, that my babies were my choice, but that I 100% respected and supported other women’s right to choose, no judgement.

As the anti-choice lot seem to be under the misguided apprehension that pro-choicers are all “heartless baby murderers”- UM we aren’t!, it kind of felt good to unsettle them somewhat with an actual baby on our side of the demo. I felt I needed to make the point that mother’s can be pro-choice too (read Dear Pro Choice Mummy for more info).  As although other demonstrators may have been mothers (I know a few were) it was not immediately obvious, but me I had the perfect accessory- you!

It was interesting having you along with me- I may have been being paranoid but as the only pro-choicer there with a baby (the only child on our side of the demo), the anti-choice lot were subjecting me to some pretty long cold evil looks.

I think with hindsight while I am happy to wear a “Mama for choice” placard- putting the “Baby for choice” placard on you wasn’t really fair. After all I don’t know that you will grow up to respect women’s rights (but I bloody hope you do!), and I do feel strongly that I bring you up to make your own choices about your beliefs and not force my own beliefs down your throat.   I think next time I might give leave off the placard on you.  I think as you and your sister grow up and if I take you on more activist stuff I think I will only let you hold banners/placards if I really genuinely feel you have sufficient understanding of what and why you are holding it, otherwise it feels a bit uncomfortable to me. But I do think bringing you with me on activism stuff is a fantastic learning experience for you as it was for me when I went on the Miner’s strikes etc.

However to be fair, there were other reasons I had to have you with me that day, firstly it wasn’t really fair to leave your daddy looking after both you and your sister, when he does that so often already so I can get some sleep, it was his weekend too and he needed a bit of a rest.  Also as I am breastfeeding you and you are currently bottle refusing again, so I really need to keep you close to me and if you weren’t with me then I couldn’t have gone to the demo at all.  Plus the added HUGE bonus of having you with me in a sling was that while everyone else was shivering away standing in the cold for two hours, I had my own personal hot water bottle. You and I were toasty warm for the whole demo! Yay!

Anyhow my dear political baby.  I hope you enjoyed your very first demo when you are only 15 weeks old, and I hope you will come on more of them with me (although it’s a shame that we are going to need to go on more. :()

I do sort of feel a bit bad about using you to make a political point but I reckon your presence had genuinely significant impact, so I don’t feel too guilty and hope you won’t mind when I tell you about this when you are older.

Lot’s of Love

Your MummyMarchingBootsCurd

P.S Your big sister and daddy made excellent refreshment providers, bringing us biscuits and drinks towards the end of the demo. Yum.

Dear ProChoice Mummy


Dear ProChoice Mummy,

I had a bit of a silly little wobbly today about my abortion letters going next to my baby letters on my bloglist.  There are reasons for this:

Two of the most horrific things said to me by pro-lifers about my pro-choice stance have gone too close to the bone.

“you support baby’s brains being cut out with scissors”

At the time of that one, I was in the height of PTSD from Oddler who was a forceps delivery with suspect brain damage, so understandably I was in absolute bits after that one. (However late term abortion (ie. when a foetus could be potentially viable outside of the womb and actually considered a baby) is LESS THAN 1% of ALL abortions, and usually only carried out in exceptional circumstances- more often than not when the foetus has a condition not compatible with life or a life without considerable suffering- and given a lack of doctors qualified in late term abortions in the UK, many late term abortions are now in fact inductions, therefore using such a horrific graphic statement as if it is FACT about ALL abortions is a deliberately vile tactic to try and silence people and scare people away from saying they are prochoice).

“Look your unborn baby in the eye once she is born and tell her you supported murdering of ones like her “

Said when I was 7months pregnant with Omble. 😦  This didn’t make me sad, this made me angry. Omble was incredibly wanted especially after I lost one of my fallopian tubes and thought I might never have another child.   To use my beautiful wanted baby girl to try and silence me from supporting other women and their right to choose what to do in a crisis pregnancy, really pissed me off.  My mummy hackles were raised and you know what?  I will look my beautiful girls in the eye and tell them I am so proud of them and how wanted they were and how that no matter what they always have a choice if faced with a crisis pregnancy and I will always support them. So there.

Having things like that said to you can shake your pro-choice convictions to the core, especially if you have ever been pregnant or had a child (for some reason I am way way more sensitive post children than I ever was pre-children- the stupidest things can have me in tears).   So I have worries about my stance as a Pro-Choice Mummy as I was pondering whether I need  to keep my pro-choice activism separate from my baby and toddler obsessed life, because I don’t want to invite such foul and vitriolic comments towards my beautiful and very much wanted babies.

Thing is that is EXACTLY what the pro-life movement are banking on. They want to guilt mothers into not standing up for abortion rights, because if they are “good” mothers they shouldn’t be advocating “killing innocent children”.  Arguments about when life begins aside, abortion is actually statistically safer for a woman than pregnancy and birth (link), and pregnancy and motherhood is the hardest and most difficult thing I have ever experienced, and I desperately wanted my kids- I would never in a million years want a woman to be forced to go through with that experience unwillingly.  All that can create is desperately unhappy unwanted children/mothers or worse.

So I am writing to you dear Pro Choice Mummy to remind you to be proud in your pro-choice convictions. It has absolutely no bearing on you as a mother apart from maybe making you even more empathetic and compassionate.  Stand up for what you believe and bring your bumps, babies and toddlers along with you on your pro-choice marches so they can learn about the importance of fighting for their rights from a young age (especially bring ones like Omble as she is the master of the dirty protest! ;)).

ProChoice Mama’s don’t be silent, stand up and shout!

Lot’s of love

LadyProChoiceMother&ProudCurd

Dear Abortion Act


Dear Abortion Act,

For 44 years you have been granting women access to safe legal abortion and for that I salute you.  I think you dramatically need updating but currently you enshrine a woman’s right to choose in legislation and we need to celebrate you.

Next Saturday The Society For The Protection Of The Unborn Child are planning pro-life vigils in 50 towns across the UK (see here), including my home town.

I propose in each of those towns we hold a counter pro choice vigil celebrating 44years since an end to botched back street abortions.

What do you think?

Love

LadyProChoice&ProudCurd

Dear Marching Boots


20120406-000525.jpg

Dear Marching Boots,

I am polishing you off. My wonderful dad got me into protesting from a young age (see photo below of me on the Miner’s strikes in the 1980’s. My claim to fame is mini me met Arthur Scargill!)

A few months before he died, I was telling my dad about the Dorries amendment and he went mad- I was so surprised- I never had him down for a pro-choice activist but he got him and all his pensioner friends writing letters to their MP’s. It was brilliant and inspiring. He told me “LadyCurd, a woman’s right to choose is something I will always put my marching boots on for.”

And so for my dad, for my rights and my girls, and for women, I am getting on my marching boots:

Step one- the wake up call- a letter to UK abortion rights.

Second step- Joined Abortion Rights- The National Pro-Choice Campaign.

Step Three- Signed this petition to get rid of the second doctors signature.

Step Four- wrote this and supported organising a counter demo celebrating 44years of access to safe legal abortion in my home town.

Step Five- Attended counter demo with Omble which was sucessful. “Honk if you support a woman’s right to choose” got lots of honks and lots of cheers. My marching boots of choice were a very fetching pair of black and white wellies as it had been raining that morning.  Of course it didn’t rain all demo and I looked a twit in my wellies in the centre of town holding my #umbrellaforchoice (an umbrella with lots of prochoice slogans pinned to it).

Step Six- Wrote this to women (&Partner’s) who regret their abortion and this to my political baby

Am going to add to this letter as I march my other steps although for various reasons not all will appear here as in some cases I might need to be an “abortion rights ninja” *cryptic face*

Lots of Marching Stamping Angry Love

LadyTheseBootsWereMadeForMarchingCurd

Dear UK Abortion Rights


Dear Abortion Rights,

Until about eighteen months ago I think I took you completely for granted. I thought you would be there if I ever needed you but hoped I wouldn’t find myself in the position to need you. Then I joined Twitter and my eyes were really opened to the precarious position our abortion rights are in. It started to scare me.

Then I had an unplanned pregnancy- at that time I was in the depths of PTSD and tokophobia from my first incredibly traumatic birth and felt completely and utterly terrified about continuing with that pregnancy. For the first time ever in my life I started consider my options about terminating the pregnancy, my head was spinning but I felt completely unable to go through the horrors I had experienced last time again. I only considered it for less than 24 hours as by then I had started to lose the pregnancy- it was ectopic. I have to be very honest here- I was relieved- the choice was taken out of my hands. I didn’t have to make that incredibly hard decision, but in that time my eyes were opened into what a difficult and traumatic decision it can be. (I subsequently sought help for my PTSD and went on to have my very much wanted and cherished Omble)

With the ectopic pregnancy I was rushed to hospital and my ruptured tube and the ?growing ?living embryo was removed. Obviously no embyo can survive that procedure but not having the operation would have resulted in my death, I was already bleeding internally by the time we sought treatment, who knows if the embryo was still alive by that point. Thankfully most anti-abortioners are “okay” with ectopic surgery as they see it that the removal of the tube is necessary to the survival of the mother and the embryo death is a by-product of that- ie. the embryo was not deliberately killed (but this gets into a confusing arena when methotrexate is used to treat the ectopic pregnancy and try and save the woman’s fallopian tube and thus preserving her fertility). I shouldn’t have been surprised or upset to discover there are some extreme anti-choice zealots who would prefer to see a woman and her unborn child die than save the life of the woman because in doing so causes the death of a precious embryo and it’s “gods will” afterall, an embryo that has zero hope of survival without its “host”.

From then on I started to realise there were a million different reasons why a woman might need to end a pregnancy (including these reasons which made me cry), and although sometimes I used to judge reasons as being “good or bad” reasons to have an abortion, I am now of the opinion that it is a decision that no woman enters into lightly and it is none of my business about her choice other than that I 100% support her right to choose. I cannot judge, for I am not her or going through her experience.

Since then I started to see more and more attacks on our abortion rights and I’m now getting really worried. There is so much chip chip chipping away that they will slowly but surely be eroded. Abortion has been legal since 1967 but that law really needs a massive overhaul but not in the way anti-choicers would want but in a way that gives women more autonomy over their bodies. Why should it need two doctors to sign off on the procedure anyway? surely once a woman has made her informed choice that is what she is doing the only consent signature that should matter is hers? Also the way the law currently stands and the recent negative media furore means that new doctors are now being deterred from becoming involved in abortion services. This really scares me- and is exactly what the anti-choicers want- reduced access to abortions meaning more women being denied their choice and forced into continuing with crisis pregnancies with no thought or care for the long term impact on such an unwanted child born into such circumstances. 😦

The right wing media currently seize on any abortion story and whip people up into a frenzy about it without looking at the background to the issues and the underlying anti-choice motives behind such stories. For example:

  • We have had the counselling amendment attempted to be made law (anti-choice tactic to disturb access to abortion- unbiased counselling is already available to women who want it),
  • We have had the sex selection issue re. Doctors “breaking” the abortion law even though according to the letter of the law no doctor broke the law (link)
  • Andrew Lansley recently ordered the care quality commission to carry out spotchecks that found that 1in 5 abortion clinics were breaking the law (re. two doctors signing the paperwork). This report was politically motivated and cost a huge amount of money- taking CQC away from their actual necessary work. This is subject of awesome analysis by my pal @sarahditum (link and link)

Seriously Britain wake up and smell the chipping away of your rights. The Anti-choice movement in states has parts of the US in a stranglehold where women in a very vulnerable position are being horrifically violated by a transvaginal ultrasound (a completely unnecessary medical test) before they can terminate the pregnancy, resulting in women being put in devastating situations like this. There are women being forced to carry dying babies because of laws preventing putting a humane end to the baby’s life and causing the mother untold mental anguish & toment (link). This is absolutely disgusting, and don’t be complacent and think it couldn’t happen here- the Anti-choicers are increasingly using US style tactics to try and erode the existing rights we do have.

I’m genuinely scared and angry about these constant attack on the abortion rights we do have. I may never need to utilise my abortion rights, but I am not naive- I’m pretty fertile (four pregnancies so far) and sexually active with potentially another 15 or so fertile years in me and no method of contraception is 100% effective (I will get sterilised once I am 100% sure my family is definitely complete but for now that is not an option). I am in a fortunate position that another unexpected pregnancy would not necessarily be the end of the world for me but it’s not just about my rights- face it 1 in 3 women will have had a termination before they are 45 and what about the abortion rights for my girls in the future? Like many mothers I hope they never face a crisis pregnancy where they need to consider their options, and need to make that incredibly difficult decision, but I’m really really worried about their future rights to access safe legal abortion. After all in countries where abortion is highly restricted there is barely any difference in abortion rate but a huge increase in unsafe abortion putting many women’s health and lives at serious risk (link).

So abortion rights- I am writing to tell you I am going to fight for you. Fight for me, fight for my girls, fight for my friends and for women I don’t know. I am scared to post this letter because it is a personal letter and I have seen some of the vile tactics used by the anti-choice movement to quell opposition but part of me standing up to fight involves me standing up and being counted.

And so I stand.

Forever fighting for you.

Yours LadyCurd.