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Buffy the Vampire Slayer wants to have an abortion.

As Pro Life campaigns are hotting up both here & in the USA (1) Joss
Whedon has gone political and taken a side in the debate. In the latest
issue of his comic book Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy (2) gets pregnant
after a drunken night at a party and eventually decides to have an
abortion. Buffy doesn’t remember what happened at the party and is unsure
who might be the father, ooops! Buffy asks for support from her friend,
and potential father, Spike. She also seeks advice from another friend,
Robin, whose own mother had considered having an abortion before he was
born. She explains the reasons why she cannot have the baby; such as not
having a proper job, the possibility of becoming homeless & the fact that
she can’t even hold her drink well enough to remember who got her
pregnant.



What I think is great about the use of a storyline like this in a comic,
it is that it may target people who one day might face the dilemma of
having to decide whether or not to keep a pregnancy. This is a situation
that many women, young or old, might face once (or more than once) in
their lives.

The Pro Life Campaign group that demonstrates outside the abortion clinic
in Brighton every Tuesday and Thursday (3) has forgotten to listen to the
situation of the people who are facing a termination & the reasons they
might have for deciding to terminate their pregnancy. To me, as a woman,
the issue is not only whether to have or not to have the baby, but to have
the choice and not to feel shame for choosing to terminate an unwanted
pregnancy. Because who says that to have a pregnancy is the easy option?

I have spoken to some women who have had an abortion and none of them said
that it was such an easy option for them. They felt that to have the
choice of having a possible abortion, it was important, as made them feel
empowered to choose their future and they did what they thought was the
best thing for their unborn child. So, what were their reasons for
deciding to terminate their pregnancies?

Well, A.R said that she had an abortion because she could not afford to
have the child. “Without any money” she said, the possibility of providing
a future for that child was none.

O.C says that when she had one it was illegal in her country. She was just
20 when she found out that she was pregnant and without a job, proper
education and living in a country where single mothers were considered
“whores”. Having a baby was not an option. Her parents would not have
accepted her being pregnant and the possibility of becoming homeless was
very high. So, she thought that the best thing for the unborn child was to
have an abortion to prevent creating a life without much family support,
mainly because she did not know who the father was.

A.C says that she had a termination because it was the first time she had
slept with her partner and she got pregnant. Both were very young, in
their early 20’s, and they felt that they were not mature enough to have a
child or to have to live together when they did not know each other very
well.

C.D also explained that she was too young to have a child. She was just 19
when she got pregnant and she had to fly to Amsterdam to get an abortion
because it was illegal in her country. She had slept with the father for
just one night and she felt that that background was not the right one for
having a child.

The anti-abortion campaigners have also completely forgotten the
psychological side of having a child when one is not yet ready and/or one
is not in a relationship that is ideal.

B.R mentions how her mother did not want to have her. She fell pregnant
and due to the circumstances that she had her she was beaten up and made
to feel unwanted all her life.

O.C who also had a similar background, also states that her mother got
pregnant when she was thinking of getting separated. Due to her religious
beliefs, she went ahead with her pregnancy and O.C suffered the
consequences of that. She was beaten up very badly until the age of 18. As
B.R also believes, these were the consequences of having an unwanted
child. It is devastating for the child’s future, as the possibility of
hating that child, are higher than if the child had been wanted.

A.C says how her mother also suffered from being pregnant. When A.C’s
mother got married, her husband started to beat her up. This did not stop
when she got pregnant. He carried on beating her up. According to (4),
many women are beaten up when they are pregnant with the possibilities of
losing their child and/or damaging the foetus.

Anti-abortion campaigners believe that women who have abortions have a
very high chance of having mental illnesses afterwards (5). According to
(6) that is not the case. Personally speaking, when I worked in the mental
health sector, mainly in two local psychiatric hospitals for more than 6
years, I never met a woman who was mentally unwell for having a
termination. On the other hand I met many women who suffered from mental
health issues due to the unloving mother they had because, due to their
circumstance or religious beliefs, they were forced to have the unwanted
child.

Joss Whedon has created a new way of providing support to women who get
pregnant and do not want to have the child due to their personal
circumstances. Rather than judging them or telling them to have the child
it is our duty as human beings to provide support and choices for women
when they are deciding whether or not to terminate a pregnancy.

References:

(1) www.abortionrights.org.uk 
(2) www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/feb/10/buffy-tough-choice-joss-whedon
(3) www.abortionrights.org.uk/content/view/440/130/
(4) www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-violence-articles.asp?section=00010001002200010001&itemid=822
(5) www.telegraph.co.uk/health/8734378/Abortion-increases-risk-of-mental-health-problems-new-research-finds.htmlwww.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16094906 
(6) www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16094906

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