The requirement to have an abortion to make it as an actress may not be explicit, but that doesn’t make it any less real – the stories of Milano, Jamil and Williams demonstrate as much. Hollywood is one of those industries where motherhood and pregnancy are poison to a woman’s career. The studios have ingeniously managed to hide their exploitation of women under the very mantle of women’s rights.
By dodging the question of the morality of the abortion and focusing exclusively on the law – and in particular on a particular legal regime involving punishing women – people who talk about ‘forced pregnancy’ are subtly but effectively shifting the ground onto territory that favours them at the expense of having a conversation about the central issue: is abortion right or wrong? Everything else, including your attitude to the law, should be discussed once you’ve decided what you think on that critical question.
When a UK court rules that an intellectually disabled woman should be forced to have an abortion against her will, where is the pro-choice outcry?
Sometimes being right is just as devastating as being wrong. This is how pro-life people felt on hearing of the tragic Holles Street case.
This is one example of what an intellectually honest defence of abortion looks like – and the problems it runs into.
We cannot let ideological purity become more central to the pro-life movement than the practical effort to save lives.
‘It was like watching someone artificially inseminate a cow’. This is how my husband described my induction to my sister and brother-in-law, when I was giving them a blow-by-blow account of my labour and delivery while they enjoyed their first cuddles with their niece, whom I had given birth to 18 hours previously.