When I've shown my film to friends and to my lecturers, a common thing I've been told is that I'm "brave." That's something I can’t see from sharing the story of my abortion. I know a lot of people don't want to talk about abortion. I know when I've tried to talk to friends about it, even if just in a casual way (mentioning that I was pregnant or my time off last year) every person gets very awkward around the topic. Nobody knows how to react, as if me mentioning such a big thing I dealt with isn't alright, or I must be crying out for a deep emotional chat, I can't simply mention it as part of a story or a passing comment. (My favourite one that people don't know how to react to is when I mention that the smell of fried chicken made me sick during my pregnancy.)
Abortion is so common in most people’s lives now, out of my best friends 2/3 of us have had an abortion. Theres usually nobody I know that doesn’t know someone (other than me) who has had an abortion. It’s so common now yet still such a taboo subject, it’s nothing I’m ashamed of and it’s nothing I think anybody should be ashamed of. There’s quite a few subjects for women we’re bought up to feel like we shouldn’t talk about, or if we do we should feel ashamed about it and I don’t have time for that, if I didn’t want people to know about something I’ve done I wouldn’t have done it.
I have been very lucky with the support from my family and friends about this project and the abortion, but I'm also very aware that when going through an abortion you feel extremely alone, and sometimes a lot of people are. 1 in 3 women in the UK experience abortion yet I am still to meet somebody who doesn't clench up when I mention mine.
Abortion isn't something that women and girls should feel ashamed of, it's their choice for a reason, and they've done exactly that, made their choice about their body and it doesn't really concern anybody else.
Having such a taboo around the subject of abortion can lead people to feeling ashamed of themselves for doing it and this is something I won't let myself feel. There isn't a lot of times in life that you can say you're proud of yourself, and I am extremely proud of myself for having an abortion, still passing my 2nd year of university whilst having one, and dealing with the complications that came with my abortion, and for being able to share and raise awareness for the topic of abortion.
If I can speak about my abortion comfortably and openly then why shouldn't you be able to listen?