One in three women will have an abortion in her reproductive lifetime, and most of us know a woman who has decided to end a pregnancy. But 45 years after abortion was made legal in this country, myths still exist about the kind of women who have abortions. In fact, we all know the kind of women who have faced unwanted pregnancy and decided abortion is right for them, for reasons as individual as they are. They are mothers, daughters, sisters and friends.
Unwanted pregnancy is not just a young woman's problem - it can and does affect any woman at any stage of her 30 year reproductive lifespan. There are many reasons why a woman may find herself with an unintended pregnancy, from contraceptive failure to misconceptions about her own fertility, and many tragic cases where a much wanted pregnancy can no longer be carried to term. Sadly in the last two years there's been an upsurge in anti-abortion activity, both at a parliamentary level and outside abortion clinics across the country by those who show little understanding or empathy for women or respect for their decision-making.
Women need to be able to make these choices without banners being waved in their faces by those opposed to abortion, or being made to feel that they are thoughtless, irresponsible or selfish.
Mothers, daughters, sisters and friends – the women in all our lives deserve to make decisions about their pregnancy free of stigma, judgment and harassment.