I’m sick of religious men carrying the torch for anti-abortion. Every woman in the world is entitled to have bodily autonomy. One only has to look at history to see making abortions illegal or harder to obtain doesn’t work. All it does is endanger women’s lives. If women are unable to obtain safe abortions, they will use dodgy quacks, buy drugs off the internet or self-abort with a coathanger.
I fell pregnant for the first time at 16 and my parents would have killed me. I would have been a victim of filicide and buried under a tree somewhere. Needless to say, I had the child aborted.
I remember that first abortion more so than the others. They made me change into a gown with ties at the back that showed my bottom.
Everything was blue – the walls, the floor, the nurse uniforms and my gown. I was blending into the establishment – a number, another girl in a blue gown who had got herself pregnant. I was no longer Vanessa de Largie but a statistic, a statistic that male politicians could use, to support their claim of the rising “termination of pregnancies” in Australia.
I lay there for days after my first abortion. I wanted to die, I really did. I found that staying curled up in a foetal position seemed to improve the cramping as my womb expelled large blood clots. It felt like someone was stabbing a knife into my ovaries and pulling it out slowly to repeat.
There was no light to be found in my body, just darkness and dredge. Abortion wasn’t personal or convenient. It was like sending a soldier to war, an animal to slaughter. It was merely hell but a chosen hell.
On the Right, you have religious blokes squawking about heartbeats and the murderous women who abort. On the Left, you have feminists who make out that abortion is as easy as changing a tampon. I think both sides are full of shit. Abortions are tough but they are a woman’s choice to make.
I’ll tell you what abortion doesn’t do:
- It doesn’t make women who have been brutally assaulted give birth to their rapist’s child.
- It doesn’t mimic patriarchy and seek to control the female body.
- It doesn’t enforce women to slavery — birthing, clothing, feeding and financing children they don’t want whilst simultaneously ruining their bodies and vaginas.
- It doesn’t treat women as walking baby factories but rather human beings with a right to self-determination.
I had my first abortion at 16 and my last abortion four years ago. They were often traumatic but birthing those kids would have been far worse. I’m not fit to be a parent; I can hardly look after myself.
If I’d birthed all those kids, I’d be a fat fuck on welfare now with a meth pipe hanging out of my mouth.
I did those kids a favour. I did the economy a favour.
The fact it’s 2019 and abortion still falls under the Crimes Act in NSW is beyond my comprehension.
As Margaret Sanger said: “No woman can call herself free who does not control her own body.”
Vanessa de Largie is a freelance journalist, sex columnist and public speaker who divides her time between London and Melbourne. You can find more of her work on her website.
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