A headline with which I had empathy caught my eye in today’s paper (“I hated being pregnant”). It turned out that this was, perhaps inadvertently ,something of a pro-life message.
The former X-factor contestant and winner of I’m a Celebrity Get me out of Here, Stacey Solomon has just written her autobiography at the tender age of 21 in which she details her unplanned pregnancy, her struggle with post-natal depression and her rise to “fame”.
The following extract tells you everything you need to know about the state of sex education in the UK:
‘While I was there I felt sick a lot of the time. I thought I had a tummy bug. I had no reason to think I was pregnant because Dean and I had never had unprotected sex and I was having regular periods.’
It turned out she was still having periods due to low hormone levels. Despite the fact that she was experiencing classic signs of pregnancy, it did not occur to Stacey that she might be actually be pregnant because she hadn’t ever had unprotected sex. Whilst I am not going to suggest that it would have been better had Stacey abstained from sex, clearly she absolutely idolises her son, what is interesting is that her sex education had obviously included contraception, but had never mentioned that there might be any possibility of failure. She didn’t think she could be pregnant because she had been acting “safely.”
This is precisely what those who scorn abstinence refuse to acknowledge. If you have sex, you might get pregnant, regardless of whether or not you are using contraception. A condom has a typical failure rate of 15%, which means there are 150,000 unwanted pregnancies in the first year of use for every million women. To contextualise, using James Preece’s analogy, if a school nurse hands out condoms to 100 girls in her school, 15 of them will get pregnant in the first year. The effectiveness of the pill will also depend upon how the individual reacts to the type of pill that is prescribed, doctors tending to prescribe a generic pill unless there is any specific medical history. The pill being no protection against STDs. As I said in my previous post, the policy is indicative of a defeatist policy. “All young people are going to do it, they see their peers doing it, let’s make sure they do it safely”.
As Stacey Solomon and countless others will testify, there is no such thing as safe, risk-free sex. You have sex and unless one or the other of you have been sterilised, then you might get pregnant. This is the message that needs to be given to young people, rather than an attempt at risk management. Sex = chance of pregnancy, no matter how “careful” you think you are being.
Another horrifying aspect of Stacey’s story is that because it didn’t occur to her that she might be pregnant (presumably sex education doesn’t cover symptoms of pregnancy) she only visited her GP when she was 18 weeks who confirmed that the fetus was so developed that he could feel it. She visited a gynaecologist for an abortion.
“I saw a gynaecologist and was given a scan. The doctor turned the screen away from me but Mum was with me and I saw tears in her eyes.‘The baby was well-formed and 18 weeks old. Having a termination would be complicated and when the doctor described exactly what would happen I knew I couldn’t go through with it.”
Many pro-choice advocates express disbelief that abortions may be carried out for social reasons following 12 weeks. Stacey’s story is a perfect example of how the spirit of the abortion law has been twisted far beyond its original aims. Here we have a young woman, with a fully formed baby, so developed that the GP is able to feel it upon external examination, with no reason to abort her child other than the fact that she was 17 and had just commenced a course at college. If that is not a social reason, then what is?
It is a mark of our society that many people would feel that there is absolutely nothing wrong with a woman aborting a healthy 18 week old baby simply because it interfered with her future career plans. Her body her choice, although surely no-one in their right mind could argue that an 18 week old fetus is a woman’s body? A baby and the placenta do not comprise the same genetic material as the mother, therefore how a baby can be considered to be a part of the mother’s body, particularly at such a late stage in development is beyond me. As is the fact that anybody could feel that this is acceptable, that a mother has a right to kill her healthy fully formed child simply because it is inconvenient.
Even more disgusting is the fact that the gynaecologist turned the screen away so she couldn’t see her baby in an act of frightening manipulation. That’s not kindness or sensitivity, that’s an act designed to keep pregnant women in ignorance to steer them away from any recognition that this is a child, an unborn human life. Most pregnant women carrying healthy babies would not fail to be swayed by the image that they saw. This is why women considering abortions are never ever shown the ultrasound image, an act of denial which highlights the lie that is pedalled that this baby is not really a baby or is not human, being merely the “products of conception”, a term deliberately coined to dehumanise. If it’s a woman’s body, a woman’s choice, then why is she not routinely shown the ultrasound of her unborn child, in order to make her informed choice?
No doubt many fierce advocates of abortion would employ emotive language such as Stacey Solomon was “forced to give birth”. To a certain extent she was. When faced with the truth of the human life inside her, when faced with the reality of having to give birth to a dead baby, she took the only option that was available to her and continued the pregnancy which no doubt contributed to her depression both ante and post-natally. But as she testifies, she like many other women, came through it and is now devoted to her beautiful son, whose very existence has in no small measure contributed to her success. Her son will be enormously proud.
As for the issues of sex education, social abortions on demand and whether or not a woman considering abortion should be shown the ultrasound image of her unborn child, I think it’s time for a good old Blackadder quote:
‘If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.’