I am pro-choice. To me, that means that I believe that it is a woman’s right to decide what happens to her own body and that abortion should be legal, safe and accessible. Women should be able to make the choice about if, and when, to have a child in the same way that they are able to make many other choices about pregnancy, childbearing and parenting. This should not be limited only to instances when the woman’s life is at risk from the pregnancy, but at the same time, shouldn’t, and I believe isn’t, treated lightly.
I think that this understanding of abortion has become common sense and what many people my age understand by the term pro-choice. Where I think my generation’s approach to these issues perhaps differs from previous generations is that, for the majority of people my age, abortion is not considered be an ongoing political issue that still needs to be fought for.
I think that this lack of engagement with abortion and being “pro-choice” in a political sense has been a consequence of abortion becoming, quite rightly so, an increasingly accessible service. We see abortion as an automatic part of healthcare provision, and as a result it can be taken for granted. Access to abortion services are considered the norm and thus not a political issue. Consequently, I don’t think that many people my age actually give much consideration to, or know much about, the details of how or who provides these services until they perhaps require them, and I imagine many in England do not realise that girls their age in Northern Ireland face a very different situation. In the same way, they know little about the actions and behaviour of pro-life campaigners, or instances such as the MP Nadine Dorries’ attempts to reduce the time limits for abortions - however when I talk to my friends about things like this they are concerned.
I do believe that if access to abortion was seen to be challenged or jeopardised that myself and my peers would feel extremely strongly about it. We are a pro-choice generation, and we would be quick to try protect it in the same way as if any other fundamental right was being threatened.