What did we learn from this Panorama? Largely, that some people feel profoundly different things about abortion, but not much in terms of facts that would help us weigh these competing claims. Whatever you think about abortion, surely it's too important to be forced into the wonky framework of false balance.
The US based website Jezebel also covered the issues raised in the documentary in their typically frank and funny manner and suggested that the real question the documentary raises is "why can't we cut the bullshit and let the woman decide regardless of her circumstances?"
The brilliant Education For Choice released their report on abortion education in schools last week. It revealed that:
Some teachers and external speakers delivering lessons on abortion have been found to be using materials which are inaccurate, biased, and often stigmatise abortion as a pregnancy option... Young people responding to our survey of abortion education reported lessons which were distressing and left them feeling upset and confused.
The report was cited by Libby Brooks in her article for the Guardian highlighting the growing crisis in sex education:
It's an ongoing poverty of provision that is beyond baffling, when we know that evidence-based, relationship-focused, age-appropriate teaching, delivered by specialised staff, has been proven by decades of research to reduce teenage pregnancy and STI rates while developing young people's confidence to say no as well as yes – and to access the services they need when they need them.
There was also a very moving piece on Salon written by a man whose wife experienced a miscarriage:
As an expectant father, you quickly get used to being a bystander. You stand by when you announce the pregnancy to her family, and even when you announce it to yours. If all goes well, you stand by in the hospital room encouraging her to keep going, to push harder.
But you’re never more of a bystander than when you don’t see a heartbeat on the ultrasound monitor. That was the worst part for me, the utter helplessness, knowing that there was no way to stop my wife’s suffering, or my own.
And finally pro-choice campaigner Clare Laxton argued that supporting a woman's right to choose is an "inalienable facet of feminism"
Looking back through the history books and feminists’ many achievements, and the battles we continue to fight, securing reproductive rights and choice has always been a vital part of feminism. Having a choice when faced with pregnancy, and society supporting that choice, is a feminist way of thinking. We support women and respect them – there can be no other way.
We will be posting a round up every week so please do share any articles or blogs you find interestin via email or Twitter