No, really.

It might sound far-fetched, but how is that any different than saying that I read an article that tells us about the situation around abortion in America. And the real reason that post 20 week abortions are necessary. 

I don’t know how many of my readers live in New Zealand, but I am privileged to do so. When I was pregnant with my son I developed preeclampsia, I ended up on the maternity ward. One of the midwives took me on a tour of the facility, and one of the most important (and heart breaking) things she showed me was a special delivery room for women who had to give birth to still born babies. I’ll never forget the moment she opened the door; it haunts me to this day 8 years later.

I am privileged to live in a country where I can go to hospital without worrying how I’m going to pay for it, and know that I will receive the treatment I need. We’re a small country, so there’s no guarantee that you won’t be transferred to another hospital. It happens all the time, rural  and small town hospitals often transfer their more complicated and specialised cases. But whether you are transferred or not you will always receive care.

As I write this my son is curled up on me like some sort of enormously oversized cat. Everyday he tells me how much he loves me, and that I’m the best mummy in the world. And everyday I’m grateful for the care I received at the end of my pregnancy. Good ante-natal care shouldn’t be a privilege in a first world country, it should be a right.

In New Zealand very few people talk about abortion, and I don’t think it has ever played a role in elections. It’s still taboo as far as talking about it goes, and of the handful of people with whom I have discussed it – not a one of them thought that a post 20 week abortion had anything to do with an unwanted pregnancy. And the cut off for termination of an unwanted pregnancy (here) is 12 weeks.

Sometimes things happen, and for whatever reason babies sometimes develop with severe deformities. Pro-lifers would tell you that a baby which has only a brain stem and no brain is alive, and I guess technically it is. But to quote Eep from The Croods: “That’s not living, it’s just not dying.” And she’s right, it’s not even surviving; surviving is an active verb, you have to do something in order to survive.