Remember back when I reviewed Alison McCulloch’s excellent Fighting to Choose (which incidentally you must buy, and read, and encourage others to buy, and read, because it’s really really good) and I said:
Abortion has a long and dramatic history in NZ, but it’s not a history we talk about, or remember.
Here’s another example of that, from the ALRANZ blog. Three great contributors to the NZ abortion rights movement, whose efforts and beliefs and actions, which benefited so many people*, are just erased from history once they’re gone.
It’s almost like we can’t acknowledge their work because then we’d be politicising things, and as we saw in the backlash against the response of many people to the death of Margaret Thatcher, politicising a dead person is just about the worst thing you can do, even if their entire existence in the public consciousness is political. Even when their politics – or belief that an abortion is just a medical procedure which people should be able to undergo – is something they themselves were not shy about expressing.
On the other hand, it’s like we don’t want to talk about those past struggles. Because then we’d have to address those issues as they exist, today, for pregnant people in New Zealand.
Then we’d have to actually talk about people like this young woman who’s been left in the lurch by our healthcare system and urgently needs help to get to Australia for an abortion. (If you want to donate to help her there is a Paypal option as well.) We’d have to actually ask ourselves why someone needs to fly to another country to get a safe, straightforward medical procedure.
Don’t let the mainstream media deny us our history, and the reality we live in.
*Attention antichoicers: yes, this is a trap.