Is this The World's Judgiest Abortion Article?

Publish date:
June 8, 2012
abortion, Daily Mail, judgement

We've spent some time lately on this site arguing over the proper tone for discussing abortion. I think we can all agree, however, that this is not it.

Yesterday's Daily Mail article about a woman who had THREE abortions (yep, that's it) is so over-the-top judgmental that Jane and I keep cracking each other up by emailing each other quotes from it. (OK, mostly just this one: "THREE abortions!!!")

The author kindly gives Michelle a pass on the first abortion, since "mistakes do happen," especially "drunken teenage ones." But everybody knows mistakes happen once, ONCE GODAMNIT, and never again! Which is why:

"...Few could understand how Michelle, now 36, would go on to make two further mistakes, leading to two more abortions, when she should have known better (and admits she did). Perhaps most shockingly, the third took place when she was in a long-term relationship and already a mother-of-three."

That IS shocking! We go on:

"Now, in a move many will view as selfish, Michelle, from Surrey, has decided she wants another baby — although she fears her hopes may be dashed by her medical history."

Nothing more selfish than supporting a human life by pouring your all your physical, financial, emotional and mental resources into them from conception to adulthood! Which is why parents are so notoriously selfish, always lolling about at boozy brunches and spending extravagant amounts of money on their designer shoes.

I also like the strange decision to describe abortions this way:

"These are the babies Michelle ‘lost’ — not through accident or illness, but through her decision to have terminations."

I feel like I need to diagram this sentence to even understand the implication there. I think it's something like: "She lost them, but not really, because she killed them."

The worst part is that the judge-y intro leads to a lot of quotes from Michelle Underwood herself, who obviously feels extremely conflicted about her abortion history. Although she has valid reasons for each termination -- she was a teenager, she was a struggling single mother, her relationship with her partner was troubled, she'd just had a difficult pregnancy and given birth to a disabled child who required a high level of care -- she says the guilt at time became unbearable.

In fact, Michelle Underwood is conflicted enough about her own experiences that her words could have painted a very honest picture of the dark side of abortion. She's judging herself just fine without any help from the author, although I'm sure the finished article and subsequent comments will help reinforce her darkest thoughts about herself. Near the end of the article:

"The couple have been trying to conceive for more than two years now, but Michelle has so far failed to become pregnant for a seventh time. Some days she sees it as a punishment for the terminations."

Well, I wonder where she got that idea.