Carola Binney Carola Binney

Having an abortion means ending a life. Even pro-choice students should realise that

Last week, the Tab, an online student tabloid, published an article by an anonymous Cambridge student entitled ‘I shouldn’t have been aggressively reminded of my abortion at Freshers Fair’.

The author was complaining that she had been upset by a stand at the fair run by Cambridge Students For Life, an anti-abortion student society. The stall, she argues, had no place at an event that is meant to welcome new freshers, and was offensive to her personal choices.

Her article certainly offended me. Her own abortion, she tells us, ‘crosses my mind only once in a blue moon, and never tinged with regret’. It is clear that she considers abortion to be a feminist issue, akin to equal-employment rights or women’s suffrage:

‘I am a confident woman and assertive feminist. . . . I know my rights and I am proud to have utilised a resource we fought for centuries to obtain’.

She sounds as if she’s talking about taking the Pill, not terminating a pregnancy. They’re very different prospects: one prevents a life from starting, the other ends a life. This student may be misguided in discussing abortion in the same terms as contraception, but she’s not alone. It’s an attitude that is depressingly recognisable among my female peers.

The National Union of Students’ Women’s Campaign runs a yearly ‘Abortion Rights Student Conference’ in association with the pro-choice organisation Abortion Rights – a group whose campaign literature talks about the fact that ‘a third of women in the UK will have an abortion in their lifetime’, as if it’s a good thing. The Guardian’s Jessica Valenti wrote

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