By Abigaïl Bassac
Translation Louise Thunin
On the social networks, the subject of abortion is a cause for confrontation between aggressive, militant pro-lifers, who speak of infant genocide, and extremist pro-choice feminists, who consider it ˝ a commonplace thing we can joke about.˝ A cartoon strip declares that we needn’t get wrought up over the 200,000 abortions practiced in France every year. Abortion is neither a genocide nor a joke. Women who want to abort do so, and when it’s illegal, they do so under conditions in which they risk their lives. Therefore, abortion has to be legal during the first weeks of pregnancy, in order to prevent women from dying. But that doesn’t make it a ˝commonplace thing.˝ I read on Twitter the following sentence written by a woman about to undergo an abortion : ˝I have no guilt at the thought of getting an abortion. Much more at the idea of missing work. LOL˝ Being absent from work is thus more serious than interrupting a pregnancy ? Of course it isn’t. That women do not carry guilt, preventing them from living normally afterward, is what one can wish for them, but taking this act lightly is not appropriate. A life in process that could have been will not be. There is nothing funny there to be joked about. If a woman wants to get an abortion, she has to be able to do so without undergoing the risk of blood poisoning. Not because her body belongs to her, no, for she is no longer really alone in her body, but because she needs to be able to evaluate whether she and the father can truly welcome the potential child into their world. This doesn’t make of the embryo an ˝alien,˝ ˝a pile of cells,˝ or ˝garbage.˝ It is the consequence of a sexual relationship, most often freely agreed to, and the beginning of a life, which is beyond our ken. An act doesn’t have to be emptied of meaning and weight in order for it to be carried out and responsibility for it to be assumed. In a period of time when entertainment reigns, it may not be pleasant to hear, but there are tragic aspects to life. Let us not blind ourselves but dare to stand up and face this reality, even if it frightens us. We are adults, free and responsible.