I had never heard of the singer Viv Albertine until earlier this week, when I read on Hollywood.com that her abortion in 1978, when she was pregnant with The Clash guitarist Mick Jones, has haunted her for decades. My heart went out to her. In her new book, “Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys,” Ms. Albertine wrote about her 11 subsequent attempts at in vitro fertilization, her two miscarriages, giving birth, finally, in 1999, and her lingering abortion regret.
“I didn’t regret the abortion for 20 years. But eventually I did and I still regret it now. I wish I’d kept the baby, whatever the cost. It’s hard to live with.”
But her next quote tempered my sympathy. The right to choose, she said, “cannot and must not be ever taken away from us.”
After 36 years of abortion regret, she still thinks women must have the right to choose? To choose what, exactly? A lifetime of regret? Infertility? Difficulty carrying a pregnancy to term? In my book, “Recall Abortion,” I delve deeply into all the health problems that can be the direct result of an abortion – including, too often, death. Abortion is not health care. It certainly didn’t make Ms. Albertine healthy, emotionally or physically.
Why is it vital to keep this terrible choice available to women?
If we really want to be pro-woman, we would help friends facing an unexpected pregnancy in meaningful ways. We could ask how we can help, what they need. We could direct them to pregnancycenters.org to find a pregnancy resource center equipped to help with everything from financial resources to a place to live, to job training. We would discuss making an adoption plan with them. We would go to the first ultrasound appointment, and be thrilled to see the flashing light that is the baby’s heartbeat.
It’s been more than 10 years since I co-founded the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, and in that time I have met hundreds of women with the courage to say they regret their abortions and then work to bring about an end to abortion. They want to warn women that this particular choice comes with consequences that can’t be fully understood until it’s too late.
Ms. Albertine knows that herself. Why would she want other women to suffer the way she has?