In Tuesday's episode of Loose Women, Katie Price made a statement that was always going to result in criticism. Speaking of her eldest son Harvey, who suffers from a rare genetic condition called Prader-Willi syndrome, as well as ADHD, blindness and autism, she said: "I was young when I had Harvey and I admit it: If I'd have known he was blind when I had him, as harsh as it sounds, I probably would have aborted him."
Her statement came as the panel talked about the realities of caring for a disabled child, and unsurprisingly, Katie's admission has been met with negativity, but what her courage and honesty really warrants is praise.
This isn't about whether you support Katie's sentiments or not. If her critics would like to unjustly label her a 'bad mother' then that's another matter, but the important fact here is that she's voiced an opinion that was always going to be unpopular, on a topic that's all too often left out of discussions both in real life and on the small screen.
Abortion is not an easy thing to mention. It's one of the very few topics that female friends often find themselves skirting around, and I don't need both hands to count the times I've seen it addressed on television or in film.
In House Of Cards, Claire Underwood's abortion admission comes a shock. I laughed out loud at Jenny Slate's Obvious Child - a film touted as 'an abortion comedy', though it was so much more than that - and the Girls episode that sees Jessa suspect that she's pregnant and book an appointment at the clinic is incredibly memorable. All of these fictional situations have rightly led to discussions and drawn attention to something that affects many women. However, they are exactly that. Fictional.
The lack of examples to hand prove that it's difficult enough to get a conversation about abortion into a hard-hitting drama, let alone a topical panel show (it's also tough enough to get a woman onto a panel show, but that really is a whole other issue). The fact Katie has gone on television at lunchtime and admitted that there is a situation that might have resulted in her choosing to have a termination is a Very Big Deal, and something to applaud her for.
Loose Women doesn't always get it right. When it comes to addressing sensitive topics, their track record isn't exactly glittering, but with this conversation and Katie's statement, they've cracked it. The mother-of-five used her own experiences to put forward a valid, honest and personal argument, that also speaks to other women, telling them, "it's fine to feel like this" and "it's also good to talk about it".
Her blunt delivery of the truth is also admirable. Where many would apologise for their thoughts or stare at the floor, Katie held her head high and took ownership of her comment, and refused to feel shame because of it. She left us in no doubt that she's a woman who knows her own mind, body and capabilities.
Katie will have expected the flack she's getting. Her years in the spotlight have taught her how the tabloids will tell this story but she went ahead and said it anyway. She knows how the media and Twitter work, and the backlash isn't going to shock her. We live in a world where 'abortion' is a word that's still whispered, and Katie deserves nothing but commendation for telling the nation what many of us wouldn't say to our closest friends.Suggest a correction