Why is it that every portrayal of abortion on my TV screen is a negative one? Reality check... Abortions can be a positive thing too and considering one in three women in the UK have had an abortion, I would say there's a pretty high percent of the population who would agree with that.
I'm fed up of watching TV shows, particularly the soaps, Hollyoaks at the moment, portraying abortion as the world's worst thing to do. One specific character, Peri, is at secondary school - therefore under the age of 16 - and is going to abortion meetings with her school friend of the same age whilst her Romeo (baby Tom who has literally grown up on the programme) dramatically finds out about her decision and frantically tries to find her and change her mind.
First of all, not only is it highly unlikely that a teenage boy - even one as kind hearted and soppy as little Tom - would want his child girlfriend to keep a baby, but it's also pretty likely that in the real world, Peri would have an abortion. This portrayal of abortion being the absolute evil is so dreadfully closed-minded and old fashioned and quite frankly, pretty boring! Especially considering this storyline is coming from Channel 4.
The one and only soap I remember actually doing the 'abortion storyline' and portraying it as an acceptable thing to do, without the usual amount of shame, was Coronation Street with Tina Macintyre a good few years ago. She had an abortion because it was the right thing for her, David Platt - her then, punching-above-his-weight-boyfriend - went crazy, because of course, a kid who pushed his own Mum down the stairs and nearly killed her, would've had loads to offer a baby. Bravo, Corrie!
The soap Hollyoaks now seems to be following a similar storyline to Eastenders, with Eastenders' character Cindy suffering with what seems to be post natal depression after a teenage pregnancy and Hollyoaks' Peri struggling with the decision to have her baby adopted after birth. I must say, both of these storylines are far less realistic when looking at teenage pregnancy statistics than if the characters were to just have an abortion and be okay with it. Abortion isn't a dirty word. I know more women/girls who have had - or at least considered - an abortion, than I know people who have never considered it. That's not a fact to be proud of, but all young people can be irresponsible and at least we haven't had to suffer (what some might consider to be a fate worse than death) and can carry on with our lives and provide financial stability for any future children we do choose to have. Your uterus, your choice. Let's just show a bit more diversity in the attitudes towards the decisions these girls make shall we, soapland?