Monday, 26 March 2012

Music Monday: Ben Folds Five

There are worrying things afoot in the UK at the moment in relation to abortion rights.  This article from Saturday's Guardian outlines some of the attacks being made on a woman's right to have agency over her own body.  Therefore this Music Monday could be subtitled, 'Why having an abortion isn't the worst thing that's happened to me'. 

When the news broke that someone had hacked the British Pregnancy Advice Service, purportedly to 'expose' the names of women who have used their services, I was enraged.  Angry because, once again, here was a man supposing he has the right to sit in judgement over adult women and the choices they make about their bodies.  Angry because the coalition government - with their inclusion of pro-life organisations on advisory boards, and motions put forward by resolutely anti-abortion Tory MP Nadine Dorries that threatened abortion rights - have created a climate in this country which edges ever closer to that of America.  Mostly angry, though, because his actions presuppose that the worst possible thing to happen to a woman would be to have the fact of her abortion made public; that it is something to be ashamed of.

Well, I refuse to be ashamed of one of the smartest and most sensible decisions I made in my early twenties.  I was not - emotionally, mentally or financially - in any position to become a parent.  Having an abortion at 9 weeks is far from the worst thing that has happened to me and I don't ever, for a minute, regret my decision.  Was it painful?  Yes.  Do I still think about it sometimes?  Yes.  But I don't ever wish I'd made a different decision.  Most women keep abortion quiet and it becomes our dirty little secret (despite the fact that an estimated one in three women in this country have had or will have an abortion).  This in turn gives power to the anti-abortion argument that it is inherently mentally damaging and therefore we poor delicate women shouldn't be put through it: remove the choice and remove the 'damage'.  And make no mistake, the voices of people who would like to remove our choice are becoming ever-louder in the face of government and media tolerance, even encouragement.
To return to the music (after all, it is Music Monday): with lines like "she broke down, and I broke down," Brick is not a song that pretends abortion is all flowers and smiles, but it also doesn't express regret.  I've always liked it for that reason.


  1. so true, its scary whats going on here and in the USA at the moment with abortion rights.

  2. The song does express regret but it's not political. It's just about what it's like to go through the experience and how it impacts a relationship and an individual.

    1. Oh for sure, I would never ascribe political viewpoints to this song. I just (as I often do with Music Monday) used it as a hook from which to hang some musings and memories of my own.