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  • An abortion is your legal right: EVEN if it’s not after a rape or incest

    Of course Jacob Rees-Mogg is wrong but so is the way this story has been reported says GLAMOUR's Editor, Jo Elvin


    07 Sep 2017

    I’ve never been even faintly amused by Jacob Rees-Mogg. I’ve never had one half a second of watching him trot out his pompous schtick on Newsnight and Question Time and thought, ‘How delightfully eccentric’. I’ve always seen him as the embodiment of the toxic stereotypes thrown around about ‘the nasty party’. And now everyone else sees what I see thanks to his appearance this week on Good Morning Britain.

    Getty Images

    His views on homosexuality, abortion – and by extension the rights of 50% of the population – belong in the dark ages, not ushered to a cosy pole position on the green bench at Westminster, as is being tipped. But hey, so far so on-brand for 2017 and this journey back to the 1950s we all seem to be on – ironically, with the speed of a bullet train.

    But even though I’m heartened by the outpouring of outrage in the media, the way it’s been reported still betrays society’s real feelings on the matter.

    Almost without exception, the headline is: ‘Jacob Rees-Mogg is completely opposed to abortion, even in cases of rape or incest’.

    There it is, the use of that word that makes my blood boil: ‘even’. That seemingly innocuous word says everything about how ‘even’ the most right-on media outlets feel about this touchy subject. Yes there is plenty of discomfort around abortion and there probably always will be – especially when backward Victorian men breeze into the ITV studios on their pennyfarthings to dress up their misogyny as merely their noble devotion to their faith. (Like many, I’m wryly amused at the idea of say, Sadiq Khan getting the same free pass were he to say, about anything, ‘Hey, chill out, it’s just my religion talking').

    Abortion is a woman’s right under UK law – ‘even’ if you have one when you haven’t been raped. Only the woman in question has the right to choose and the right to her reason. So this ‘even’ business - where ‘good’ abortions are ones you need after your uncle has raped you and ‘bad’ ones are, well, apparently for any other reason – is a tacit acceptance of ranking and more unwelcome judgement of women’s decisions about their own bodies.

    So guess what? The reason for someone’s abortion is none of your damned business – EVEN if that woman just didn’t want to have a baby. EVEN if you are never furnished with the reason why.