I was away for the weekend in Edinburgh - gorgeous place, makes me wonder why on earth I live in London - which was nice because I knew that said lowlife didn't know where I was so I wasn't looking over my shoulder all the time.
Back now and busy with interviews. There is a report out showing that just over 5,000 teenage girls and women had repeat abortions last year (i.e. their second or more). Now representing, as it does, less than a quarter of a percent of teenage girls and women in the UK, it seems to me the need for shock and alarm is being a little over-played by, ooh, who could it be? ... did you guess? Yes the pro-choice alliance!
Well what do the numbers tell us? Not much really. Either the number of unwanted teenage pregnancies is on the rise (which would be maybe bad, but not necessarily depending on the age of the teenagers and the consentuality of the sex and the level of understanding of contraceptive use - you know a nineteen-year-old in a happy equal relationship using contraception which fails doesn't worry me) or the percentage of teenagers who want an abortion succeeding in getting one has risen (and that would definitely be good - for them, their physical and mental health and their human rights).
I think any focus on the number of abortions taking place is just dumb. The right number of abortions is one for every woman who wants one. The factors which affect the number of unwanted pregnancies - things like sex education and services working to end rape and sexual violence as well as support for women chosing to continue their pregnancy - can and should be addressed. The number of abortions or repeat abortions or teenage abortions is just a number. Apparently last year it was a bit over 5,000. Excuse me while I remain calm.