Next week is National Pro Life T-shirt Week and as you may have gathered at a quick glance, I have an opinion. For those of you who don’t know, the pro-life movement is a political and social movement focused chiefly around opposition to abortion, and support for the legal banning of elective abortion. Abortion is a subject which divides the majority of women regardless of upbringing and experience. Most women in there 20’s know somebody who has had to make a hard decision, and I whole heartedly believe it should be supported not discouraged.
I’m proud to be pro abortion, and in being so, I’ve decided to put a spin on this week by offering a different perspective on the ‘pro life’ terminology; in fact, I’m reclaiming it bitches.
“Pro life” can be used in a variety of contexts, and I’d rather support a movement which encourages positive change, like To Write Love On Her Arms. TWLOHA is a non-profitable movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. It exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.
In 2006 I had little knowledge of the UK’s mental health care system. Fast forward a couple of years and I’d witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly. How therapy can work, how anti depressants cannot. How a phone call can provide a life line, or sever all ties with hope. I’ve sat in the inner circle of a mental health ward and discovered how different treatment is for young people. Abbreviations such as 5150, MDD and SNRI were introduced into my vocabulary as I witnessed struggles with anxiety, eating disorders, self harm and attempted suicide. I’ve seen how hard living with manic depressive disorders such as bipolar disease can be, for both the sufferer, the family and the friends.
It took a long time to let go of a friend who needed more help than I could physically and emotionally give. Thankfully, she eventually got the real support she needed, and I was lucky enough to have my own safety net in the shape of the people I worked with and lived with. They saved me in a way that I couldn’t save her. This week I’ll be wearing my TWLOHA t-shirt with pride and with respect for those brave enough to support their family and friends.