It has nothing to do with you. – Anna Spargo-Ryan

It has nothing to do with you.

It has nothing to do with you.

Here’s a true fact: in 2007, I had an abortion.

That’s not the whole truth. In 2009 I had a second abortion.

I’m Anna, and I have had two abortions in my life. I also have two actual children who extended beyond my uterus. I had a miscarriage, too, so I have the full set.

I don’t need to tell you why. I’m not a pro-abortionist, or pro-death, or even pro-making-jokes-about-abortion. I am a person who thinks that abortions are a necessary part of a functional society. I don’t celebrate abortions, but I do celebrate our right to have them.

Which isn’t quite true either. What I celebrate isn’t being pro-choice (which is the closest thing to what I am), but being pro-it’s-just-none-of-your-fucking-business. What I am “pro” is being able to slide quietly into a clinic and close the door behind me, and not have to explain myself to anyone. Just me. I can make an appointment on the internet, and the only people who have to know it’s even happened are me and the doctors, and maybe the other women in the recovery room, and maybe a counsellor, all of whom also don’t have to explain themselves to anyone.

Here’s who’s not required to have knowledge of someone’s abortion:

  1. People who have fluked and tripped and shit themselves into being a Liberal Senator (which is akin to being that splash of bird poo right on top of the car that you can’t reach to clean off).
  2. Men who have never and will never have had to explain the decision to themselves.
  3. Other people.
  4. Anyone else.
  5. The entire population.
  6. God.

It is demonstrably untrue to suggest that criminalising abortion will prevent abortion. What it will prevent is the safe, private and shameless hour in a sterile environment that ends with biscuits and tea and no judgement. It will prevent a woman’s right to probably not bleed to death in her bed because her foetus was removed by an old man in an alley. We know that already, so let’s not pretend that’s being called into question.

What I hear when Cory Bernardi expels faecal matter through his mouth is not “You shouldn’t be able to choose to have an abortion”, but rather “You can’t make decisions appropriate to your life, even though you are well-informed, literate, a legal adult and lucid.” What I hear is “I also need to regulate what you can buy at the supermarket” and “I am going to tell you what television shows you can watch (and not even Call the Midwife, because you might get ideas about birth control)”.

Choosing to have an abortion is not necessarily a “more difficult” or “more likely to be wrong” decision than any other decision a person makes in their life. Parliament has no right to load it up with agency, but neither does a pre-abortion counsellor. It is not necessarily life-changing or life-affirming or positive or negative or harmful or happy or freeing or hateful or spiritual or wrong or right or bad or good. It is just a decision to be made by a person for a reason that is their own reason. Experiences vary. Outcomes vary.

There is no spectrum of the privacy of decision-making. I am no more required to share my process of deciding to have an abortion (two abortions) than I am my process of deciding to make spaghetti bolognese last night. I am pro-choosing-what-others-need-to-know. I am pro-privacy and -understanding and -quietness. I am pro-knowing-it’s-not-my-right-to-know.

Cory Bernardi is a rancid, hateful man who has no right–not just to control abortion, but to even know about it. Not because he is a man, or a Senator, or a neanderthal (though he is all of these), but because he is a person who isn’t me, and a person who isn’t another person making a decision for themselves in privacy. It has nothing to do with him, because it has nothing to do with anyone.

  • Cameron ellwood

    January 6, 2014 at 12:51 pm Reply

    Couldn’t have said it any better myself.
    Except I’m a bloke, and I’ll never have to make that decision.
    and it’s none of anyone’s business anyway.
    Cory Bernadi is a despicable human being who’s religious extremism is only surpassed by his arrogance in believing his moral compass is a pointer that others should be guided by.

  • bigwords

    January 6, 2014 at 1:03 pm Reply

    Yes Anna. No-one does. xxxx

  • talkingfrankly

    January 6, 2014 at 1:09 pm Reply

    Lordy me but you are righter than a right right righty thing. Well said. x

  • Judith

    January 6, 2014 at 1:38 pm Reply

    Standing on my metaphorical chair and cheering.

  • Ben

    January 6, 2014 at 4:19 pm Reply

    So after your first abortion you chose to continue to have sex despite the fact you were not ready to deal with the possible result of sex?

    Why isn’t your blatant selfishness, rather than the act that was necessary because of your selfishness, the issue here?

    • Anna Spargo-Ryan

      January 6, 2014 at 4:23 pm Reply

      Good question, religious nutter. Fortunately I have written above a whole article about why it’s none of your business.

    • Tom

      January 6, 2014 at 6:10 pm Reply

      Your a dick

      • Anna Spargo-Ryan

        January 6, 2014 at 6:18 pm Reply

        Cripes, I thought you were talking to me, and now I’ve ABUSED you! I really am a dick.

        • Tom

          January 6, 2014 at 6:25 pm Reply

          Haha no, it’s a joke that gets levelled at Richard Dawkins. The poor spelling is a windup.

          Seemed a good fit for Ben’s horrifyingly insensitive moralising dribble. Hey Ben, sod off, you repellent tiny-minded idiot.

          • Anna Spargo-Ryan

            January 6, 2014 at 6:30 pm

            This is my favourite comment of all time.

    • Naomi

      January 6, 2014 at 7:52 pm Reply

      Only have sex when you want to reproduce, eh Ben? Actually, please don’t answer that. You know why?CAUSE IT ISN’T MY BUSINESS. Just like it isn’t yours to have an opinion on someone else’s sex life. Or any part of their life, actually. if you don’t like abortions, don’t have one. Someone else’s life is none of your business, and it is intensely selfish of you to think that you have the right to judge anyone.

      Anna, you’ve said everything there is to say. Thanks.

      • Anna Spargo-Ryan

        January 7, 2014 at 1:16 pm Reply

        Thanks for your contribution Naomi; I whole-heartedly agree!

  • Allan

    January 6, 2014 at 4:43 pm Reply

    Excellent article. The antediluvian reactionaries of the right have long needed a good, old-fashioned FOAD, and you’ve delivered it. We’ll done, and thanks for sharing.

  • ladymidnight

    January 6, 2014 at 5:12 pm Reply

    Same situation as you – abortion, miscarriage & babies. And that is no-one’s business but my own! You are spot on about this misogynist, religious nutjob.

    • Anna Spargo-Ryan

      January 6, 2014 at 5:27 pm Reply

      Thanks lady(midnight). Maybe he’ll just get a little bit runover by someone.

  • Roxee

    January 7, 2014 at 1:41 am Reply

    I’m an atheist so don’t think any religious texts or the people that get their world view from these texts should be dictating to people who don’t have the same world view what is right and wrong. But, as many studies have now shown, atheists appear to know more about what’s written in religious texts than theis believers do. Clearly Cory is not familiar with his.

  • Gil

    January 7, 2014 at 7:36 am Reply

    Ah, so well-said. Whatever the reason, including that contraceptives of all kinds do fail, as do vasectomies (sis got pregnant after partner had the snip), it really is no-one else’s bloody business. And needs to be safe and private.

    • Anna Spargo-Ryan

      January 7, 2014 at 1:14 pm Reply

      Gil, it truly isn’t. And it isn’t even about Bernardi, or what he has said specifically, or what book he has released. All he’s done is reminded us that people still think they have a right to interfere with deliberate and personal choice.

  • Anna

    January 7, 2014 at 10:28 am Reply

    Oh Anna how perfectly you have written this. As someone who works in politics I wish I could publicly voice my absolute disgust at the Senator’s comments. For the record, I am Anna and I’ve also had an abortion.

  • Damn Wiggly

    January 8, 2014 at 4:20 pm Reply

    Oh, you wacky libertarian, you.

  • Jodi Gibson (JF Gibson Writer)

    January 15, 2014 at 7:42 am Reply

    Bravo Anna. Agree 100 million percent.

  • Tully

    January 25, 2014 at 7:31 am Reply

    Wouldn’t it have been kinder if you had aborted all your children?

    You clearly don’t love them and see them as an inconvience.

    • Anna Spargo-Ryan

      January 25, 2014 at 7:58 am Reply

      Tully, I’m genuinely interested in why you think I see my children as an inconvenience. Are you getting me confused with someone else? I have freaking brilliant, funny, clever daughters who are truly good company (if a little chatty first thing in the morning). I thought everyone knew that.

    • Luke

      January 25, 2014 at 8:11 am Reply

      Gee, for lovers of god some religious folk are so relentlessly nasty.

  • Tully_

    January 25, 2014 at 9:48 am Reply

    Maybe the little girls / boys you aborted would have been as freakingly brilliant, funny, clever, good company etc as the two that you kept.

    But they were inconvienent. Hope the remaining ones don’t become to much of a nuisance

    • Anna Spargo-Ryan

      January 25, 2014 at 9:58 am Reply

      Ah! In that case, see above for all the reasons it’s none of your business :)

  • Tully_

    January 25, 2014 at 10:16 am Reply

    The health and well being of your remaing two children is very much societies (and therefore by extension mine) business.

    Don’t hurt them.

    • Anna Spargo-Ryan

      January 25, 2014 at 10:19 am Reply

      The health and wellbeing of my “remaining” children is in no way under question or investigation, has nothing to do with this post, and isn’t something I’m interested in debating :) I won’t be responding to this again.

  • Tully_

    January 25, 2014 at 10:39 am Reply

    Yep just as all us regular readers / contributors suspected.

    Do DHS do welfare checks on long weekends?

    • Anna Spargo-Ryan

      January 25, 2014 at 10:44 am Reply

      Beg pardon? It is truly as though you have confused my life with someone else’s life. Between three parents who adore them, six doting grandparents and our other friends and family, my wonderful kids couldn’t be better provided for. It’s not that I don’t want to debate this with you, it’s just that there actually isn’t anything to say. It’s a non-issue. You are barking up the wrong tree. You are projecting. Something is broken in your logic board.

  • Luke

    January 25, 2014 at 10:49 am Reply

    I’m sorry that Tully exists. Anyone who knows you knows that you’re a fantastic mother.

  • Tully_

    January 25, 2014 at 11:04 am Reply

    “three parents” well there is your first cue that something is wrong.

    You say you won’t be responding again….. and then immediately respond. A personality trait of a fickled mother who chooses that only half her children get to live?

    • Anna Spargo-Ryan

      January 25, 2014 at 11:15 am Reply

      No, a person who is bored of misinformation and doesn’t want to promote it. If your problem is that I didn’t stay in a loveless marriage and now live with a man I’ve been with for seven years, then that’s really of no interest to me. If that is what makes you think my children are at risk, then I can stop worrying and thank you for your (misguided but earnest) contribution.

  • Tully_

    January 25, 2014 at 11:27 am Reply

    Loveless marriage but great parent.

    Sure whatever you say.

  • Judith

    January 25, 2014 at 11:46 am Reply

    What a strange, narrow world you live in, Tully, and what a bizarre, distorted place your mind is.

  • Tully_

    January 25, 2014 at 11:57 am Reply

    Judith why aren’t you concerned?

    Anna leaves a loveless marriage then enters into this great new loving relationship with another supposed ‘parent’ of her children. This loving wonderful man impregnates her and then they have an abortion. Not once but twice.

    Great modern family there Judy.

    • Tom

      January 25, 2014 at 3:48 pm Reply

      Fuck off, you pathetic weirdo.

  • Bam! Jig! Wee!

    January 25, 2014 at 3:34 pm Reply

    Trolling on the Sabbath, no less.

  • Judith

    January 25, 2014 at 10:17 pm Reply

    Why, Tully?

    Because it’s none of my business.

    (Also, I know the correct use of quote marks,

    and the passive voice,

    and when to mind my own business.)

  • Naomi

    January 26, 2014 at 12:32 pm Reply

    Tully, you are completely right, it is time to be concerned. Concerned that some random person on the Internet feels it is appropriate to passively aggressively suggest that DHS visit someone else because that random person doesn’t agree with someone else’s right to make their own reproductive choices. Concerned that some random person on the Internet feels it is ok to slander someone else’s parenting because they cannot see passed their own bigotry and narrowmindedness. Concerned that some random on the Internet feels it is appropriate to suddenly decide to speak for me, and suggest that I too agree with their outdated vitriol.

    So yes, Tully, I am highly concerned. But I’m not concerned about Anna or her children. I’m concerned about you, and the time and effort you are putting into trolling someone you don’t like, don’t agree with, and don’t want to listen to.

    (and no. DHS don’t visit people just because someone else thinks that having an abortion is evidence of bad parenting. How insulting to those children who actually need the support of DHs to suggest that you should use it just to cause trouble. Well done there, stellar example of cubberbullying for any children who may be looking to you for a role model.)

    • Anna Spargo-Ryan

      February 8, 2014 at 3:15 pm Reply

      It’s taken me a while to come back to this thread, but thank you Naomi, you have articulated it exactly. x

  • Angie@The Little Mumma

    February 8, 2014 at 3:08 pm Reply

    Brave and beautiful and just deeply, profoundly, THE FUCKING POINT.


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