Almost 50% of pregnancies in the United States are unintended and, in 40% of those, women chose to end their pregnancies. Whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, the fact is many women choose abortion–nearly 1 in 4 women had an abortion in the US last year. And yet abortion rarely shows up in our books, our movies, or our TV shows. There are exceptions, usually on cable TV. But in general, this part of women’s lives is rarely shown.
This is especially true in romance. In romance novels, keeping a baby is almost always the only option protagonists consider and losing a baby is almost always seen as a tragedy. Many a plot is propelled by failing birth control or unprotected sex and, when a heroine discovers she is pregnant, the reader knows that baby is here to stay.
Publishers and corporations know that presenting abortion as a valid choice is likely to lead to angry and vocal protests and boycotts from those who believe that abortion is immoral. And yet, if this is an experience shared by so many women, why can’t we tell stories about it that allow for that possibility? Especially with the existence of RU-486, the so-called morning after pill.
What do you think? Have you read any romances that deal sympathetically with heroines who’ve chosen abortion? Would you like to see storylines that include it? And, please, in the comments, be kind to those who see this issue differently than perhaps you do!