How UK tabloids saved Josie Cunningham’s unborn baby

UPDATE 4/29/2014: Josie Cunningham has reportedly now decided NOT to abort her baby after feeling it kick for the first time. While I’m thankful this means one unborn baby will be saved, my gut is now wondering if this story was just one big publicity stunt — albeit a sick one at that — fueled by typical tabloid furor.

Regardless, the story provides a unique window into the human condition, and for that reason I write about it. But as a result of this updated news, I have altered this blog post’s title and content from it’s originally published form.

It is also important to note that while UK tabloids have undoubtedly provided fuel to this story, Josie Cunningham’s original intentions and comments — as well as the public backlash — have been covered by reputable news outlets such as The Guardian, Huffington Post UK, and CNN. 

Our society by and large champions a woman’s right to abort. The prevailing sentiment is that a pregnant woman should be able to choose to end the life of her baby if it is determined to be inconvenient or unexpected. Furthermore, most pro-choice advocates affirm that a woman’s ambitions, regardless of circumstance, should be able to take precedence over the life of an unborn baby, even when there is no threat to the life of the mother.

Well, consider the case over the past couples weeks in the UK of Josie Cunningham —

Josie is a model who has been given the opportunity to appear on Big Brother. When she felt her 18-week pregnancy would hurt her chances to appear on the UK version of the show, and stifle her career plans, she declared her choice. When asked, she explained her rationale to The Sunday Mirror:

I’m finally on the verge of becoming famous and I’m not going to ruin it now. An abortion will further my career. This time next year I won’t have a baby. Instead, I’ll be famous, driving a bright pink Range Rover and buying a big house. Nothing will get in my way.

How could a woman use our culture’s much-championed “right to choose” for such horror you ask?

Oh well. I suppose her decision was just an unintended consequence, a “necessary evil” if you will, of providing this “reproductive right” to all women — whether they are the Josie Cunningham’s of the world chasing stardom, or the young business professional who decides a baby would get in the way of her climb up the corporate ladder.

But get this — the people in the UK, a pervasively pro-abortive culture, reacted in outrage and disgust with Josie! Well, you don’t say…

Public backlash on Twitter: One comment of many

Public backlash on Twitter: One comment of many

As this article explains, this reaction itself was both surprising and sickening. I encourage you to go read it, before continuing with my article…

Josie, with her original decision, simply expressed her desire to choose a right available to her, and the society that has guaranteed her that right lashed back. The blood was on their hands, so they sacrificed Josie in an attempt to cleanse their conscience.

Once again, the silver lining to this story is that the public backlash ultimately prevented this mom of 2 from using abortion as second-chance birth control to prevent a 3rd.

The original version of this blog post had some horrendous comments (which is why I turned off comments). One point that was made by more than one commenter was that Josie was “unfit to be a mother anyway”, so abortion was the best option in this case.

My questions to people that feel justified in taking away an unborn’s baby’s chance at life based on the baby’s mother is this: What gives us the right to declare a woman unfit for motherhood? Who is taking away rights of a woman now? You declare Josie is unfit to be a mother and don’t even give her a chance to prove you wrong. By the way, since Josie is already a mother of 2 do you propose the state intervene and take away those kids, as well?

Finally, do pro-choice advocates simply choose to ignore the reality that there are plenty of woman who can’t have children of their own who would jump at the chance to adopt any unwanted baby — whether it be Josie Cunningham’s, or the baby of any young woman who just wants to finish college before starting a family? Why does abortion always have to be the only “choice” presented to would-be mothers when they declare their baby unwanted or inconvenient?

In a follow up post, I may explore the “Top 10″ reasons for abortion, and what we can truly do about them. Finally, I may have my Pro-Life wife sign her name to that post because it seems men have “no right” to speak on this issue.