Sunday, 30 March 2008
The Gentle Genocide
A friend of mine just had a miscarriage. The statistics show that about a quarter of a million babies will miscarriage in one year in the UK. On top of that 17 babies are still born in the UK every day. And then there are terminations for abnormality .... and I don't even know the statistics for that. What I do know is that when you add it all up it's a lot of babies. In my mind I call it The Gentle Genocide. Because it is a genocide, a holocaust, a massacre, and yet it happens so quietly you never even know about it. And that's what's so strange - the fact that we simply accept this situation. Dead babies are taboo. They are not to be discussed in polite society. In the Twin Towers tragedy approximately 3,000 people died. Think of all the publicity, discussion, comment there has been about that. Before anyone gets angry let me say that I'm not comparing someone having a miscarriage to someone losing a relative in a terroist attack. There clearly is a very big difference. But what exactly is the nature of that difference? Do foetuses not count because you don't see them? Why are the 3,000 always talked about and the half a million never talked about? What is it costing us as a society to live with denial on such a huge scale? And how do we all keep getting up in the morning in the face of so much loss?