It had plenty of warnings about content, but I pity anybody channel flicked onto My Foetus last night. My sister encouraged me to watch it in part because a friend of hers was involved in it. Initially I thought I wouldn’t watch it, but eventually relented, with the proviso that I’d turn it off if it was too disturbing.
It was very disturbing. Profoundly so. Some of the images shown were truly horrific. One had me wincing away from the television, unable to watch until it had gone. And one doctor’s description of his work was equally gruesome. It was the sort of stuff that could easily spark nightmares (and there’s something a tad ironic about disturbing programmes such as this having to be shown late at night just before bedtime).
But it was also compelling viewing, challenging the viewer with the stark facts, and encouraging people to weigh up the arguments both for and against, and make up their own minds.
My opinion remains something of a cop-out: I am pro-choice, but the realities of abortion are something I would find hard to deal with if ever involved personally. Late-term? No — a lower limit should be imposed except in extreme cases — perhaps 7 weeks. (12? 9? Not sure.) And contraception should be cheap, safe, quick and easy. The less people who have to make The Choice, the better.
To give this programme a thumbs up or thumbs down may seem crass. But it is remarkable film-making. Very difficult, confronting material to watch, but if you need more information to make up your mind about the issue, it could be very enlightening (maybe too much), and I thought quite even-handed. Certainly it should be compulsory viewing for anybody choosing to study, debate or legislate on the topic.