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To think the novel 'Room' is a powerful pro-life statement?

(267 Posts)
NationalTruss Thu 09-Jun-11 00:01:19

I've been pondering this ever since the recent AIBU abortion thread where the argument ended up boiling down to whether abortion was ok if the pregnancy resulted from rape.

I was quite horrified, actually, by the number of people who thought that the one poster who was anti abortion was beyond the pale and didn't have the right to her opinion.

It occurred to me that the novel 'Room' gives an interesting insight into the debate, because we are given an insight into the horrific world of the incarcerated rape victim -- whose child gives her a reason for living and without whom she doubts she would have survived.

Obv it's only a novel and I doubt that was the author's intention. But it's interesting to me that, although the obvious reaction would be to think that 'of course' abortion is the right answer in the case of rape, good can come out of evil.

Ok, shoot me down in flames.

InTheNightKitchen Thu 09-Jun-11 00:06:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NationalTruss Thu 09-Jun-11 00:07:17

Yeah, fine, not so easy for the other person in the equation.

RitaMorgan Thu 09-Jun-11 00:08:34

I haven't read the book but...

... abortion is the right answer in the case of a woman not wanting to continue a pregnancy. Regardless of how that pregnancy came to be.

amarone Thu 09-Jun-11 00:12:25

Who wrote 'Room'? I would like to read it.

NationalTruss Thu 09-Jun-11 00:12:50

The point is, though, that it's not just about the woman. There's another person involved, namely, the baby.

JaneFonda Thu 09-Jun-11 00:13:39

I'm certain that wasn't the author's intention - and anyway, a novel based around the idea of captivity is definitely not an effective pro-life example.

The point that I think you're trying to make is somewhat warped by the fact that if it weren't for her son being born, she would have been entirely alone, with no contact with civilization; certainly not the case for the vast majority of rape victims.

However, that being said, there are cases where rape victims have kept the baby and, you're entirely right, good has come out of evil. I just don't think this book was trying to say anything of the sort.

NationalTruss Thu 09-Jun-11 00:14:00

Emma Donoghue (sp?)

It was shortlisted for the Orange prize so was on my mind.

Great book despite the harrowing subject matter btw.

InTheNightKitchen Thu 09-Jun-11 00:14:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JaneFonda Thu 09-Jun-11 00:14:31

Amarone, it was written by Emma Donoghue, it is a fantastic book.

RitaMorgan Thu 09-Jun-11 00:16:20

There isn't a baby in the case of abortion though, no baby has been born.

amarone Thu 09-Jun-11 00:16:57

InTheNightKitchen, I think you might need therapy?

NationalTruss Thu 09-Jun-11 00:17:39

JaneFonda, as I said, I doubt that was the author's intention. And of course, it's a very unusual scenario (thank goodness).

I suppose another way of looking at it would be, how many people who go through with an unplanned pregnancy regret it? What about the children involved? How many adopted children wish their mothers had had them aborted?

RitaMorgan Thu 09-Jun-11 00:19:27

There must be few things worse than being an unwanted child.

InTheNightKitchen Thu 09-Jun-11 00:21:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NationalTruss Thu 09-Jun-11 00:23:02

My question was, how many initially unwanted pregnancies stay that way?

RitaMorgan, just because the baby hasn't been born doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Try telling that to the women in the early pregnancy unit who are in pieces because they think they might be losing their baby.

hester Thu 09-Jun-11 00:23:13

Emma Donoghue mentioned this interpretation in an interview I wrote. She certainly didn't intend for it to be a pro-life novel.

I think we are really missing the point in trying to argue whether women should or should not terminate pregnancies conceived through rape. It is their choice, surely. Of course some women may want to continue the pregnancy, but do you think that a woman who has already had the right to control what happens to her own body so grossly violated should then have her right to self-determination violated all over again?

Room is a fantastic, powerful book, I think. A very interesting study of psychological survival; slightly bizarre to see it in any way prescriptive.

NationalTruss Thu 09-Jun-11 00:25:59

Inthenightkitchen, not at all -- in fact as a victim of abuse myself (though not rape) I have some insight into this.

Doing violence to someone who's already been a victim of horrific violence doesn't seem to me like doing them a favour. And yes, I am saying that the forceful premature ending of a pregnancy is doing violence.

hester Thu 09-Jun-11 00:26:40

Ach, I've been one of those women sobbing my heart out in an early pregnancy unit because I've lost a baby. I've also terminated a pregnancy. I see absolutely no contradiction between the two. ('Sleb' gossip: Emma Donoghue is a lesbian mother to two children, like me, and I love the way she explores the intense, passionate, often savage nature of motherhood.)

hester Thu 09-Jun-11 00:27:19

Don't you think that forcing somebody to undergo pregnancy and childbirth against their will is also an act of violence?

mrswhiskerson Thu 09-Jun-11 00:28:09

abortion is the right answer in the case of a woman not wanting to continue a pregnancy. Regardless of how that pregnancy came to be.

spot on , it is and should be every womans right to choose if she wants to carry on a pregnancy regardless of how it came about and no woman should ever be made to feel shame or guilt over it.

hester Thu 09-Jun-11 00:28:19

And anyway, the point is that it's not up to you! I'm not saying rape victims should have abortions; I'm saying I respect their right to take back control of their lives.

takethisonehereforastart Thu 09-Jun-11 00:29:23

The woman in Room didn't have a choice because she was locked up in a room by her kidnapper/rapist and had no means of having an abortion.

So perhaps it's a pro-choice novel, in that if the choice is taken away from women against their will then all women are all effectively held hostage to the pro-life statement whether they agree with it or not.

NationalTruss Thu 09-Jun-11 00:30:21

hester, I'm sorry for your loss.

I find it a bit odd, though, that when you wanted it, it was a baby, and when you didn't, it was a pregnancy.

QualiaQuale Thu 09-Jun-11 00:30:26

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

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