An “all-singing, all-dancing comedy cabaret show” about having multiple abortions has drawn criticism for trivialising the subject.
Comedy show All Aboard! At Termination Station has been taken to the Edinburgh Fringe festival this summer.
Billed as an “autobiographical comedy cabaret about abortion”, the show tells the personal stories of the playwright’s own abortions.
Encouraged to normalise and laugh about abortions
The play is written and performed by Lilly Burton, an executive committee member for the group Abortion Rights UK. She describes the show as “my campaign to normalise and destigmatise abortion” and shares that she should be able to laugh about her abortions.
Burton has also worked with Abortion Rights UK to organise a fundraiser called All Aboard! Abortion Rights to allow the organisation to create workshops aimed at young people to “smash abortion stigma”.
Performer claims there is no victim in abortion
When speaking about her performance, Burton said that she wanted to show an account of abortion where there is “no victim” but which was “honest and fun”.
Over 10 million abortions have taken place in the UK since 1967. In addition to over 10 million lives lost to abortion, many women have shared their painful experiences of abortion. Disability campaigners have also spoken about the discrimination they face as a result of the UK’s approach to abortion.
Abortion prominent theme at Edinburgh Fringe
Several other shows at the Edinburgh Fringe festival also focus on abortion. One, Jane/Norma, explores the life of Norma McCorvey, known as ‘Jane Roe’, the plaintiff in America’s Roe v Wade case that led to the legalisation of abortion across all states in America. Other stand-up comedy performances take aim at pro-life views, encouraging viewers to “laugh at arbitrary religious teachings” and branding opposition to abortion as “control”.
Abortion is “no laughing matter”
Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said “It is deeply sad that we live in a society that has trivialised abortion to the extent that so-called comedies are being made about the ending of the lives of multiple babies in the womb”.
“Whilst such shows are aimed at normalising abortion, it is clear that the public remains deeply concerned about many aspects of abortion. Polling shows that 70% of women believe that the UK abortion time limit should be reduced. 79% of the public support the introduction of a five-day cooling-off period to ensure that a woman considering an abortion has had enough time to consider all of the options available to her”.
“These figures remind us of the fact that abortion is no laughing matter”.