The popular soap opera, EastEnders, has surprised viewers with a storyline in which a 12-year-old girl becomes pregnant, decides to have an abortion and then dramatically changes her mind.
In an episode at the end of last year, 12-year-old Lily discovered she was pregnant. Other characters were concerned she had been the victim of grooming but it was later revealed that the father of the baby was a boy of 12 whom she knew. Lily subsequently said she would have an abortion.
However, in an episode broadcast earlier this week, Lily reversed her decision and announced to her parents that she no longer wished to go ahead with the abortion.
“I’m not getting rid of it”, she insisted. “I’m having my baby”.
It was revealed that Lily had had a conversation with another character in the soap that caused her to think about the age and size of her baby. This made her have second thoughts.
“I’m having my baby”.
In response to the U-turn, one viewer wrote on Twitter “OMG Lily has changed her mind. She wants her baby. I hope she knows what she is doing. She is 12 years old and it’s a huge commitment”.
Another commented on the outburst of anger from Lily’s father saying “He should be supporting her not lashing out at Lily. It makes things so much worse’”.
Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said “Though this plot line does not present a good situation for a girl of 12 to be in, the show’s characters are honest enough to recognise that there are at least two people involved, the girl and her baby.
“In the show, as in real life, there is often a disconnect between the baby, who cannot yet be seen, and abortion, which would end the life of that unseen baby. But the fact the baby is hidden from view in the womb, especially early in pregnancy, does not mean that he or she isn’t there and that his or her life does not matter, as well as the life of the baby’s young mother”.