NRL News

“Artist” performs the story of her abortion: “I think She was a She”

by | Sep 22, 2014


By Dave Andrusko


Leyla Josephine

So…how far can the logic of “I am not ashamed of my abortion” go? NRL News Today has covered a plethora of stratagems, including killing your kid and uploading the video of his/her final minutes to the Internet. More than one reader wrote back that this is so obscene it can aptly be described as pornographic.

What else? Entire movies joking about offing your kid—“Obvious Child”—indeed turning the child’s death into a rite of passage in which the “obvious child” (the “too-young-to-be-a-mother” mother) becomes a more caring, adult-like figure by dispatching the bothersome product of conception to the great waste pile in the sky.

So not being ashamed of your abortion can also be defined as being so child-like that the woman cannot be held responsible for her behavior. (Not, as the director and lead actress of this “romantic comedy” would hasten to add, that there is anything to be “responsible” for in an abortion.)

There are many others but (thanks to Alanna Vagianos of the Huffington Post) we are alerted that the not being ashamed mantra may have reached reductio ad absurdum status. Last week Vagianos wrote about somebody by the name of Leyla Josephine, described as a “spoken word and performance artist” based in Glasgow, Scotland.

If you wish you can listen and watch Josephine. Be forewarned there are a couple of obligatory cuss words.

What can we say?

Her performance is not just the same tedious self-congratulatory, I sure am proud anthem that we read or, in this case, hear—although it is certainly is that. It is instead a “slam poem,” titled, “I think She was a She,” in which Josephine “recounts the abortion she had as a teenager and the cultural shame she’s been constantly confronted with ever since,” according to Vagianos.

Josephine rhythms about all the wonderful things her kid—whom she in convinced in the first verse is a girl only to take it back later—would have become. Everything Josephine was and much more, including being tougher. And, Josephine tells us, she would have been the kind of mother who “protect[ed] her from the dark.”

And “She could have been born.” Pause. “I would have made sure that there was space on the walls to measure her height as she grew.”

Problem is she came “at the wrong time.”

Just after she tells us the first of multiple times that “I am not ashamed,” Josephine makes one of the most remarkable pro-abortion statements in the long, self-exculpatory history of justifications for violence. Read carefully:

“But I would have supported her right to choose, to choose a life for herself, a path for herself; I would have died for that right like she died for mine.”


As a “spoken word and performance artist,” Josephine spins off metaphors that liken her post-abortive self to steel and the act of tearing her child apart to chopping down a cherry tree. How poetic. How wonderfully it distances herself from her own actions.

We are told over and over that it is her body (that is, Josephine’s body. Her baby’s body evidently didn’t really exist). Aborting a helpless baby relieves her of the burden of caring for a child and pulls double duty as a defiant political statement.

Ben Johnson asks

“What kind of parent asks his son or daughter to die for the “right” to abortion? Parents are supposed to be the one who sacrificially care for their children, who forsake their own comfort, who do whatever is necessary – even die – to keep their children safe, healthy, and well. Josephine’s blithe, ‘Sorry, but you came at the wrong time’ sounds as hollow as a gangland assassin’s apology to the family caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting. Abortion severs the love that God, or Mother Nature, or evolution, or whatever you choose to believe in placed within every pregnant woman to link the mother to her child.”

As the poem unfurls, so, too, does the banner of Josephine’s considerable resentment and defiance.

“I am so sick of keeping these words contained; I am women now; I will not be tamed,” she tells us, her anger mounting. In the world she envisions, stories like hers will be everywhere, including “next to the flyer for yoga for babies.”

Josephine concludes, “I don’t care about your ignorant views. When I become a mother it’ll be when I choose.” Take that, buddy.

Of course, she was a mother, which she fully knows, just like she is ashamed, not matter how many times she says otherwise. Why else bother to talk about (had the baby been allowed to be born, that is) how Josephine would have taught her all the things Josephine’s mother taught her, taken her to museums, told her stories about her grandfather, been a good mother?

The stories of how women are “not ashamed” of their abortions not only grow more and more ludicrous, they become sadder and sadder and sadder

Categories: Abortion
Tags: abortion