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Deborah Ross: You just can't move for the chance to have an abortion

If you ask me...

If you ask me, in response to the assault that abortion rights are receiving in America, and to the pro-lifer I heard on the radio the other day saying abortions are now "too freely available", I would say this: I did not believe abortion provision could ever be too freely available until the other morning, when I filled up the car at the garage, went to pay, and was asked by the man behind the grille: "Would you like an LED torch with that, love? A microwavable teddy? Or an abortion?"

An abortion?, I queried. Are they expensive? "Giving them away, love. They're really easy to get these days. We have hundreds stocked out back." Oh go on then, I said, I'll take one. "Just the one?" he asked. "You don't want one for now, and one for later?" I said one would be fine for the minute, and popped the abortion in my handbag.

It would, I thought, prove handy on those days when I couldn't get the morning-after pill couriered to my work address, and straight into my mouth, and possibly swallowed for me, if I were to pay the extra.

Anyway, it was the same wherever I went. I went to Tesco, where I saw they were doing a "buy one get one free" on abortions, and Paul bakery, which was offering an abortion free with every sourdough loaf – I should think so; the cost of those loaves! – and attended a dental appointment, just for a check-up, but as my dentist said, "While you are here, can I interest you in one of your other services? Whitening? Botox? An abortion?", I was beginning to see the pro-lifers had a point. "Just ask the receptionist for an abortion on the way out," my dentist continued, "and you can have one along with the balloon and smiley sticker." I went home, where I kvetched to my husband about abortions being too freely available these days, not that I was telling him anything new. "I know," he said. "There was one in the Weetabix packet this morning. Just fell into my bowl. Gave me quite a start."

And so it's true. Abortions aren't about hard and complicated decisions, much soul-searching and all those reverberations down the years. They aren't about giving women control of their own bodies, and allowing them to make their own choices at a difficult and vulnerable time when they should be shown only compassion. Abortions are simply, as the pro-lifers say, "a day out".

Indeed, I had the afternoon off yesterday and although I did think about going to the Tate Modern, I then remembered the abortion in my handbag, and I had that instead.