Life and career choices

Mandu Reid, the new leader of the Women’s Equality party (WEP), has spoken publicly about the impact of her abortion and why it compelled her to enter politics.

In an interview with the Observer, Reid said her decision to have a termination at 33 had not been “an easy choice” but one made because she “couldn’t balance being a single mother and hold on to my career aspirations”.

Reid, now 38, became the first black leader of a British political party last month. Now she also becomes the first to speak publicly about her decision to have an abortion.

“I always imagined myself as somebody who would have a busy, productive, fulfilling career and that I’d become a mother. I imagined those dual things existing and it was what I wanted,” she said. But, she recalled, after becoming pregnant while working for the mayor of London, she was unable to work out how she could have had the baby and continued in her career.

“I wasn’t properly together with the guy, he was quite a bit younger than me, and we had a lot of conversations about what to do,” she said. “It is strange to me, when I reflect on it now, that neither of us could imagine a scenario where I wasn’t the sole caregiver of the child and the main breadwinner.”

The solution being the vastly more progressive policies her party is pushing.

Or, as we might put it, all of us should pay more in taxes so that she can have all that she wants.

She added: “I crunched the numbers and realised at that point in time, I couldn’t balance being a single mother and hold on to my career aspirations. He was young, I couldn’t twist his arm and make him do this with me, so I had a termination. It wasn’t an easy choice.”

Given the inability to get one bloke to pay she wants all to.

23 thoughts on “Life and career choices”

  1. “If what WEP were advocating was reality here in Britain as it is in northern Europe, I would have been able to make a different decision,” she said.”

    A bit weird to write an article about a leader’s personal life used to advocate for a policy without actually telling us what it is the WEP would do.

  2. …she “couldn’t balance being a single mother and hold on to my career aspirations”.

    It’s also hard to balance being a high-wire artist with an overwhelming thirst for whiskey.

    Opportunity cost rules OK!

  3. I wonder what was so important about her career she had to kill her baby for it? Was she about to cure cancer, discover cold fusion, or build a time machine and stop Hitler and/or Ritchie?


    Greater London Authority
    11 years 6 months
    Fund Manager – The Mayor of London’s Sports Legacy Programme
    December 2012 – Present 6 years 5 months
    Oversight of the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Fund (investment to date: over £55m).

    I am responsible for overall programme delivery including: distribution and management of grants, negotiating funding deals, stakeholder and performance management of several hundred direct grant recipients, budget, risk and issue management, and strategic development of the programme.

    Oh.

  4. She is obviously too selfish to have a child.

    I doubt other women who actually want to be mothers themselves, want to pay for her kids either….

    So quite a niche she is aiming for. Selfish single women with enough political connections for a sinecure.

  5. The social media candidate.

    My generation didn’t air our dirty laundry in public. She’s running for public office on it.

  6. Steve – The cynical half of my mind wonders whether the “young” father-not-to be was a sportsman in need of a legacy?
    Definitely not casting aspersions on Mandu. I don’t know. But I think its an obvious line of enquiry for a journo to look into once a party leader uses a personal example as an argument for a public policy change

  7. So your fuck buddy couldn’t imagine a future where mummy didn’t bring up the child and keep him in style at the same time? I’m just making a wild guess here about the identity of daddy and I have say you had two chances of a a happy, successful marriage. One was fuckall and the other was slightly worse.

  8. Ted S, Catskill Mtns, NY, USA

    You’d think she could have used some of that money to get Emiliano Sala on a commercial flight.

  9. Contrarian view here.

    If you’re generally opposed to or morally uncomfortable with abortion, it probably makes sense to reshape society in a way that having kids becomes less of a daunting prospect. At the moment there are plenty of married couples who are putting off kids or seeking to minimise the number of them, because our society seems to have some kind of death wish and is doing the best to stop itself from propagating. Even with support, single motherhood is not a cushy choice. Without it, abortion will be a more attractive option.

  10. Taxes and welfare are killing reproduction.

    It’s too expensive to have kids, unless you want to be poor and marry the government.

    The second order effects are brutal though. Welfare killed the black family in the US. Now look at the outcomes.

  11. Why the assumption the father could pay, she said he was a ‘quite a bit younger’ and she was 33 so it would reasonable he was mid 20s if not younger.
    Given the attitude he seemed to have, at least according to her, you would also tend to think it skews towards younger, so her chances of getting money out of a early 20s man to pay support most probably not high.
    As said before she’s brought it up so fair game do investigation, we are constantly being told how bad it is for older men to exploit younger women from their position of power etc.

  12. I found a little more detail in the observer interview… hardly a manifesto policy though.
    .
    “The joys of parenthood are not shared equally in our society, with childcare tending to fall to women and men often denied the opportunity to spend time with their family for fear of being penalised at work, the party says. A system of shared parental leave is proposed: it would be a radical departure from the present, where women have up to 52 weeks’ leave and men get a minimum of just two weeks.”

    1.Women ‘maximum’ 52 weeks compared to the men 2 week “minimum”. That’s surely a mistake.

    2. I still don’t see how this saves the life of Mandu’s fetus.

  13. Bloke in North Dorset

    Julia,

    33 years old, a career politician, and she’s never heard of contraception?

    To be fair, contraceptives do fail so I’d be prepared to give her the benefit of doubt.

    I’ll go one step further. We all play through those big life changing events that could happen in our own minds and think we’ll know how we’ll react. Except that when they do happen we are taken aback slightly and go through the decision making process again, this time facing reality.

    Whilst I’m uncomfortable with abortion, especially as a form of contraceptive, I’d give her some praise for at least going through the process and making a decision, rather than saddle the rest of us with her offspring.

    Or, as we might put it, all of us should pay more in taxes so that she can have all that she wants.

    Maybe there is some benefit to society of women continuing to work after child birth – they may discover the next super drug or develop a world beating app and build a huge tech empire*. But what we really don’t need is to be paying higher taxes for yet another politician to tell us how to live our lives.

    * I’d love to see a cost benefit analysis against them staying at home and rearing well rounded children in a stable environment.

  14. It sounds to as if the lady has been lied to most of her life.
    She was obviously taught that she could bring up children and have a career. Even discounting the problem of paying for it, a mother is on call 24/7 and a career involves long hours, the two cannot be concurrent.
    She appears to have realised that she can’t do both after getting pregnant. She is now looking for a way to make the combination possible. Trouble is there isn’t one.
    Doubtless she’s been lied to on many other matters as well, she just hasn’t run into reality on those, probably because the ill effects fall on someone else.
    It’s a pity she’s not independent minded enough to have seen through the lies, sadly it’s a very common condition.

  15. @ Pat
    You seem to assume that she *actually listened* to what she was told.
    It *is* possible for a woman to have children and a career – even simultaneously if you have a stay-at-home husband and/or servants (e.g.Helena Morrissey and HM).
    However if she picks up a young man who cannot earn as much working full-time as she would working part-time (see he claim about being sole care-giver and main bread-winner) then she needs to make sacrifices in order to do so. Ms Reid was not willing to do so.
    Hence her joining the Women’s INequality Party which wants *men* to pay for all the luxuries that she wants.

  16. then she needs to make sacrifices in order to do so.

    Rather than sacrificing her child on the altar of convenience.

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