Petrol Girls – Jan 22 (Landscape) – Martyna Wisniewska

TOTW: Petrol Girls – Baby, I Had an Abortion

Unapologetic band Petrol Girls hit us with the rock-riot that is “Baby, I Had an Abortion”. Think the modern Runaways, a rebellious punk masterpiece that raises its middle finger to the system.
We hear about key issues around abortions for many who undergo the procedure, often being forced into a sense of shame and indignity, in the form of a party-banger. Featuring a Game of Thrones reference, Petrol Girls used the lyrics “shame, shame, shame” to ridicule Pro-Life demonstrators, whose aim would be to inflict such status and grievance onto those for making their own choices around autonomy.

Ren Aldridge, lead vocalist of Petrol Girls, shared her own story behind the track;

“This song is a response to my experience of having had an abortion in 2018 and my encounters with pro-lifers since then. I’m totally happy to speak openly about my abortion and feel very privileged to have accessed it easily and for free on the NHS in the UK. This should be the case everywhere but abortion is illegal, expensive and / or hard to access in many places around the world. I found out I was pregnant the morning after the eighth amendment was repealed in Ireland, so felt very aware of how lucky I was to be in a country where I could do it easily.”

Petrol Girls add this latest release to their discography of rioting tracks, with previous themes around misogyny, sexual assault and xenophobia, using their music to support and conquer. “Baby, I Had an Abortion” points the finger to the naysayers and all those who feel a need to express their conflicting opinions on someone else’s body, for their own sake.

Aldridge adds;

“One morning, my partner and I encountered pro-lifers marching in front of the abortion clinic on the main street. I saw red, and before I knew it was circling them screaming “I HAD AN ABORTION AND I’M NOT SORRY!” to the amusement of onlooking shoppers. I joined local counter protests and continued shouting “I had an abortion, and I’m not sorry” in German. But I started thinking about this interaction and how limited it was, even if it was cathartic. I didn’t want to dignify them with a serious reaction – I wanted to ridicule them.”

Petrol Girls will be raising money for Abortion Without Borders with this release, a network of organisations that help fund people in Poland that need access abortions – in neighbouring countries or at home with pills.

“Baby, I Had an Abortion” is out now on all major streaming platforms.

14 March Le Pub Newport
15 March The Junction Plymouth
16 March Redrum Stafford
17 March 1 in 12 Club Bradford
18 March Green Door Store Brighton
19 March The 100 Club London Punks Against Sweatshops

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