Voices arguing for a woman’s right to choose in America’s anguished debate over abortion have discovered an unexpected ally: Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The new issue of the Buffy comics, published on Thursday in the US, sees the Chosen One taking some time off from staking vampires through the heart to deal with what publisher Dark Horse called “a rather personal problem”. Season nine continues, after issue five’s cliffhanger revelation that the Slayer was pregnant, with Buffy deciding what to do about the unwanted pregnancy – the result of a drunken night at a party. Eventually she decides to have an abortion.
“I want to do something. And I think it’s going to be hard. So I was hoping you could help me,” Buffy tells the vampire Spike – a potential father of the baby (she isn’t sure what happened at the party). “I’m going to have an abortion,” she continues. “I’m barely able to hold onto a job. I live with roommates who are about to kick me out. And I can’t even hold my alcohol well enough to remember who got me pregnant. I can handle the Slayer stuff … But everything else I’m not ready. At least not now.”
The row over the breast cancer advocacy group Susan G Komen for the Cure’s decision to cut funding to the woman’s health care organisation Planned Parenthood has made abortion a “hot button issue”, according to Joss Whedon, who created Buffy in 1992 and is now executive producer of the comic series.
“A woman’s right to choose is under attack as much as it’s ever been, and that’s a terrible and dangerous thing for this country. I don’t usually get soap box-y with this, but the thing about Buffy is all she’s going through is what women go through, and what nobody making a speech, holding up a placard, or making a movie is willing to say,” Whedon told Entertainment Weekly.