The pro-choice majority needs to mobilise against intimidation

5th November, 2014 8:15 am

Nestled in a quiet street in South London is a small GP practice mostly offering mother-and-baby clinic services. But it could soon be the first clinic in British history to withdraw abortion services after facing intimidating protests from anti-abortion activists.

Unlike the US, Canada or France, Britain does not offer legal protection to women’s health services from anti-abortion activists. A group called Abort67 has exploited this gap in the law and, over the last few weeks, confronted women going into the GP surgery with graphic posters and leaflets with pictures of dismembered foetuses. They have also been filming patients coming in and out of the practice without asking for their consent.

The GP practice is now considering withdrawing the abortion service. That isn’t just unprecedented, it would also be a big boost to such groups and likely trigger a wave of more such protests that intimidate women across the country.

Abort67

 

The right to abortion services is a basic women’s health issue. It’s time we stopped sitting on the fence and stood up for this right or the consequences could be dire.

The British public is overwhelmingly pro-choice, with polls showing only around 4% – 7% wanting a ban. A far higher proportion of Britons believe in creationism than they do in banning abortion.

So why do our politicians believe this is a controversial issue? If politicians can (rightly) speak up for gay rights, which is far more contentious, why not abortion rights? Why are so many Labour MPs so reticent to speak out on this issue?

The NHS-commissioned service in Southwark only opened in October and it is already under threat. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) – who helped set it up – say they are seriously worried the service will be pulled and set a precedent. Abort67 have already been organising protests at other clinics across the country.

I am all in favour of protests, even by those I’m opposed to such as the EDL. Groups such as Abort67 should be allowed to protest. But they shouldn’t be allowed to intimidate and harass women who are considering an abortion. Due to their activities an important health service for women is now on the verge of being withdrawn.

As I said, Britain doesn’t have legislation to protect women or women’s health services from such activists because there wasn’t a serious need. But all that has changed. We need Labour MPs to speak out and consider legislation to protect such health services. We need Parliament to act, not just pro-choice activists.

At the very least, rather than outright bans, we could do with American-style buffer zones around clinics offering abortions. Such buffer zones have also been introduced in Canada and parts of Australia. In South Africa, the law prohibits anyone from “obstructing access” to an abortion clinic, with a penalty of up to ten years in prison. Britain has no such protections.

Anti-abortion activists say they are merely encouraging women to make an informed choice, but this is disingenuous. Women who come to BPAS, and other abortion providers, get a scan and can see or keep it if they want. Women are offered counselling and support to explore options other than termination too.

The pro-choice majority needs to mobilise, and it needs long term solutions to protect against such intimidation. Or else the consequences for all could be dire.

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  • PATRICKNEWMAN

    The police should enforce the many laws that protect the public from intimidation and harassment. Why dont they for women seeking abortions?

    • Matthew Blott

      A lot of it comes down to lobbying. It’s just not the hot topic it once was on the Left.

  • John Mitchell

    I’m not so sure abortion rights isn’t a more contentious issue than gay marriage, or at least on a similar level. Whilst gay marriage has been an abrasive political issue it has been in public discussion recently where as abortion hasn’t on as much of a scale. It’s not just about banning abortion either as some pro-life activists will see further restrictions on the practice as a victory.

    Intimidation and harassment needs to be tackled and that’s irrelevant to whatever side of the debate you happen to be on. That’s unacceptable. On the other hand, the right to protest should be protected. It’s a fine line to negotiate. Lastly, I’m not convinced that this does require a rallying of pro-choice activists and is rather a matter for the necessary authorities.

  • B. MacIntosh

    From NHS website-

    The Department of Health recommends that if you’re pregnant you should avoid alcohol altogether. More recent research found that drinking in early pregnancy also increases the risk of premature birth and low birthweight.

    Drinking in the second half of your pregnancy can affect how your baby grows and develops. Drinking more than the recommended one or two units once or twice a week can also affect your baby after they’re born. The effects include learning difficulties and behavioural problems.

    Drinking heavily (more than six units a day) throughout pregnancy can cause your baby to develop a serious condition called foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Children with FAS have: restricted growth, facial abnormalities, learning and behavioural disorders. Binge drinking, or regularly drinking over the recommended level may be associated with lesser forms of FAS. The risk is likely to be greater the more you drink.

    From the Independent today:

    A six-year-old girl born with disabilities caused by her mother drinking while she was in the womb could be awarded criminal injuries compensation at a case being heard by the Court of Appeal tomorrow.

    If successful, the claim, which is being brought by a council in north-west of England, could lead to dozens more children suffering from foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) being awarded compensation.

    However, two leading women’s charities have warned that it could set a legal precedent to prosecute women who drink while pregnant.

    Lawyers acting for the council seek to prove that the child’s birth mother’s excessive drinking was a violent crime that should be recognised under the Government’s Criminal Injuries Compensation scheme, which awards compensation to people hurt by a violent crime.

    Charities the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) and Birthrights said that the case was of “profound social significance” and said any legal developments that “call into question a pregnant woman’s fundamental right to bodily autonomy” should be taken “very seriously”.

    ————————
    For conduct of mother to be criminal, BBC commentator said fetus must be a legal person.

    Given BPAS concerns, this case is clearly going to impact the abortion argument. Labour policy in this regard will be, one assumes, forthcoming.

    • Guest

      So you bring up another issue, highlighting the American-style prosecution of mothers which no doubt you’re so strongly behind…

      • B. MacIntosh

        I support women’s freedom to choose. But you attack the person instead of seeing the coincidence that the issue is on Labourlist as abortion only when the UK news is leading with a story which raises legal concerns which will be used by the pro-lifers.

        I did not mention the United States. All information in my comment is British sources.

        But you come out with your insults. People like you are killing democratic debate. I quit labour list so you can just f. u.c. k. off.

  • Rob Pearson

    Since when has showing the truth of what happens been intimidation and harassment?

    • maudelynn13

      Says the man who will never be pregnant

      • Rob Pearson

        So only women can comment?

        • TFYFWYA

          you can add your worthless comments all you want. theyll still be meaningless and you’ll still be a misogynist a-hole.

          • Justin S Thornton

            And you’re still an ungodly, wicked person who supports BABY MURDER! Gotta love how the ungodly pretend to be all moral and talk about “rights” but when they’re called out on the primary right of mankind is LIFE they then fake outrage. The Bible and 30 plus years of biology PROVE that life begins at conception and that 95% of abortions have absolutely NOTHING to do with rape, incest or health of the mother but are simply from population control. The same ungodly philosophy that man isn’t created in the image of God and has self worth that murdered hundreds of people in Russia, China and other socialist states has taken over the UK. Sorry but the right to LIFE isn’t up to a majority vote or what the State dictates based on usefulness. Being “unplanned” or “unwanted” does not give one a right to rip a baby’s arms and limbs off, cut off their head, suck out their body parts, put them in a trash bag and THROW them in a dumpster like garbage or burn them in an incinerator for fuel. I only used to think the Nazis burned bodies wholesale to hide their murder of the innocent. But then you Brits have murdered so many of your children no wonder the Muslims are taking over there. Talk about total death of a culture through infanticide and suicide!

          • TFYFWYA

            I’m not a Brit, and I’m not someone who you get to control. I know that makes you quite angry, but I’m sure you’ll get over it. (Or not. It really doesn’t matter to me what you feel.)

          • treborc1

            I know your not a Brit, your a bible thumping yank obviously.

            I bet you voted for that bible thumping moron Bush as well for the wars.

          • No, no it isn’t “murder”. Try removing the “baby” (it’s a foetus, actually) from the mother at, say, 12 weeks, and see how long it lasts. They’re not independent, and for much of their development in the womb aren’t even sentient.

            Oh, and I’d love to know where you got your figure of 95% from.

          • Sarah O’Regan

            It’s from the Bible, apparently. (Why am I in the comments section?! Help.)

          • drevonthief

            “God” has no place in a discussion about the value of a human life. Please take your misguided religious bullshit elsewhere.

          • Stephen

            There is no proof that god exists so throwing religion into this argument is folly. If you believe in make believe then please keep it to yourself. The bible does not prove that life begins, it might state it, but that is not proof.

            Legally, the age set for abortions is based on when the baby is able to survive out of the womb.

            The argument about a foetus living is very debatable. Science has not proven that the baby is conscious from the moment the egg is fertilised, all you have are cells that behave like any other cells.

            If you actually believe that a foetus is living therefore should not be aborted, then almost all women are committing natural abortion. Since the majority of foetus’s that form are killed by the womans body if there are certain defects. All life is sacred? Well why did god design human bodies to do that naturally?

          • Mimi

            The Bible does not say that life begins at conception, in fact it states that life starts at first breath. Supported by exodus 22 and Ezekiel 37. Try being educated, not a fundamentalist reactionary with a habit of overusing caps lock.

          • Mimi

            Ps. Go be a Wally in your own country

          • treborc1

            Sorry but talking about the bible does nothing in the UK to make your case.

          • treborc1

            Hence your doing the same thing as the people who stand out side GP’s for god sake free speech is allowed even if you do not agree with it.

            I agree that women are totally in control of their bodies end of story, But some people have a right to disagree, you cannot just shut it down because you say so.

          • Ellen

            Rob said “Since when has showing the truth of what happens been intimidation and harassment?” Why was given abuse by a troll? There cannot be one thing wrong with his question whichever view you hold on abortion, unless you don’t want truth, which is meaningful.

    • ishy

      Honestly when is surgery of any kind pretty? If that’s your excuse to ban abortions I should picket hospitals for performing heart surgeries. See how stupid that sounds?

      • Rob Pearson

        It’s not ‘surgery’ – it’s the termination of a life!

        • Aximili

          A life that is, by any definition of the word, parasitic.

          • Rob Pearson

            Woah, has it been implanted there by an alien?! – no, by natural means of normal procreation – whether by intent of course is arguable but it is still human…

          • Rachel Beckett

            Still unwanted and needless.

          • Aximili

            Wow, great job strawmanning me, buddy. Look up the definition of the word parasite. All it means is one form of life living off another, without benefiting to the host. Nothing about being implanted by aliens or any such mumbo jumbo.
            Many definitions even specifically exlude pregnancy, because otherwise it fits the bill precisely.

          • Rob Pearson

            I’m perfectly well aware of the meaning of the word – that’s why I challenged your use of it in the first place!
            It is obvious to anyone that parasitic organisms are external to the host in that they share no likeness or biological make-up of the host – they are just an outside or ‘alien’ being to the host.
            The same cannot be said of a baby (or foetus, as you like to call it) as this has actually been brought into being by the host itself (along with another) and is the result of a perfectly normal procreative act.
            Your attempts to divorce the realities of the termination of a human being’s life by implying that it is simply a biological ‘thing’ do not wash.

  • TFYFWYA

    “Unlike the US, Canada or France, Britain does not offer legal protection to women’s health services from anti-abortion activists.”

    I’m not sure where you are getting your information, but here in the US, we do NOT have protection from these stalker bullies! Even our supreme court has ruled that it’s perfectly fine for women seeking medical treatment to be harassed by people on the street. I appreciate what you’re doing in the UK but we aren’t doing better in the USA. If anything, we are doing worse!

  • Justin S Thornton

    Spoken like a true communist. How grotesque that someone can be murdered just because another dictates their life doesn’t matter because they’re not “planned or wanted”. That ungodly thinking lead to the murder of HUNDREDS of millions under Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and countless tyrants and wicked rulers. Guess being made in the image of God and endowed with rights of life, liberty and property is just a lot of bunk and life only matters if the State dictates they’re not obsolete. Sorry but I’d rather not live in the world of 1984 thank you. God destroys the wicked who murder the innocent and that’s what abortion supporters are…WICKED!

    • JTPI

      Did you grow up with an alcoholic parent/s who beat reminded you daily that their life was crap because they had you? Did you grow up in a home where you couldnt afford food and didnt know when the next meal was? Did you grow up in a foster home? If abortion was not available, that is most probably what the ‘children’ would be born into. Why would you or your precious loving oh might ‘God’ want that for somebody else? You are against abortion, yet you dont understand why people choose to do it.
      Youre bringing ‘God’ into this.
      1. If he is the master of all things, and knows/plans everything to happen as it should. Please tell me why the F*CK he is ‘letting’ females get pregnant when he should already know that it is going to lead to an abortion. Seems pretty f*cking stupid to me.

    • James Payter

      I’m guessing you’re a right-wing, American nutjob by the fact that you screech about god constantly and accuse people of being communists when you have no valid argument.

      People shouldn’t be blamed for the conditioning that they experienced as a child, and boy were you conditioned hard. You use words like ungodly and wicked.

      Are you one of these sweaty-palmed, twitchy-eyed religious nuts who has to self-flagellate whenever they beat their meat?

    • Mimi

      It’s a shame this service wasn’t available to your parents.

    • treborc1

      I see the pro life lot have been told about labour list.

    • Mac Veigh

      Sorry to say this, Justin, but you’re coming across as slightly unhinged.

    • cutepiku

      Cute how you accuse people as communist, when the fundamentals of communism are that everyone is equal. The includes human rights. So I suppose you believe in a caste system where some people are better than others.

      You know who was a famous communist? Jesus Christ.
      And as a fellow Christian to the other, life starts at first breath, not in the womb. Read your Bible again.

      (I’ll also throw out there how someone mentioned foetus are parasitic and I agree. They were put there naturally, yes, but so are many things like heart worms or any number of flesh eating diseases. They got there naturally, but they are sure as heck parasitic and unwanted. I have the choice to remove the parasite. You have the choice to let it stay until it’s satisfied and ready to leave).

  • jamesthecritic

    I dont believe abortions should be paid for by the NHS. It just encourages women to be irresponsible.

    I also think Sunny Hundal was racist by promoting the angry black woman stereotype.

    • Are you trolling or being serious?

      Being raped is so incredibly irresponsible, isn’t it?
      Having any significant life event occur over a 9 month period is obviously irresponsible too.

      I don’t think Sunny was “promoting” anything. The “angry black woman” worked for the nearby Kids Company, which cares for and helps neglected children born out of abusive relationships and the like.

      • jamesthecritic

        Maybe i would make an exception for rape. but they could still pay for it themsleves.

        • Yes, let victims pay for the result of the crimes against them to go away, that seems fair.

          • jamesthecritic

            Are you stupid – i said “Maybe i would make an exception for rape”

          • Sorry, that’s not how that sentence read, so I misunderstood you.
            Problem is, you’ll keep finding exceptions that are unfair to remove treatment for on the NHS. Or, you could just trust women to try and not be irresponsible in the first place.

            I think that seems reasonable, I don’t find it likely that women are using abortion as a primary means of contraception, the other methods, whilst not perfect, are less of an ordeal.

          • jamesthecritic

            Yeah most people do use proper methods of contraception. But there were about 180000 abortions in 2013- that we paid for. Why cant they just pay for it themselves?

          • Ben Adelie

            Why cannot others just pay for their own quit smoking, gastric band, broken arm/leg, and the long list of other (mostly) self inflicted medical conditions? As with abortions, some cases of these other conditions are not self inflicted. Society decides to pay for them all as finding out which one, is a tall order and it is never a black/white issue. Lots of grey areas where you may believe it to be unnecessary but someone else may disagree.

          • Mac Veigh

            That’s big of you.

    • Daz

      What is irresponsible about not wanting to have a baby?

      Why is it the woman who is ‘responsible’ if an unwanted pregnancy occurs?

      There is a woman featured in the video. She is black. She is angry. Are black women not allowed, in your opinion, to be angry; or are you merely of the opinion that the legitimate, genuine, and well-expressed anger of black women should go unreported?

      • jamesthecritic

        No i am saying there is a phenomenon known as schadenfruede. Pleasure at other peoples happiness. I am saying some people enjoy the sight of black people being unhappy.

        Yes the woman is responsible for the most part.

        • cutepiku

          And not the man who was a party to the conception? Who maybe could have also done some contraceptive measures and not rely strictly on the woman? Well, okay.

          • jamesthecritic

            No – because the woman is the one who carries the baby. Women should know there are men out there who just want to have sex with women and not deal with the consequences.

          • So, what? Women should just not have sex then, is that it? Because clearly she’s always going to know her partner will take responsibility for a) wearing contraception and b) not running off if he does get her pregnant.

          • cutepiku

            Yeah, the world doesn’t work that way. Women shouldn’t have to just accept that men want sex. Men take responsibility, as well. It takes two to tango.

    • Mac Veigh

      Pesky, irresponsible women going off and getting pregnant all by themselves. Tut tut.

  • I won’t criticise the blog – I’ll just let Sunny make the argument in his own words.

    Just one thing I’ve done to assist clarity – he uses a technical word a lot – “abortion”. Abortion is a method of killing unborn children, so where it appears in the text, I’ve made that clear.

    ——–

    The pro-choice majority needs to mobilise against intimidation
    NOVEMBER 5, 2014 8:15 AM

    Nestled in a quiet street in South London is a small GP practice mostly offering mother-and-baby clinic services. But it could soon be the first clinic in British history to withdraw killing unborn children services after facing intimidating protests from anti-killing unborn children activists.

    Unlike the US, Canada or France, Britain does not offer legal protection to women’s health services from anti-killing unborn children activists. A group called Abort67 has exploited this gap in the law and, over the last few weeks, confronted women going into the GP surgery with graphic posters and leaflets with pictures of dismembered foetuses. They have also been filming patients coming in and out of the practice without asking for their consent.

    The GP practice is now considering withdrawing the killing unborn children service. That isn’t just unprecedented, it would also be a big boost to such groups and likely trigger a wave of more such protests that intimidate women across the country.

    The right to kill unborn children is a basic women’s health issue. It’s time we stopped sitting on the fence and stood up for this right or the consequences could be dire.

    The British public is overwhelmingly pro-choice, with polls showing only around 4% – 7% wanting a ban. A far higher proportion of Britons believe in creationism than they do in banning killing unborn children.

    So why do our politicians believe this is a controversial issue? If politicians can (rightly) speak up for gay rights, which is far more contentious, why not killing unborn children rights? Why are so many Labour MPs so reticent to speak out on this issue?

    The NHS-commissioned service in Southwark only opened in October and it is already under threat. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) – who helped set it up – say they are seriously worried the service will be pulled and set a precedent. Abort67 have already been organising protests at other clinics across the country.

    I am all in favour of protests, even by those I’m opposed to such as the EDL. Groups such as Abort67 should be allowed to protest. But they shouldn’t be allowed to intimidate and harass women who are considering killing unborn children. Due to their activities an important health service for women is now on the verge of being withdrawn.

    As I said, Britain doesn’t have legislation to protect women or women’s health services from such activists because there wasn’t a serious need. But all that has changed. We need Labour MPs to speak out and consider legislation to protect such health services. We need Parliament to act, not just pro-choice activists.

    At the very least, rather than outright bans, we could do with American-style buffer zones around clinics offering to kill unborn children. Such buffer zones have also been introduced in Canada and parts of Australia. In South Africa, the law prohibits anyone from “obstructing access” to an killing unborn children clinic, with a penalty of up to ten years in prison. Britain has no such protections.

    Anti-killing unborn children activists say they are merely encouraging women to make an informed choice, but this is disingenuous. Women who come to BPAS, and other killing unborn children providers, get a scan and can see or keep it if they want. Women are offered counselling and support to explore options other than termination too.

    The pro-choice majority needs to mobilise, and it needs long term solutions to protect against such intimidation. Or else the consequences for all could be dire.

    • They’re not children, they’re foetuses.

      • Mimi

        In some cases, zygotes.

      • They are human beings though.

        • But not necessarily a viable human being.

          • I note that you refer to ‘foetuses’. Fetus (latin for ‘little one’) is a term used to describe a human being from 8 weeks after conception up until birth. It is a term used commonly today to dehumanise the unborn, to enable those who support abortion to be comfortable with their stance. We need to stop playing Orwellian word games, we are talking about human beings here.

            I presume your position is that the ‘legal’ limit for abortion should be broadly in line with viability i.e. the ability of the baby to survive outside the womb. If due to a drop in medical standards viability was near impossible before 34 weeks would you propose a new 34 week limit? What about in poorer countries where due to poor healthcare viability is much later than in the UK? Is a 24 week old unborn child in Sierra Leona less worthy of legal protection than a 24 week old unborn child in the UK? The value of a person’s humanity should not be dependent on such factors.

            You and I both seem to agree that the unborn are human. Here’s where we seem to differ: I believe that each every human being regardless of size, level of development, or location has an equal right to life. You seem not to. You only seem to think big, strong, and independent ones do. I affirm human equality. You, by supporting abortion, deny it. In the past, we used to discriminate on the basis of skin colour and gender. Now, we do it because someone is too small or too dependent. You are swapping one form of discrimination for another.

          • How far back do you want to take back human equality? Should we criminalise periods and masturbation because every human zygote has a right to life?

            No?
            How about a fertilised egg that hasn’t yet embedded itself?
            Surely that counts as human being now?
            It also probably makes certain contraceptives illegal.
            The courts would also buckle from all the inquests into the deaths of these microscopic humans. The ones they can detect at least.

            I could go on.
            Or we could consider that, yes, a human baby living independently of its mother’s body has the same right to life as every other human on the planet. But whilst it remains in the mother’s body, it’s the mother’s rights, needs, etc. that take priority.

            I don’t care to judge a woman’s reasons for having an abortion, be they medical, criminal (as in, conceived as a result of rape), economic, mental, or otherwise. It’s none of my damn business, and none of yours either.

            I do care that they get the right information to inform their choices, but that’s best placed coming from medical personnel and counsellors that understand the procedures and the situation of the woman making the choice, rather than some loud-mouthed bigots who think they have the right to tell women what to do with their bodies or shame them into making (or not making) a decision.

          • Do you think there is ever a situation where abortion would be wrong? Say the day before birth, just for the hell of it?

            What about partial birth abortion where part of the baby (say just the head), is still in the mother’s body?

            It’s an extreme position to give the unborn child absolutely no rights up until birth. Surely there’s a balance of rights?

          • If it would significantly endanger the mother for the birth to proceed, that can and does happen.

            However, part of the reason of the abortion age being set where it is, is because as the foetus becomes more developed it becomes significantly less practical to abort it.

            I don’t think the position that foetuses have no rights is extreme. Until birth, they are not independent of the mother in almost any sense of the word. Once born and the umbilical cord severed, the baby is no longer biologically coupled to the mother. It’s still “dependent” in certain respects, but at that point adoption is a viable alternative if the mother is unable or unwilling to continue caring for it.

          • I understand the health angle but what if it was just because the woman didn’t want a child (or even for a sadistic reason) – do you think she should be allowed to abort the day before birth in this case?

          • It’s not my decision to make. It’s between the pregnant woman and the doctors advising her. If she makes a “wrong” decision, then she’s the one that gets to live with it.

            However, I’d like to think that for the most part women are capable of making rational decisions. I’d expect that if they’d made it that far, they’re unlikely to terminate their pregnancy on a whim that far down the line.

          • Some do. You should google ‘Kermit Gosnell’.

            Just on a separate issue, what do you think should happen to the bodies of aborted babies? They are mostly disposed off as medical waste in this country.

          • Mac Veigh

            ‘Do you think there is ever a situation where abortion would be wrong? Say the day before birth, just for the hell of it?’
            Because women are well known for having terminations ‘just for the hell of it.’

          • Women aren’t well known for killing their teenage children. Yet it is still illegal for a mother to kill her teenage child.

            We can’t just trust everyone to make moral decisions. We need laws, legal protection for vulnerable etc. We don’t exempt women from laws because ‘we trust women’ or they’re not ‘well known’ for being criminals.

            Just for arguments sake if there was a woman who wanted to kill her unborn child the day before birth for a sadistic reason, would you be happy to her let her do it? Being pro-choice, pro-bodily autonomy etc.

          • Mac Veigh

            You are really scraping the barrel here. Why is this one of the favourite ‘arguments’ of forced-birthers? Would you be happy for a woman to kill her semi-born child halfway out of the uterus yada yada. I believe women are more than capable of making their own moral decisions, so the situation is extremely unlikely to arise. To believe that women do these things on a whim is indicative of a misogynistic viewpoint. The anti-choicers always come out with this kind of bullshit, along with their usual rhetoric about ‘social’ abortions.

            Let me ask you something. Do you believe that if the right to terminate pregnancy was taken away, abortion would disappear? There are 20,000,000 unsafe abortions every year (World Health Organisation estimate), killing approx. 68,000 women and permanently injuring several million more. What you’re really arguing for is for a return to back-street abortion. You do realise that, I hope.

          • “I believe women are more than capable of making their own moral decisions…” Irma Grese, Myra Hindley, Beverly Allitt, Belle Gunness, Mary Ann Cotton, Ilse Koch, Katherine Knight… We can’t just trust everyone to make moral decisions. We need laws, legal protection for vulnerable etc. We don’t exempt women from laws because ‘we trust women’ or they’re not ‘well known’ for being criminals.

            I find it worrying that you cannot simply say that it is wrong for a child to be aborted the day before birth when there is no medical reason. You can’t simplify it to “I trust women”. If a sadistic mass murderer who has already killed her children was pregnant, would you trust her simply because she has is biologically a woman, and women are capable of making moral decisions?

            You cannot say abortion is wrong in any circumstance because then you would be open to the following question: why is it wrong?

            With regard to your question, I believe that it is wrong to deliberately and intentionally kill innocent human beings. If women were dying trying to kill their born children we wouldn’t legalise killing born children. Why should it be so different with unborn children? If people are hurting themselves committing a crime (theft, rape etc.) we don’t legalise the crime.

            The crux of the debate comes down to:

            1) are the unborn human?
            2) is it wrong to deliberately kill innocent human beings?

            It’s pretty simple really.

          • Mac Veigh

            It’s pretty simple really.

            For me the crux of the debate is:

            Should people have bodily autonomy?
            Or just men?

            For example, you could save someone’s life by giving them a kidney. Should you be forced to do so? Why not? Isn’t that person’s life as important as yours?

            And yes, I can simplify it to ‘I trust women’. All the forced-birthers arguments seem to be based on a premise that women fundamentally can’t be trusted to act responsibly with regard to their pregnancies.

            That’s my last word to you. Thank you.

          • You need to remember what abortion is. Abortion is a method of killing unborn children. It is not simply denying use of your body to another. It is committing a violent act against a child, having an abortionist poison or dismember his or her tiny body, then dumping that body in incinerator along with clinical waste.

            Some pointers on the ‘kidney donation’ theory:

            1. A child is not a a parasite living off his mother. A mother’s womb is the baby’s natural environment. A baby developing in the womb belongs there. Also the baby has usually been put there by the parents of the child participating in an act that for thousands of years has been known to create children (I understand that this isn’t the case with rape).

            2. Abortion is not merely denying permission to use someones body. It is actively taking another human being’s life through poisoning or dismemberment.

            3. The ‘someone’ using the woman’s body is her child. It is not unreasonable to expect a mother to help her child survive.

            All the best anyway.

          • 1. The relationship is still a parasitic one, even if intended.
            2. A human being that wouldn’t be able to survive otherwise.
            3. In an ideal world. In an ideal world, every woman that got pregnant would only be pregnant because they wanted to be, and that the foetus is healthy and free from potentially crippling diseases.

            We do not live in an ideal world. Some parents may opt to abort deformed or mutant children, to save them a lifetime of pain, suffering, etc.

            Sure, some women may choose to have an abortion “just because”, but I expect that’s in a distant minority of cases. I find it more likely the women having abortions have good reasons for doing so.

          • Parasitic? It’s amazing how our society treats wanted and unwanted unborn children so differently. We imprison men who who hurt/kill ‘wanted’ unborn children. We carry out intricate surgical procedures to save the lives of ‘wanted’ unborn children.

            But when the child is unwanted by his/her mother he/she is relegated to a parasite, a foetus, something less than human. We kill them by poisoning or dismemberment, and dispose of them as medical waste.

            Do you not see the paradox?

            What would your reaction be if you saw a pregnant woman punched to the floor and kick in the stomach? What would your reaction be if you saw a pregnant woman down bottle after bottle of vodka. I hope it wouldn’t be a neutral one.

            We know we are dealing with children, but as a society when they are unwanted and abortion is mentioned, the children become foetuses, clumps of tissues and cells, products of conception.

          • I meant it purely in the literal sense.
            In that a foetus lives off the mother and is dependent on her survival, without returning the service. It holds true regardless of whether the foetus is ‘wanted’ or not.

            I also preferentially call a foetus a foetus, because it’s a foetus. In the same way as I wouldn’t call a woman’s eggs “maybe babies” (though, come to think of it, that rhymes absurdly well). Though frankly I don’t discuss the topic often, and generally it makes more sense to refer to it as ‘it’ when talking to pregnant women or ‘he’ or ‘she’ if the gender is known. Though that’s largely because the pedantry isn’t worth the aggravation. But I digress…

            As for a pregnant woman being assaulted, I’d be more worried first about the woman’s welfare, then the foetus’s. Likewise, a woman downing bottle after bottle of vodka would be symptomatic of alcoholism, regardless of whether she was pregnant or not. It would certainly increase the urgency with which I’d recommend she seek treatment. Even if it wasn’t quite so severe, I’d certainly aim to inform her of the consequences of her actions, as she may simply be ignorant to the danger.

            In theory, at least. For the most part, I’d rather not meddle in the affairs of strangers if I can possibly avoid it.

          • 黒澤実千代

            it seems Michael has the point and did a lot of reseach but as you know the meaning of law, should you acknowledged that you are talking about another human right in which, you cannot control? Topperfalkon is right. It is the decision to the female who decide hae a new life or not.

            By contiuning this arguement, please speak with a legal advior about this subject. he/she will be able to advice you more. because they know the meaning of legal abortion and killing an actual ‘baby’.

            A doctor will know the reason why they are still doing this. So it means thissubject involes at least one woman, one fortus and a doctor. So if the female agrees to maintain her health or other reason, the doctor can still refuse to have abortion.

            The final decision does not made by you but the entire world. because any laws from different countries are different but they all have the same meaning, is to respect another human being.

          • sparks1333

            Again, there are laws in place to stop women randomly deciding to abort the day before their baby is due, as they seem to do on whatever planet you’re from.

          • sparks1333

            I’d just like to add to this (It may already have been mentioned so sorry if it has) but you’re argument about women wanting to abort the day before birth is ridiculous. As has been said, many women having got to 40 weeks would be unlikely to suddenly opt for abortion AND if they did it wouldn’t happen unless for medical reasons. Before you carry on screaming for new laws, perhaps familiarise yourself with the current statute – Abortion Act 1967. The pregnancy is protected from the 24th week, meaning that an abortion cannot take place unless under high risk medical circumstances. From conception to 24 weeks the pregnant women can make whatever choice suits her situation.

  • treborc1

    All councils need is permits to hold a meeting or parade or to stand out side a GP’s surgery if you do not have one you can be arrested moved on or fined a few thousand . My town you have to have a permit to play music to stand and sell or offer a service, and if you break the rules the permit is taken back and your moved on. As the BNP found out in 2009 when they set up a stall a table and tried to speak to the people, they forgot to ask for a permit.

  • Johnesmith77

    If you don’t want to be pregnant, don’t have sex. Simple as that.

    • What if you don’t have the luxury of that choice?

      • Johnesmith77

        If you’re talking about pregnancies resulting from rape, that is a whole different scenario/problem.

        • Hardly. You’re either going to allow the termination of an unplanned pregnancy or not. “Alright, only for rape babies” doesn’t really make sense.

          • Johnesmith77

            Seriously? One pregnancy was forced because the woman had sex against her will, the other was because they made a poor judgment or had a change of heart. But, if you believe that rape victims are not more victimized than un-violated women then it makes sense that you would think the way you do.

          • Mac Veigh

            ‘If you don’t want to be pregnant, don’t have sex. Simple as that.’
            Where to start with this one? Again, all the blame and responsibility is laid at the women’s feet. How about compulsory vasectomy for men? That would stop unwanted pregnancies. Or doesn’t that suit your agenda?

            ‘… the other was because they made a poor judgment or had a change of heart’
            So what if they made a poor judgment or had a change of heart? You see, this is typical of forced birthers. Don’t want your pregnancy anymore? Tough. You’re going to give birth because we say so and look after the child until it’s 18. Think of it as a punishment for having a sex life.

          • Mac Veigh

            Your misogyny is worrying. Why don’t you educate yourself? You do know, I hope, that some women who you wouldn’t consider as being ‘raped’ are in relationships with abusive, domineering men who call all the shots – including those around pregnancy and birth. Silly women. They should just suck it up, eh?

          • Johnesmith77

            I guarantee I’m more educated than you peasants. I never put the blame solely on women, but you can keep living in your fairy tale world where women have absolutely no control over their choices due to men. I prefer to believe that women can think for themselves.

          • Mac Veigh

            “I prefer to believe that women can think for themselves.”

            Your posts don’t demonstrate that.

            Peasants? Really?

          • Johnesmith77

            Eh I use to refrain from insulting people but attacks on character seem to be the premier debating tactic on the internet.

          • No, that’s not what I said.

            The point here is that you clearly concede that, at least in the case of rape, the pregnant woman has the right to bodily autonomy, over the right of the unborn foetus (or zygote) to survive. My question is why you’d deny the same right to other women?

            What if their relationship breaks down during her pregnancy? What if their economic circumstances significantly change?
            What if she becomes homeless?
            A lot can happen in 9 months.
            A lot can happen that would change a woman’s mind about her pregnancy.
            It’s not their fault, it’s not their responsibility. Their only responsibility is how they then deal with it.

          • Johnesmith77

            What if their relationship breaks down 3 years after her pregnancy?
            What if their economic circumstances significantly change?
            What if she becomes homeless?

            Using your logic, she should give up the kid at that point.

          • Potentially, if she’s unable to care for it. With the provision that if her situation improves she retains the right to access to her child. Though I’m pretty sure this is what Social Services are for.

          • Johnesmith77

            Just like in other aspects of our lives, things don’t always go as planned. I believe that if people are using contraception they are doing so knowing that there is a minuscule plan that it will fail. Those people, along with rape victims, did not plan to have children and are victims of true misfortune. But if someone plans to have a child and half-way through the pregnancy decides they don’t want it, they should live with their decision. We can’t always erase our mistakes (well, depending on when you think life begins, you could be in the opinion that you could reverse it in this case).

    • treborc1

      Pity men did not think of that before they made the girl pregnant.

      • Johnesmith77

        In America, if you impregnate a girl you must pay child support. You seem to believe that men can get away with running around, screwing women, and then forget about the child but that is not the case.

        • Mac Veigh

          This is not America. In the UK, absent fathers are not uncommon. This is not the issue we’re discussing here though. It’s worth mentioning, however, that paying child support does not, in itself, make someone a responsible parent.

          • Johnesmith77

            I’m aware it doesn’t make up for having an actual father (or mother) present. That is a problem here in America too, we have many absent fathers and it definitely shows. Obviously there are more absentees in the lower classes of society but even in the middle and upper class divorce and absenteeism has taken a toll on many children.

        • I’m not entirely convinced that “child support” is adequate replacement for an absent parent.

        • Theoderic Braun

          In the UK we used to have a thing called the Child Support Agency (CSA) which was supposed to round up delinquent fathers and make them pay for the upkeep of their children. The CSA pretty much only squeezed money from middle class fathers because other kinds of delinquent dads turned out to be too poor to pay child maintenance.

          • Johnesmith77

            Interesting. I don’t know if the analogous services in America suffer from the same problems or not since I am not too familiar with the programs.

        • treborc1

          I see so money is the reason , what happens if she thinks your a pig, and thinks well actually I do not want your child, because you pay her she has to have it.

    • Theoderic Braun

      Eh? Are you for real? No sex unless you mean to impregnate a female of the species or become pregnant if you are a female? Does that hold true for you yourself, in your life, and your female partner(s)? Blimey? You poor devil. No wonder you sound pent up and corky.

    • JTPI

      How about we just acknowledge the fact that SEX happens, it is a part of life and everyone is going to do it at some point, some much sooner than others. So instead, why not properly educate our children? Teach them that there are such things as STD’s, that UNPROTECTED sex leads to children, because clearly ‘abstinence’ is not working. No point trying to stop these people at the clinic, its too late, why not catch them before? How many abortions would not have happened if people were properly educated.

      • JTPI

        That is what these people should be enforcing, safe sex that doesnt lead to unwanted children, which means they wouldnt have to HARASS these poor women who choose to have an abortion

  • 黒澤実千代

    Johnesmith77, shamed on your mom. Do acknowledge sex ilike eating. Your question is the same as ‘if you don’t want to be alive, don’t have food, simple as that.’ Do reseach about the meaning of sex before commenting here about what another person’s life should be.

    Without women, you don’t even have a finger to type what you are thinking right now. So Please DO EAT and keep your volunable life. And then the moment that you find out the reason you can stop eating, please come back and comment. yeah we were easily not to have food and sex. If you could do that, everyone would be able to follow.

    There must be a reason for a woman to have such diecision. If you are not a woman. I dont think you know what is being a mom and is always a bit different of being a dad.

    And dont start doubting who is this person commenting. I am not even married and never had pregnancy. but I do feel the love from my parents. I know the suffer from a woman. My dad never experienced it but he understands the pain from my mum to have you and I. Might be you should really talk to your mum before having your thougts as the knowldge and the own rightabout another. because it doesnt seem like you own objectivity is universally agreed.

    Anyone can graduate from everywhere. That is why degree has university name, subject name and levels to show even when we graduated, yet there is a level of knowledge. So even you have a 1st, it does not mean you know the entire knowledge from any subjects. You do not know what is degree in sport or design or the reason to have doctor, lawyer philosopher , psychologist. And why we need master degree, PhD for specific field but not the entire knowledge of the world.

    Because people have all the own sense of what should be done and against about universal agreement, that is the reason that law exists. If agreeing anti-abortion, please studying the law that lies with it. there are always exceptions yet people cannot have this service. People who have this service, will agreed by law.

    Law is created to protect another human right, only a sense of control for people who have unconditional desire about the world. Since This is a serious topic, you shall study law to acknowledge what you are againsting. Only when you are graduated as doctor, phycologist, philosopher or a silicitor, a lawyer or a juge can confirm the right to complete against this subject which is involving another person’s human right. Your graduation does not mean a word to this subject. Your own thought as the knowldge does not vaild to the society. You have to carry the same knowledge to debate what is happening.

    But a person doesnt have such level of knowledge doesn’t mean there isnt a free speech. free speech is for people who have a sense of human being, human nature and why we are here. We do against some events when they are against another human right. The reason that so many people against anti-abortion because it involes another person’s human right. Yet another person is trying to control other’s human right. But yet, the hopitals are still here because they have the protection from law, the logical sense.

  • Rob Pearson

    I take your point about men being able to ‘walk away’ but that seems to imply that men don’t have any ‘buy-in’ to the whole process of creation of a life. I’m sure there are some who do have a conscience about their actions.
    No doubt there are many casual relationships (for want of a better word) that result in pregnancy that is unwanted – but does that necessarily mean the ‘victim’; the unwanted baby; is to pay the price?
    Maybe more men should be more responsible and fully consider the effect of their actions before committing to actions likely to bring about ‘unwanted’ life?

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