Liberalisation of the abortion law by stealth

I’ve written the following to my local MP. It may be too lengthy, but do feel free to copy and paste and plagiarise at will when writing to your local MP, as strongly suggested by LIFE charity. One wag from there tweeted that the government’s consultation with BPAS and Marie Stopes as to these new procedures was like asking advice from the fox on how to secure the chicken coop. Couldn’t have put it better myself!
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I may also meet with Mr Weatherly, not only about this issue, but to ask him why on earth we should vote for him when he has explicitly suggested to David Cameron that churches who do not perform same-sex ‘marriages’ should be stripped of their licence to perform weddings. Voting for him would seem to be akin to a turkey voting for Christmas, but hey-ho, let’s see if he can manage to win back Catholic and Christian support on this issue. There is a vibrant politically engaged Catholic and Evangelical community in Brighton and Hove for whom life issues are crucial in deciding where to put the cross on the ballot paper.
Dear Mr Weatherly
On Monday of this week, I was invited in my capacity as a Catholic columnist and broadcaster to debate by Oxford University’s Students for Life organisation, the following motion “This House regrets the passing of the 1967 Abortion Act” against Kate Smurthwaite, feminist comedian and deputy-chairman of the organisation Abortion Rights.
In the course of conducting some research for the debate, I came across some very telling speeches from Hansard, where even pro-choice politicians were denying that the proposed bill would lead to abortion on demand.
In particular David Steel, one of the original architects of the bill said this:
“We want to stamp out the back-street abortions, but it is not the intention of the Promoters of the Bill to leave a wide open door for abortion on request.”
 
This tallies with his subsequent remarks made in December 2013 in which he referred to the almost 200,000 abortions which take place in Britain on an annual basis and said that he never envisaged that there would be so many abortions. 
 
Another MP, Jill Knight, now Baroness Knight, had this to say in her speech to the house:
 
Although I have been sympathetic to this Bill, I could never go all the way with the suggestion that there should be abortion on demand, which, of course, is what subsection (1, c) actually means. This subsection is so wide and so loose that any woman who felt that her coming baby would be an inconvenience would be able to get rid of it.
There is something very wrong indeed about this. Babies are not like bad teeth to be jerked out just because they cause suffering. An unborn baby is a baby nevertheless. Would the sponsors of the Bill think it right to kill a baby they can see? Of course they would not. Why then do they think it right to kill one they cannot see? It seems to me that this is a most important point. I have come to believe that those who support abortion on demand do so because in all sincerity they cannot accept that an unborn baby is a human being. Yet surely it is. Its heart beats, it moves, it sleeps, it eats. Uninterfered with, it has a potential life ahead of it of 70 years or more ; it may be a happy life, or a sad life ; it may be a genius, or it may be just plain average ; but surely as a healthy, living baby it has a right not to be killed simply because it be may inconvenient for a year or so to its mother.”
 
Her speech was greeted with uproar, she was rebuked by the Speaker of the house for being ‘emotional’ when she described the abortion process, which consists of dismembering the unborn child and her prediction that subsection 1,c of the Act would lead to abortion on demand was poo-poohed as exaggeration. 
 
Those who enacted the 1967 Abortion Act, did so whilst promising that abortion would not be available upon demand. These promises are clearly not being kept and the law routinely broken.
 
In the UK, more than 200,000 abortions take place every year, which is a total of almost 7 million, in the forty-five years since the 1967 Abortion Act was passed. This amounts to almost a tenth of the UK population who are missing. 
 
An official review carried out by the National Collaborating Centre for mental health in 2011, stated that abortion does not improve mental health outcomes for women with unplanned pregnancies, despite the fact that over 98% of the abortions performed in the UK every year are done so under mental health grounds, leading Dr Peter Saunders, of the Christian Medical Fellowship, to posit that they are in fact technically illegal. 
 
The former Conservative health secretary, Andrew Lansley took steps to introduce some further, un-debated and undemocratic changes to current abortion law provision. Disturbingly he has removed the requirement for a woman to be seen by the two doctors who need by law to authorise her abortion. 
 
This provision was put into the law precisely to protect women from exploitation, recognising the serious and grave nature of abortion, that it ends a human life, a definition which even Ann Furedi Chief Executive of BPAS, the UK’s single largest independent provider of abortions would accept. According to the draft Revised Standard Operating Procedures, (RSOPs) published as part of the public consultation, one which was incidentally, not widely publicised, doctors will no longer be required to meet with a woman before signing off upon her abortion, this instead will be left to a ‘multi-disciplinary’ team which could include people who have no medical or nursing training. 
 
It’s worth noting that in 2008, when he was shadow health secretary, Andrew Lansley advocated removal of the two doctor rule, during the passage of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill in his second reading speech, however he later backed off following adverse publicity and an amendment aimed at dispensing the two doctor rule, was never debated or voted upon.
 
Mr Lansley’s proposals were not posted on the government’s website until 6 months after  the abortion clinics were issued with them and neither were they publicly announced. 
 
The consultation surrounding them has now closed and the Department of Health is about to release these new guidelines to abortion clinics and doctors. At no point have these new proposals which radically alter the implementation and spirit of the Abortion Act been debated. 
 
I am also disturbed to learn that in response to a question from Fiona Bruce MP, the Public Health Minister, Jane Ellison MP has confirmed that the department of health had general discussions about the Abortion Act with BPAS and Marie Stopes International, and said that there are no plans to consult on a draft as the new proposals are designed to to set out the department’s interpretation of the law. I note that no post-abortive women have been consulted as to their views and experiences. 
 
Speaking from my perspective of a woman who has suffered serious consequences following an abortion procedure, which was performed in a similar type of fashion to the proposals suggested by the Department of Health, this rubber-stamping attitude caused me a lot of harm. I was not administered the medication to terminate my pregnancy by a doctor, nor was I seen by a doctor at any stage during my abortion procedure, despite the fact that I suffered from severe and abnormal bleeding. Neither was it ever explained to me that I could expect to experience a form of labour, that the bleeding could be extremely heavy, painful and prolonged. At no point did I ever receive any sort of counselling, I did not even know that this was available. My appointment consisted of my telling a woman (I have no idea if she was medically qualified or not) of the predicament I found myself in and being told that it would be irresponsible to have a baby, although there were no medical facts that would indicate that either my physical or mental health would be at risk. 
 
My mental health was however, compromised as a result of the procedure. 
 
It is an undeniable fact that not only does abortion end a human life, but it also causes very real harm to many women, either physically, emotionally or both. 
 
Abortion procedures need to be tightened up, as my experience shows women are already deprived of the support and information that they need from the abortion clinics when faced with a crisis pregnancy. 
 
Making abortion routine in this fashion, normalises the taking of human life, as well as causing untold harm to the women affected. 
 
Perhaps most importantly from your perspective, there is massive public opposition to these proposed changes. According to a Com Res poll on 7 March, 90% of women believe that women seeks an abortion should always be seen by a qualified doctor. 80% felt that a woman’s health would be put at risk if she was not seen by two doctors. Another 80% said that doctors who lie about having seen patients should be prosecuted and well over half believed that the two doctor requirement should be more rigourously policed in private clinics. 
 
We have recently seen the abhorrent practice of gendercide whereby unborn babies are aborted solely due to their female sex been exposed as occurring in UK abortion clinics. This relaxation of the rules does nothing to prevent this abuse. 
 
The 1967 Abortion Act was brought in on the grounds of compassion in very limited cases and yet it is routinely contravened and has caused untold harm to mothers and babies alike. 
 
Regardless of your view on abortion, I would like to seek your opinion on whether or not a government minister can or should re-write statue law on such a vital issue in such a clandestine and undemocratic fashion, without public approval. 
 
As my democratically elected MP in the key marginal seat of Hove, I would very much welcome your views on this issue. 
 
I refer you to this excellent and comprehensive article by Dr Peter Saunders on how David Cameron’s Conservative party has presided over the largest liberalisation of the Abortion Act since 1967, without a democratic mandate. 
 
Yours sincerely
 
Caroline Farrow

What’s changed since 1967?

women exploited by abortion
As true now as it was then

The abortion laws in this country are clearly in a mess. For the past eighteen months the media has confirmed what most people who have ever experienced an abortion know to be the case – namely that we have abortion on demand, with the provisions of the 1967 Abortion Act totally ignored.

Nothing better illustrates the ‘slippery slope’ argument than the story of the abortion narrative in the UK. Brought in under the auspices of compassion, in a misguided attempt to prevent the handful of tragic deaths resulting from illegal abortions in either unsanitary conditions and/or performed by unskilled amateurs, the Abortion Act nonetheless recognised the inherent right to life of the unborn child and prescribed a series of strict criteria under which abortion could be performed. Abortion was treated as such a serious matter that it required the signature of two separate doctors in order to prevent abuses and exploitation of vulnerable women. Two doctors were supposed to rigidly assess the medical facts presented before them and use their  judgement as qualified professionals as to the medical ethics of abortion in a particular given set of difficult circumstances.

The law that was brought in as a result of a determined pressure group, was designed to be strictly applied to a limited  number of women on the grounds of compassion, in circumstances where it was believed that there was little other choice, has mutated into an industry responsible for almost 200,000 abortions a year. Of the 97% funded by the NHS, 62% are subcontracted out to the private sector and a staggering £1 million a week is spent on repeat abortions. Even Lord Steel, one of the architects of the 1967 Abortion Act said that he “never envisaged that there would be so many abortions”. Speaking today, following the revelation that in only 46% of cases is there a record that a doctor has met the woman seeking an abortion to check that she is able to give fully formed consent, he described these figures as ‘regrettable’ and ‘against the Spirit of the 1967 Act’.

As the Daily Telegraph has repeatedly demonstrated with numerous exposes, the carefully-crafted rhetoric of abortion being purely a complex medical decision between a woman facing a seemingly impossible dilemma and her doctor, is a sham. In an investigation by the Care Quality Commission, clinics and hospitals were discovered operating illegal practices such as having batches of forms pre-signed by two doctors. In another investigation clinics were found to be offering to perform illegal later-stage gender selective abortions of baby girls.

This week the hypocrisy of the feminist movement has once again been laid bare, which keeps quiet over the abortion of baby girls, stating that women’s choice has to be paramount, the reason for terminating a pregnancy is irrelevant, what matters most is the woman’s decision itself, given that it is her who will be tasked with completing her pregnancy, giving birth to a child and presumably raising him or her. It begs the inevitable question as to whether or not they would still continue to insist that it is always a woman’s choice should a woman wish to abort her child on the equally unsavoury grounds that they would be of a certain race, or if an ante-natal test for sexuality were to be discovered. As the law currently stands, it is perfectly acceptable to terminate a baby up until the moment of their birth on the grounds of disability; in practice, if you discover that you are not having the longed-for gender, it is permissible to abort your baby for the lack or addition of a penis, up until the 24 week mark.

According to a story in the Independent, gender selective abortion in socially progressive Britain has reduced the population of women from ethnic minority groups by up to as many as 4,700.

The government’s response to such abuses of the law, is staggering, rather than to enforce and tighten up on the law as it currently stands, especially in relation to gender-selective abortions, their answer is to loosen it yet further and remove the requirement for a woman seeking an abortion to even seek a doctor. Furthermore a doctor will not need to give individual requests consideration before approving them.

So in effect a woman may, for whatever reason, decide that she wants to destroy her unborn child and she will therefore be given licence to do so, irrespective of the circumstances. Far from being an advancement in the cause of women’s rights, this is an abuser’s charter, giving green lights to statutory rapists in relationships with girls under the age of consent, as well as anyone else who seeks to force, coerce or pressurise a woman into an abortion.

The law was drafted precisely to protect vulnerable women, removing the requirement for this to be seen by two independent doctors, does nothing but harm the cause of women. I speak from a personal perspective of someone who had the experience of a rubber-stamped, no-questions- asked-abortion. No-one questioned me, however gently as to whether I was really aware of what I was doing, or informed me as to the potential future physical and emotional repercussions. Neither did they prepare me for the horrors of the procedure of itself and its immediate aftermath. I saw a GP just once, who referred the whole thing onto Marie Stopes.

It was assumed that I knew what I wanted and knew what I was doing. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I believe that had I been correctly counselled, with all options laid out in front of me, and possible future consequences, along with the ethical considerations, I would now be the proud mother of a seventeen year old young adult. In all of my subsequent pregnancies I have suffered from mild to severe crippling ante-natal depression. It doesn’t take Freud to work out why, nor can this been blamed on a religiously indoctrinated guilt complex – abortion was never discussed in religious terms at school but  couched in vague ethical terms. Prior to having an abortion I had never once seen graphic depictions, nor indeed been presented with an intelligent,  reasoned or scientific  pro-life case.

The statement “Nurses are often much better at dealing with the emotional and psychological needs of women”, from Tracey McNeill, director of Marie Stopes International, seems to pander to outdated paternalistic sexist claptrap in presuming that nurses are women. The midwife who delivered my second baby and latched her onto my breast was a male. He was more than capable of dealing with my emotional and psychological needs, as was my husband. This seems to buy into old-fashioned and unhelpful stereotypes about the gender and bedside manner of doctors. What’s needed is someone with excellent counselling skills together with bucketloads of empathy and compassion, regardless of their level of medical qualification or gender, though the thought of un-surgically experienced nurses carrying out surgical abortions, doesn’t seem to have moved us much further on from  pre-1967 practice. Mandy Rice-Davis’ infamous words come to mind: with a desperate shortage of doctors willing and able to become involved in the practice of abortion, clinics increasingly need nurse practitioners to fill the gap, hence “they would say that, wouldn’t they”?

It’s baloney. The female sonographer who roughly manhandled me and spoke in monosyllabic grunts when performing a pre-abortion ultrasound was hardly in tune with my emotional and psychological needs, neither was the ‘counsellor’, who again said so little to me, that I didn’t even realise that this was supposed to constitute an official counselling session, all she did was to nod and brusquely tell me that abortion was for the best and proceed to book in the abortion. Neither was the nurse who administered the abortion pills internally, only thinking to inform me afterwards that I would experience a ‘mini labour’ more in tune with my needs than any other medical practitioner, neither was the receptionist who shouted at me reducing me to tears and certainly not the ward nurse who expressed grim satisfied delight as I shook with fever and chills, poured with sweat and threw up, repeatedly attempting to physically force me back into bed and stop me from pacing around to alleviate my pain.

As for taking pills at home for the expulsion of the foetus, I’ve written about that before, however my experience of both medical abortion and a miscarriage is that this is a frightening and potentially dangerous procedure that requires medical supervision. A brief look at the miscarriage threads on a site such as Mumsnet, will throw up numerous stories of women panicking about the amount of pain and bloodloss experienced even when their loss is at an early stage, with a significant proportion requiring emergency treatment and in rare cases it fails. Giving women this treatment with no supervision, even if it is only for the initial stages, is reckless, prioritising the needs and capacity of the healthcare facility, before the physical health of the woman.

Ignoring the provisions  and protections of the Abortion Act caused me (and my unborn baby) irreparable harm as it has to countless women. Doubtless some women will find the requirement for two signatures an irritant, believing that they know their own mind and body, however this is about the protection of the many, including the unborn child. The question of whether it is ever ethical to terminate the life of an unborn child, to which the law says only in certain medically prescribed circumstances, is as relevant now as it was forty five years ago. Every single recent opinion poll in the UK demonstrates that women are overwhelmingly against any further liberalisation of the law.

If every case and every woman’s circumstances are different, then surely she is being let down by not having her case subject to the most stringent medical safeguards and close scrutiny by two doctors  in order to ensure that her best interests are really being served? Forty five years ago, the law decided that the unborn child merited protection, and should not be arbitrarily disposed of. What has changed to make that principle redundant?

Pope Francis’ words about the throwaway culture, even of people, embodied by abortion and euthanasia, seem more penetrating than ever.

Slippery Sophistry

In response to the series of exposes by the Daily Telegraph last week, Voice for Choice, ‘the coalition to defend and extend women’s choice on abortion’, has released an open letter of support. (h/t SPUC)

I was left open-mouthed in astonishment by some of its claims, which are crying out for a good fisking.

As can be expected, all of the signatories are members of pro-abort lobby groups and providers, including Ann Furedi, Chief Executive of BPAS and Lisa Hallgarten, director of the former charity, Education for Choice. The amateur nature of the arguments encapsulated in the letter was summarised by the suggested reading list, which included blog entries from the various signatories, such as Ms Berer and Ms Hallgarten, a link to Nadine Dorries’ piece on Conservative Home, links to the Telegraph articles and most amusingly an editorial from that bastion of common sense and moral ethics – The Observer. Had the pro-life lobby signed a letter with those sources, Dr Evan Harris and his ilk would have been all over it like a cheap suit, decrying the lack of scientific evidence and satirising the use of opinion pieces as sources. Instead of linking to scientific studies and sources, or academic papers regarding the practice and ethics of gender selective abortion, readers are urged to reference individual blogs and a supportive column in the national press and take this as “supporting evidence”. The only reason for the mention of the Telegraph and Mrs Dorries’ piece is so that the reader can read what is being referenced and instead of being directly linked to in the letter, they are listed at the bottom of the list of sources, to be read once the pro-abort lobby have had their say. If I wrote something for widespread circulation that I expected to be taken as a basis for informing policy and debate citing only opinion pieces and personal blogs, then the work would be written off for lack of an evidence base and its biased nature.

In the style of the indomitable Father Z, I shall reproduce certain extracts and highlight my comments in bold.

In the face of the Daily Telegraph’s attempt to entrap and discredit a number of doctors who provide abortions – entrap? That means to force a person to commit an offence that they would not ordinarily have committed. So the doctors would not normally have referred to abortions on the grounds of gender then? They would not normally have said “no questions asked” or, as in the case of Dr Mohan, falsified paperwork? Those mean old undercover investigators made them do it?

we believe…that the provision of safe, accessible abortion care is a vital element of health care provision. I guess that depends upon whether or not you are the unborn baby, for whom the procedure is not particularly ‘healthy’. Nobody has mentioned the Republic of Ireland where abortion is banned and yet maternal death rates are among the lowest in the world and still dropping.

Similarly, abortion on grounds of sex selection is neither legal nor illegal in itself.1 Under the 1967 Abortion Act, it is the effect of the pregnancy on a woman’s health, mental health and life that must be taken into account to determine whether or not she has grounds for abortion. – actually they’ve got this bit correct, but that still means that “no questions asked”, which 3 of the consultants stated, was in breech of the Act. It is morally and legally dubious to pronounce that having a specific gender is going to cause so much damage to a woman’s health, mental health and life, that she must abort the baby, with no further questions asked. The law demands further enquiry and probity.

Rather, the law gives doctors the responsibility to decide whether the risk of continuing the pregnancy to the woman’s health and mental health is greater than if the pregnancy were terminated. In making this judgement, doctors are directed by the law to take into account the woman’s personal circumstances. – which rules out a no-questions asked policy. Duh!

The 1967 Abortion Act gave doctors the responsibility for authorising abortions in the belief that women could not be trusted to take this decision for themselves. – spot the feminist revisionism. No it didn’t. The Abortion Act gave doctors the responsibility, because it recognised the gravity inherent in the taking of a life of the unborn. Trusting a woman had nothing to do with it. The Act recognised that this was a medical procedure, like any other and thus the clinical decision needed to be taken by the medics, having taken into account all of the circumstances, if all other possibilities were closed to a woman. Abortion was NEVER envisaged as a right or a lifestyle choice. If I went to the GP tomorrow and asked for breast implants to take me up to a double HH, otherwise there was a serious risk to my health, the doctor would not simply refer me for the procedure forthwith. They would recognise the risks inherent in surgery and explore whether or not this was a strictly necessary procedure. The abortion is the ending of a human life, the removal of a baby from a mother’s womb. Why is this decision of less gravitas than cosmetic surgery for whatever reason? A woman will still have to live with the outcome of her cosmetic surgery or lack thereof, so what right does a doctor have to refuse it?

Hence, most doctors are willing to provide an abortion referral for a woman if she requests it because they understand that continuing an unwanted pregnancy is not good for women or their children, and will almost always cause a woman greater distress than having an abortion. – really? Do we have the stats to back that up? If so why are they not cited? Whether or not abortion is more harmful than pregnancy is greatly contested amongst the academics. Certainly not what the study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry reported in September 2011 – stating that women who had an abortion had an 81% increased risk of mental health problems. Have any qualitative studies been carried out of women (such as myself) who have carried an unplanned/unwanted pregnancy to term? Would it really have been better for me to have had 3 of my children aborted? Would I feel so much better? Hmmm. No-one can qualify this claim with any certainty because of the nature of the variables.

We think that abortion should be available on a woman’s request, and not be governed by criminal statute at all. – in the words of Mandy Rice-Davies – they would say that wouldn’t they? Which would presumably mean abortion up to birth and post-birth abortions, if you follow through that logic.

We are also opposed to gender discrimination, but sex selective abortion is not gender discrimination. – ???? Eh. What???? Lovely piece of semantics here. Sex is not gender because it’s a social construct presumably? We’re in Blackadder territory – “Lord be Praised, it’s a boy without a winkle”!! In any event it’s evidence that most have not yet thankfully bought into Judith Butler’s nonsense. Discrimination means choice. What is abortion on the grounds of a lack or addition of penis, if it is not gender discrimination?

Gender discrimination applies only to living people. A fetus does not have rights in the same way as a living person does, and therefore cannot be said to suffer from discrimination. – ah there’s the nub of it. It’s not really a person and therefore has no rights, therefore we can do as we please with it. Choosing to abort because the baby is not a boy/girl isn’t discrimination, which can only apply to a person. I see. Discrimination is only concerned with the treating of people unfairly, so given it’s not a person, it can’t be unfair to kill it because of its gender. Hmmm. I see…

sex selective abortion may be one of the consequences of gender discrimination, but it is not a cause of gender discrimination. – its getting increasingly slippery here. Think you’ll find that if there are less girls (or boys) in a country’s overall demographic due to sex selective abortion, it has a massive impact upon that society’s behaviour. Societies where there are less girls for example, suffer from more violence, more violent crimes against women and higher rates of sex-trafficking. China is taking steps to limit this practice due to concerns that a boy’s inability to marry will cause psychological concerns and more violent crimes. Sex selective abortions are all about the worth of a particular gender’s (usually women) life.

Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, who otherwise claims he wants doctors to be in charge of all our health care services, said that doctors would face the “full force” of the law if they break the 1967 Abortion Act. This is hard to swallow, especially considering that many of us hadn’t even been born the last time a doctor had to face the full force of the law in relation to illegal abortion. – how’s that for a piece of irrelevant cant? I wasn’t alive when the offence against the Persons’ Act was passed, most of us weren’t alive when many laws that affect our everyday lives were passed, that doesn’t make them any the less applicable or binding. Ignorance of the law is no defence.

The Health Secretary should know better than most that the 1967 Abortion Act was formulated precisely to allow doctors to exercise their professional judgement. It is shocking that he would threaten them with prosecution for doing so on such flimsy evidence. – flimsy evidence? You mean video recordings showing the doctors not making any attempt to adhere to the law and make any enquiries as to whether or not the woman fitted any of the grounds laid out in the Abortion Act. Nothing like a piece of outrage to up the emotional ante, attack being the best form of defence.

Then follows the obligatory smear of Nadine Dorries, without which, no pro-abort literature is worth its salt. Then to conclude:

The vast majority of heterosexually active people of reproductive age are currently using a method of contraception to the best of their ability, but one in three women in Britain will have an abortion in her lifetime. – no contraception is 100% effective right? So is that 1 in 3 women will have a contraceptive failure, or 1 in 3 women will choose to have an abortion? Nice bit of conflation to befuddle the issue and typical of the soft marketing messages given out by the abortion providers. Social conditioning is a known sales, marketing technique. When faced with a choice or dilemma we look to the examples of other people to validate our own actions. What do we teach our children? I’m not interested in what little Johnny does. What matter is what YOU do. Same principle.

We applaud their commitment in the face of unwarranted harassment and condemnation. – unwarranted harassment. I remember last year Dr Evan Harris’ absence of evidence is evidence of absence argument. He argued that because there was no evidence of abuses by clinics with regards to abuses of the law, then that lack of evidence was in itself evidence that everything was fine. Undercover filming to ascertain whether or not clinics are operating in according to the law, is not harassment. It’s a review, which should have been done by the Quality Care Commission. Every other industry is subject to outside review, it seems that this is yet another area in which the CQC has been lax. Which is why Cynthia Bower resigned last week.

every public debate show that most people in Britain are aware of and support the right to use contraception and the right of women to seek abortion when pregnancy is unwanted. – rightyho, so what do you make of the Sky News Live poll last week in which 74% of participants expressed the view that abortion is far too easy to obtain?

We call on everyone who supports family planning, including safe abortion, to express their appreciation for the health professionals who provide them. – by baking them cakes and buying them thank-you cards, like the 40 Treats for Life people? Bleurgh. Looking at that photo stream again, I noticed that Easter eggs are some of the treats donated? Could anything be more subverted than the Easter egg, the symbol of new life, given to people who think that destroying it is serving some great purpose to humanity.

Voice for Choice. It’s a catchy name for a group, but like so many other slogans, it’s utterly shallow.