What’s the plan, Stan?

So, I said I’d do one final post, before a break of a few weeks, and here it is. As will become obvious I do want comments to continue to pour in as I think that this could actually prove very constructive.

Let’s be honest. There is no coherent pro-life movement in the UK. I have spent hours pouring over pro-choice literature, academic studies, political analysis, I follow them like a hawk on social media and I have to concede they are expert operators with cogent strategies, smooth PR machines who are able to drive headlines and influence public opinion. I know one or two people who have attended their meetings incognito. I’ve thought about doing the same, with the addition of a black wig and my glasses. What I have been told is that the pro-choice lobby are friendly, very well-organised and above all democratic, transparent and accountable.

What do we have to counter that? A disparate bunch of well-meaning squabblers, and I admit in some respects I may not have helped, but it pains me beyond belief to see the mess our side are in; whilst we squabble, bicker and fight, countless die.

I know all the arguments about Catholic teaching, about Christian teaching and so on and so forth, there is a time and a place to evangelise and I don’t simply mean in Church, but trying to base legislation upon Biblical, Scriptural or Magisterial Authority has not worked since before the Enlightenment. I think we have to draw an important distinction between Christian evangelisation and attempting to achieve our goals. Of course the two are inexorably linked and should complement and support each other, but campaigning for the dignity of the unborn and sick and elderly does not necessitate or require theology or biblical exegesis. We can draw on that to other Christians or in the course of general apologetics, but appealing to God, whilst trying to convince an atheist as to the horror of abortion, or why it is not right to put to death terminally ill or elderly people, is simply not going to wash.

It seems to me we have two options:

Option one

We all agree that I am a cheeky bumptious upstart who has no business sticking her opinionated nose into pro-life politics. If I want to do something I can rattle some collecting tins in Church, attend coffee mornings, bake cakes for pro-life charity sales, maybe do a bit of typing for the Pro-Life times or some such, but generally get back to my life of witness by continuing to have as many babies as I can until my uterus falls out.

In the meantime, the internecine squabbling continues, positions are more firmly entrenched than ever before, pro-life groups carry on doing what they’ve always done, groups are as polarised as ever before, John Smeaton retires in ten years time and passes on the family firm to his son, whilst LIFE carry on doing what they do. Both groups do some things well, but no real progress is made, things just tick on as before, it’s all about the damage limitation.

In the meantime, Dorries pushes for the 20 week reduction and fails miserably, much to the cheers of her detractors. Bouyed up by Nadine’s failure, the pro-choice lobby, decide to push on with their agenda, the requirement for the second doctor’s signature is removed, pro-life groups are no longer allowed to present in schools and are barred from carrying out any pregnancy counselling. Marie Stopes and BPAS build more and more clinics, abortion numbers go up, more sex education is thought to be the solution, more condoms and morning after pills are given out and so the cycle continues. Who knows, they may challenge for an overturning of the abortion pill to be administered in a clinic and will probably start hawking mobile abortion services, or even dial-an-abortion whereby a woman can have her consultation over the phone and the pill delivered by courier.

In short, doom and death.

Option 2

How about a meeting? (I won’t come, I promise, I’ll be too busy skulking or giving birth or something, besides I don’t want to be lynched by anyone). I know this seems incredible, I know we aren’t going to get x, y and z to actually sit down together in a room and begin to talk, dear me no, that could never happen could it, because of things that happened 20 years ago.

How about a team of professional mediators and ALL the major pro-life players and when I say ALL, I mean ALL? Not just representatives from SPUC, LIFE, Right-to-Life, but everyone, from people like Peter Saunders, to John Smeaton, Jack Scarisbrick, to Phyllis Bowman, Josephine Quintavelle, Ed Rennie, heck even Lord Alton, EVERYONE, lets get them all together to sit down, agree common goals and talk, to see where we can all go from here.

What I would love to see is a consolidation of all groups, – one huge group with different arms and focuses, say a euthanasia arm, an education arm, an outreach arm, a political arm, a research arm and so on and so forth. Consolidation has to be the name of the game in this day and age. It’s a clunky analogy but look at the airline industry. All the little airlines could not survive single handedly, routes were being duplicated, losses were being made and so we’ve seen some mergers in order to ensure survival. I know that the pro-life movement is not a business, but surely if we had one movement, one that was democratic, transparent and accountable, then certainly Catholics would know to whom to donate in good faith, as would Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, people of all faiths and none. We seem to have so much duplication and wastage and yet no coherent strategy.

I know there are so many thorny issues to be thought through, I know there are many competing egos, but surely with professional mediators and then with the help of management consultants (sorry, but they would need to be a prerequisite) we could take stock of the resources and expertise available, consolidate and move forward? I know there are issues such as LIFE only do non-directive counselling and really Catholics must tell people the truth that abortion is the killing of a baby and morally wrong, but surely there has to be areas of consensus and commonality?

I really don’t think we can carry on as we are, it’s 2012, it’s time to finally sort this mess out, and getting everyone together in a room seems a good place to start. If the Irish peace process can manage to get Gerry Adams and David Trimble around the table, then there’s hope for all of us.

Which brings me to something that I’ve always wanted to do. One of those poll jobbies. Over to you. What do you think? Maybe the first thing we can organise is that long overdue rally?

Pragmatic compassion

My post on the non-directive counselling services provided by LIFE was pure marmite, the responses being polarised between “superb” and “rubbish”!

For me this is one of the joys of blogging in that those who had a negative response gave some detailed analysis of their objections that has challenged my thinking. Once again apologies for lack of linkage, I will rectify once I get access to a laptop, but Joseph Shaw at Casuistry Central blogspot posted a thorough examination of the potential problematic issues that result from LIFE’s provision of non-directive counselling services.

In terms of the practical issues, there is no evidence that non-directive counselling is more likely to be effective in terms of a pro-life outcome. This is indeed true and probably why the idea of independent impartial counselling is being advanced by Dorries and Field. Nadine Dorries obviously feels very passionate about abortion issues, although she cannot be accurately described as pro-life because she seems to endorse the notion of “informed choice”, the language of those who have no fundamental issue with a the choice to abort a child. If people looked at the actual substance of her proposal they would realise that far from being the perceived oppressor, Dorries is a true feminist, she wants women to come to their own informed decision, conscious of all the information and options open to them. The problem is as Nadine has previously stated her wish to reduce the numbers of abortions and her general overall PR problem, the public, perhaps understandably have issues of trust, which is an enormous pity, considering the gravity of what is at stake.

As things currently stand, the two providers which the NHS refer to, do not provide all the information and thus cannot be said to be impartial or non-directive, having a vested interest in the outcome of counselling. This is hotly disputed, but from both personal experience and the testimony of others, what the abortion clinics do categorically do not do, is pass on or provide information with regards to the financial help that might be available. They do not help a woman to explore whether or not the costs of having a baby may be insurmountable. There are a lot of myths surrounding newborns; actually in practical terms a newborn baby costs relatively little in terms of initial expenditure and outlay; not being able to afford the latest designer pram or buy the fripperies which baby magazines are so keen to push and end up being total white elephants, is not a good enough reason for ending the unborn life of a child. Even if one doesn’t breastfeed or use reusable nappies, two ways which save considerable amounts of cash, but aren’t for everyone, child benefit, tax credits and grants can cover the “running costs”, although there are of course there are other financial issues involved, one can’t generalise. The point is that none of this is discussed by the current abortion providers.

The other issue that is not discussed is the stage of fetal development, every woman I have spoken to has reported that prior to the abortion they are given an ultrasound to ascertain precisely what stage the pregnancy is at, but they have never been shown the scan, the screen being turned sharply away. Even if a woman has asked to see, she has been persuaded that it is not in her best interests.It is a policy of abortion clinics not to show women the scan so she is in the dark about the precise stage of pregnancy that she might be at. Isn’t this rather patronising? Shouldn’t a woman at least be given the option? At six weeks the fetal heartbeat can be detected, even if a woman is adamant that she doesn’t want the baby, shouldn’t she at least know, if abortion is a ‘medical procedure’ the precise nature of her treatment? It could be argued that women are able to access images of fetal development on the internet. Many of them may do so already. Do abortion clinics ask women if they have already done so?

The answer to this is no, the same response to the question of whether or not clinics advise as to the potential complications or side-effects of an abortion. The ‘counselling ‘ provided by these clinics is affirmative, confirming a woman in her decision without ever challenging it. The physical realities are often glossed over as I have written about previously. Whilst singing the praises of Marie Stopes, Laurie Penny waxes lyrical about how wonderful they were on the phone when some acquaintance was experiencing trauma due to post operative bleeding which she didn’t know whether or not was normal. Had the clinic done their job properly, then the woman would have had an idea of what to expect.

If “no woman wants an abortion”, then the issue needs to be thoroughly explored with her to ensure that this really is in her best interests. Many women would dispute this however, Deborah Orr testifies to having had two abortions and though the procedures themselves were unpleasant, she states that afterwards it was like being let out of prison and that for her counselling would have been a waste of time, money and effort. According to Orr, feminists need “to stop with the hand-wringing”. That hardly fits with the no woman wants to have an abortion narrative. A more accurate statement would be “no woman wants to be in the position of needing an abortion”. If this is the case then there is a simple answer. If despite her best efforts a woman unexpectedly finds herself with an unplanned pregnancy, then counselling is necessary to ascertain whether or not the pregnancy is a “need”.

Non-directive counselling does not preclude the provision of all the additional information that is conveniently omitted by the abortion providers and though there is no concrete evidence which suggests that it is more likely to produce a particular outcome, the likelihood is that furnished with all the information, women may well reconsider a decision to abort. When this issue is discussed, the feminists tend to change tack and display their usual cognitive dissonance. They go from violently objecting to the concept of counselling which they deem manipulative, casting the woman in the usual status as victims unable to be able to see through the nasty underhand tactics of the pro-life crazies, to a narrative which suggests that all women who have an abortion are well-informed, know their own mind and do it in a spirit of sadness. The truth of the matter is that there is a broad spectrum in terms of vulnerability, attitudes and levels of knowledge. The NHS does not hesitate to assume a low level of knowledge and expertise when it comes to new mothers or even experienced ones. My 12 week old is my third baby, I’ve breastfed all of my children for over a year, I know the signs of illness, failure to thrive and so on, but even yesterday the Health Visitor rang me, whilst on holiday on the beach, to berate me for not going to baby clinic and to fuss about the health of the baby! “I’m fine, leave me alone” is what I wanted to say to her, but realised that she was only doing her job, child welfare and health was her main concern and for every experienced mother exasperated by unnecessary nannying there is another one in need of advice and support. The same could be said of counselling services, for every woman confident that she is in full possession of all the facts and information, there is another who isn’t. After all who really researches the facts of early stage pregnancy until it becomes of immediate concern to them? Most women who tend to find themselves with an unplanned pregnancy, know they have a time limit and set about fixing the problem whereupon they find themselves on the abortion conveyer belt.

Joseph Shaw made the excellent point that the Dorries/Field amendment introduces the concept that non-directive counsellors may well become legal gatekeepers to abortion. In Catholic terms this is problematic and correlates with his idea that to provide non-directive counselling is to co-operate with evil. This already happens in Germany whereby women are legally required to undergo counselling prior to an abortion. Women who have received counselling and still wish to proceed with an abortion need to produce a certificate to this effect. The CDF has asked Catholics to disassociate themselve from groups who provide this counselling, because the provision of the certificate is to co-operate with the evil of abortion. The problem is not the counselling per se, but the provision of the certificate, therefore if the amendment is passed provided that no similar system requiring documentation from the counsellors to proceed is implemented, then this should not be a barrier to Catholic groups.

It is the idea that there should be any sort of gatekeepers which is arousing the ire of the alleged pro-choice lobby. Abortion is still technically illegal in the UK, it may only be performed under prescribed circumstances. This is why the signature of two doctors is currently required, in order that there may be a check and balance, the second signature is supposed to ensure that no malpractice, coercion or criminal offence has occurred. A second opinion was part of a law that recognised the gravity of the act and ensured that abortion was a last resort. Doctors were trusted to be the moral arbiters, not a woman. Over the years the fears of the slippery slope of many of the leading campaigners against the Abortion Act have been realised. A law designed to prevent the estimated 50 annual deaths in the UK from unsafe abortion has resulted in almost 200,000 abortions being performed in the UK on an annual basis. We have abortion on demand, which is why women seem to believe that it is their right and their choice. This is why Deborah Orr and her ilk vigorously campaign for the removal of the requirement for a second signature to make abortion even easier to access. The second signature, though treated as an exercise in bureaucracy, a complete subversion of the law, legally enforces the notion of abortion as the necessary evil, the last resort, not the back-up to contraception which Orr and Furedi claim it should be. Mandatory independent counselling consolidates the law as it stands, it is not a chipping away of rights, the right never existed in the first place. The amendment should be supported for this reason alone.

When discussing the idea of directive counselling, both Ben Trovato and Joseph Shaw noted that I constructed a straw man in suggesting that clients would be told what they should conclude at the beginning of the session, rather than, as is the case with other pro-life organisations, helped to reach this conclusion by the end of the session. I agree, however I was responding to some typically emotive rhetoric which I have never been able to establish whether it was grounded in truth. A vehement feminist, told lurid tales of women being brow-beaten, emotionally blackmailed, told they were “baby-murdering sluts”, shown graphic photos of dismembered fetuses and made to handle life-size models of fetuses. I would like to see these claims substantiated, we can’t assume that this does not go on, but the account seems grossly exaggerated. However as we have seen in the media, the Guardian in particular, publishing a disproportionate number of articles devoted to misrepresenting LIFE, they face an enormous task in surmounting their reputation as “religious nutjobs”. If nothing else my blog proves their impartiality beyond all reasonable doubt, given the reaction from Catholics. Any pro-life organisation provision of counselling is going to prove an anathema to the liberal press which will do its best to sway public opinion and whip up misplaced indignation. Ann Furedi has publicly attacked LIFE, but the one thing she has done is to admit that when BPAS sent someone undercover to investigate claims of manipulation, these were found to be unsubstantiated. LIFE, she concedes, does provide non-directive counselling, no graphic or distressing material was used.

We live in a depressing age of moral relativism whereby every choice or decision is said to be equally valid. The current zeitgeist is for an “evidenced-based” approach and for the issue of abortion to operate in some sort of moral vacuum. It has to be better that a pro-life group such as LIFE is able to be at the forefront and provide what will be seen as a best-practice model, furnishing a woman with all the facts, exploring all of the options with her, than an abortion clinic who will simply affirm a woman’s initial visceral and perhaps misinformed reaction. Certainly LIFE stand a better chance and as I said, retain the moral high ground in the secular area of medicine. This is what we have to recognise, the field of medical ethics is predominantly secular. We see nurses sacked for discussing views on abortions with colleagues and the previous government did their utmost to remove the ability from medical professionals to conscientiously object to practices against their faith. Faith is seen to have no part to play in the sphere of medicine. Appeals based on faith-based ethics are disregarded. Though the pro-life position is one that does not require any faith whatsoever, it is a common feature of all major religions, hence pro-lifers are often met with derision; objections tend to centre around descriptions of sky fairies, flying spaghetti monsters, before degenerating into generic attacks upon religion, via diversions of perceived misogyny, corruption, power and control, finished off with a liberal dusting of pedophilia, where the fundamental principles of the pro-life belief are obscured in a deluge of irrational and illiberal prejudice. Under these circumstances it seems that LIFE has no other option if it wishes to retain any secular credibility and build upon that. It is better placed than other organisations who nail their colours very firmly to a particular evangelical Christian or Catholic mast and thus risk alienating those who may otherwise be open to persuasion.

This is the crux of the argument as to why LIFE needs to continue and expand its provision of non directional counselling. Though the outcome may not be guaranteed, it is better that a group such as LIFE provides these services than an abortion clinic. As Joseph Shaw notes, a client will have some clue as to their stance, but the BACP accreditation provides the much needed reassurance. A client of an abortion clinic will be assured by their counsellor that abortion is a perfectly acceptable and valid choice, one apparently taken by one in three women, an argument incidentally I fail to understand, one in three men might have had sex with a woman without her consent, the frequency or commonality of the occurrence does not render it any the more acceptable. Upon entering an abortion clinic a woman will be exposed to lots of their literature reassuring them that abortion is a removal of the products of conception, making no reference to the fetus and with the emphasis heavily upon this is a normal everyday event, nothing major, no great shakes. All of this works towards a subliminal reinforcement of the message, downplaying the procedure, as well as fundamentally misleading a woman also increases the risk of subsequent trauma; a woman feels taken aback by her unexpected feelings of loss and at the same time unable to grieve. There are well over 30 independent studies which show a link between abortion and subsequent PTSD.

For me, the most pressing question posed by Joseph Shaw, one that I’m not sure whether or not I can satisfactorily answer without an element of deception is whether or not non-directive counselling amounts to co-operation in a moral evil, in that silence is a way that one may be an accessory to another’s sin. This is undoubtedly true, it would be disingenuous of me to deny it or indeed to find wriggle room. My only observations would be to note that this would not be a concern to a non-Catholic counsellor and by funding LIFE we would not be direct accessories to sin, but facilitating accessories to sin. Would the scale of the amount of lives potentially saved, the good, outweigh the bad? The potential to sin would be carried out by a third party as an accessory to another. It’s an indisputable problem nonetheless. Sin is sin. We cannot ignore that fact.

I think the answer for Catholics in good conscience would be to continue to fund LIFE, the good work they do significantly outweighs the morally neutral and it must be remembered that counselling only constitutes a portion of their work which as I pointed out, encompasses a huge field, from education to practical assistance and aid. My husband is one who was persuaded of the validity of the pro-life cause on a purely secular basis when in the sixth form and remains profoundly grateful to this day. Other teachers and school chaplains have verified their efficacy, no graphic images are shown and students are encouraged and stimulated to hold lively debates where all points of view are considered. I am not convinced that a Catholic should engage in non-directive counselling, however LIFE do provide free post abortion trauma services, another vital ministry and there is no reason why a Catholic could not help to heal the hurt.

Allotment Girl, a much appreciated, thoughtful regular here, gave me pause for thought. I think she deserves to have the last word.

Non-directive counselling is one way to show compassion to women who are in a situation they find difficult. Such counselling starts with the practitioner showing “unconditional positive regard”. This might be the first time a woman in this situation has been accepted for her own sake- not brow beaten and pushed in different direction. If a counsellor goes in with an outcome in their heads, it becomes more difficult to respond to the woman in front of them with proper care. It is crucial that this approach is kept and LIFE should be supported in this.
For Christian practioners they can truly be “Christ” to the women they work with. Christ deals with many people in the gospels and when he does so, he is gentle and loving, whatever their background or current situation. This has to be the model for any Christian for this is where change can happen. The way this issue is dealt with is as important as the issue itself.

Christ loved the sinner whilst abhorring the sin. The Catholic approach is always holistic, we must not get so caught up in protecting the unborn child that we neglect the humanity and needs of its mother. Christ would be smashing the abortion mills, he would be unequivocal in his condemnation of the killing of the innocents and almost certainly directive, however he would also extend a cloak of protection, compassion and love to frightened, desperate pregnant women. We should aim for nothing less.

Catholic LIFE support

Two prominent and well-respected Catholic bloggers James Preece (Catholic and Loving It) and Ben Trovato (Counter-cultural father) (I’ll fix the links when back home) have posted interesting discussions regarding whether or not Catholics should support LIFE, given their BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) accreditation means that they offer non-directive counselling.

When counselling a pregnant woman, LIFE cannot and do not offer any opinion as to the morality of abortion and will not do anything to deter or prevent a woman from having an abortion, instead helping her to explore her feelings on the matter. Faithful Catholics wonder whether this is an immoral approach; LIFE is openly against abortion therefore are their counsellors who are presumably pro-life, lying to themselves and misleading women when they offer no opinion on abortion? Shouldn’t women know the truth, i.e. that abortion is a destruction of life, the killing of an unborn child, to fail to point this out is in itself misleading and could be seen as endorsing or condoning abortion?

One has to feel sorry for LIFE in this regard, they are caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand they have the likes of Sunny Hundal, Diane Abbott and Evan Harris absolutely refusing to concede that they are capable of impartiality and disregarding their professional credentials, and on the other, they have Catholics who should be natural supporters, criticising them for their non-judgemental, non-directive approach and suggesting that Catholics should not offer their financial support.

The fact that some Catholics are critical of LIFE certainly verifies their non-directive stance. Though it might prove difficult for some to accept, by adopting this approach, LIFE is able to gain leverage and credence amongst a political class that would otherwise prove hostile. It gets them a seat at the table, a place on the sexual health forum, although whether or not they will be able to capitalise upon this remains to be seen. Compare LIFE’s approach of being open to what others have to say, to be prepared to listen and engage, to the attitude of other organisations who have stated their hostility and antipathy to LIFE; an organisation who have women’s sexual health as their key aim. It cannot be argued that the fewer sexual partners and abortions that a woman has, the more likely she is to enjoy good sexual health.

In the light of the cross-party amendment, proposed by Field and Dorries, LIFE’s BACP accreditation, which BPAS and Marie Stopes do not have, gives them the moral high-ground. They are impartial and have the credentials to prove it.

LIFE do much to raise awareness of bio-ethical issues in a society that wishes to turn a blind eye, ignore or deny their realities. Their work with young people is outstanding and they are one of the few organisations who put their money where their mouth is in terms of actually assisting those with unplanned or crisis pregnancies, providing financial, practical and emotional support to women, as well as housing and education opportunities. They help women to help themselves. LIFE are accredited by 23 Supporting People Authorities.

If their non directive approach enables LIFE to do work to reduce abortions by preventative means or to provide assistance which means that women are not financially compelled to abort, then that is a price worth paying. If a non directive approach actually encourages women to seek their advice and be given the full story about abortion, knowing that they will not be pressured, coerced or prevented from seeking abortion, again that is a positive fact. It will lead to less women having to suffer the physical and emotional repercussions of abortion and from a pro-life approach, will lead to fewer abortions.

An approach which from the outset tells pregnant women what they should do is, in any event counter-productive. Those who assume this is what LIFE do are massively mistaken and buy into a patriarchal culture. Any organisation that takes a hectoring, coercive or bullying approach will surely be able to be seen as what it is. Or are women so naive as not to be able to make their own decision and not able to resist or see through manipulation? What non-directive counselling does is to explore and affirm a woman’s feelings about abortion and to highlight any perceived barriers or fallacies.

From a Catholic perspective it is not immoral as it does not involve a lie. It does not degenerate into a means justifies the end dilemma. Not offering an opinion does not amount to dishonesty. Non directive counsellors do not tell untruths. The only difficulty for a specifically Catholic pro-life counsellor occurs when a woman, furnished with the whole truth, decides to proceed anyway. Should a counsellor stop her? Catholicism, like all faiths requires its adherents to come to it out of free will. God requires us to choose him. We cannot force others to act in accordance with our beliefs, which means that we cannot use our faith to prevent others from exercising their free will, in a way that society legally permits. As long as the counsellor does not procure or arrange the abortion, as long as they have done nothing to encourage it, their conscience is clear, even if their predominant emotion is that of grief.

No doubt Marie Stopes and BPAS would claim that the directive counselling they offer is non- manipulative. If organisations who are offering abortion and who stand to make a profit from it are able to offer directive counselling which does not seek to manipulate, based on their ideology that abortion is a moral good, why can’t an organisation offer the alternate view in an equally non-manipulative fashion? What Marie Stopes has in common with the evangelical organisation CARE, is that they are both motivated by ideology, upon which they base their counselling services. Where LIFE differ is that they don’t let their ideals and interest in the outcome affect the service they provide. Hence in that respect they are demonstrably the most impartial organisation in the field of abortion counselling.

LIFE offer real-life success stories, tales of women for whom motherhood or an additional child has proved a source of richness and of blessing, experiences of happiness. Theirs is a vision of hope, respect and dignity for the unborn child and for that reason they will continue to enjoy my support. The fact that LIFE don’t tell women exactly what they should or must do makes them a shining beacon of pro-life feminism.

Blind prejudice

Sunny Hundal is persisting with his calumnious claim that LIFE are “religious nutjobs”. I would suggest that someone who continues to doggedly defend Johann Hari’s journalistic integrity, despite the increasing flow of plagiarised material lifted quotes, needs his critical faculties examining. Still Sunny and Johann are comrades in arms, never ones to let truth get in the way of a good story.

Not only Sunny, but also Diane Abbott seems to be intent on peddling the lie, that “basic abortion rights” are under threat. For as long as they continue to push this, it must be pointed out that this is absolutely not the case.

Whether or not every woman has a “basic abortion right” is nonetheless a contentious issue. The law makes provision for legal abortions to be carried out provided that certain criteria are met. This is not the same thing as a “basic right”. The 1967 Abortion Act was designed to enable abortions to be performed in sterile conditions by qualified staff in an attempt to prevent maternal deaths, which is a far cry from the precept that every pregnant woman has the automatic right to abort her unborn child. The legistlation was drafted in a very precise way, detailing the specific circumstances under which abortion may be legally performed and why the signature of two doctors are required, recognising that abortion is a serious business and not a basic right.

Diane Abbott tweeted “Cameron is showing arrogant disregard for women across the country by pushing changes to abortion without debate or vote”. She should have more integrity (although she has form in the hypocrisy stakes) than to imply that major changes in the accessibility of abortion are in the offing. This is clearly not the case. The proposed independent counselling that will be required prior to abortion, will not prevent women from procuring an abortion. To imply anything else is disingenuous.

It is no surprise that abortion “charities” are bitterly opposed to these changes, the fewer abortions that they get to perform, the less money they receive. Not a week goes by without the Guardian running at least one piece of propaganda, employing not-so-subtle devices such as putting the word independent in inverted commas, in order to highlight their doubt that anyone other than an abortion provider may be able to give a balanced and non-directive perspective. LIFE have BACP counsellors, Marie Stopes and BPAS do not, we only have their word that they are “impartial and non-judgemental”.

Ann Furedi of BPAS highlights the statistic that 80% of abortions are carried out within the first ten weeks of pregnancy. Get the client in, prescribe the abortion pill as swiftly as possible and bill either them or the NHS for £600. Of course they don’t want any delay in this procedure, it could massively impact their revenue stream. The motivations for expediting the process could not be any more explicit.

As Phyllis Bowman says,  “when BPAS was launched  they made it abundantly clear that their aim was to promote the availability of abortion to girls. It was unlawful (as it is still) for clinics to advertise to the public – so BPAS was set up “as a charity counselling service” to fill the gap. If abortion clinics had been able to advertise to the public, there would have been no need for BPAS – and very soon BPAS set up their own clinics so they could do the abortions for women who came.”

No wonder the “charities” are firing on all cylinders in terms of aggressive lobbying and PR campaigns, they have a lot to lose.

As for Diane Abbot, I am surprised that a woman of her intelligence  and cultural background displays such little awareness of the eugenic element to abortion. In 2010 48% of women having an abortion who had a history of 1 or more abortion were either Black or Black British. I’d be interested to know what she thinks of the holocaust of black unborn children?

If wanting to stick up for the rights of unborn ethnic minorities makes one a nutjob, it’s a label I’ll wear with pride. It is not David Cameron who is showing the arrogant disregard for women of his own cultural background.