Tuesday, 9 January 2018

What's the Agenda?

Further to my recent post about the concerted effort to 'De-Criminalise' abortion, I want to consider what the real agenda may be here.

Since I wrote that, we have witnessed the fury of BPAS and their allies at the appointment of Maria Caulfield as CCHQ Vice Chair for Women.  The ostensible reason for their fury is that she 'supports the criminalisation of women who end their own pregnancies.' The charge arises from her opposition to the bill to 'De-Criminalise' abortion.

In fact, the number of prosecutions of women for ending their own pregnancies is miniscule. The abortionist apologists' efforts are disproportionate: so what is their agenda?

I think there are a few things, some defensive and some aspirational (if one can use that word in this context).

On the defensive side of the ledger, I think there are (at least) three issues that worry them.

One is that very few doctors want to perform abortions. This is a problem they discussed at the meeting in the Royal College of Obstetrician and Gynaecologists last year. One doctor there, who performs abortions, said that no doctors want to do this; and his proposed solution was simply to pay them more.

But if they can get 'De-Criminalisation' through, they will be much better placed to enforce abortion practice on trainee doctors and young doctors - 'normalising' it for the next generation. They will also remove all conscience clauses (as these are part of the hated 'legislation') and thus be able to compel compliance by medical and nursing staff - and keep those horrid Catholics out of the professions.

A second is that, for all their noise, they are not winning the debate. ComRes polling last year suggests that most people, and women in particular, think that there should be more, not fewer, restrictions on the availability of abortion.  This Bill is quite out of step with public opinion.

So I think that they are trying to use legislation to change social attitudes (as happened with so-called Gay Marriage).

Their third worry is a sub-set of the second, but quite focused: the pro-life movement, and in particular the younger generation of the pro-life movement, is getting strong.

So they want both to curtail its activity, and impose an educational framework that indoctrinates children early about the 'good' of abortion: 'De-Criminalisation' is a step towards that goal.

On the aspirational side, of course, the abortion providers would love to be free of all constraints on their businesses.

And there are those, such as Ann Furedi, who seem genuinely to believe that it is an essential element of women's rights, and so want to ensure no legislative interference. It is worth engaging with Furedi's thinking, as she is coherent and consistent: she is quite clear, for example, that what she wants is the right to abortion up to birth, for any reason, with no restrictions whatsoever.  She is also clear that this involves killing living human beings, but believes that the self-determination of women is more important than the right to life of their unborn children.

And as I mentioned previously, there is a desire to use the UK as an exemplar to the rest of the world, and so export our murderous practices to all countries, with the weight of the UN and many wealthy countries behind this drive.

So for those who may be wondering why this is a big issue, given that we already have, in practice, abortion on demand in this country, those are some of the issues at stake.


Ttony said...

I am as worried as you are about this but I really don't know whether it's best to choose these as constituent parts of one issue or totally (ish) separate (ish) campaigns.

There is a large majority of people (I think) who are in favour of limiting abortion to "only when it suits them and their friends". You (we, I) will easily persuade them that an absolute ban on (say) post-30 week abortion is OK and defining post-partum abortion as murder is common sense, by not linking one sort of abortion to another. In other words: from a campaigning point of view, are you (we, I) happy to start at the outside and work in, or do you think it's necessary to campaign for a "no abortion ever" platform from the word go.

Is the former a way of owning the narrative, or a sell out? Is the latter an option for the exclusive brethren?

This is separate from the question of supporting legislation though opponents will try and turn it immediately into that.

This is all a bit inchoate: the Devil really has done his job well as far as abortion goes and working out how to combat it in the public sphere feels beyond me.

Ben Trovato said...

It is difficult. For what it's worth, I think that we should tell the truth: that is, that all abortion is wrong. I am strongly influenced in this by my current reading of Colin Harte's 'Changing Unjust Laws Justly,' though I accept that you were not talking about legislation. Nonetheless, I think if we do not act with integrity, we err. I am also mindful of the remark attributed to Mother Teresa: We are not called to be victorious, only to be faithful. In other words, we should do the right things and entrust the outcomes to God.

That is not to say that we could not start a dialogue with people at the point where they are most likely to agree with us, but we should not dissemble about our beliefs or our aims.

umblepie said...

John Smeaton, CEO SPUC UK, published last year a comprehensive and unequivocal post on his blog-site, dealing with this very question.
I quote two short paragraphs from this post:-

'What is being done in Poland by Ordo Iuris and their pro-life allies is to make the idea of stopping abortion completely in Poland, completely normal - because it really is normal not to kill children. What Poland is doing, in its strongly pro-life culture, we must work towards doing in Britain, in America, in Ireland and everywhere.'

'Ordo Iuris with their Stop Abortion Initiative has done what virtually no-one in 50 years of the pro-life movement has done. They have put before the world legislative proposals and a vision, a realistic vision based on the moral law written on human hearts, in which every single human life is guaranteed his or her right to life by law. It’s a vision which future generations will take for granted. Future generations will look back at what is happening today with horror and utter disbelief.'
I attach a link to this post, which I recommend reading in its entirety.

Ttony said...

Spot on! That's exactly the clarity I couldn't find for myself.