Abortion, Abortion, Abortion!
About a year ago, I was warned by a friend who is well-informed and influential within certain political circles that increasingly a resonance was being found in certain areas by those who wished to restrict the right of a woman to choose whether or not to have a baby.
I thought nothing of it at the time, since I figured that this is Britain. We have the occasional pro-life group and the far right of the Conservative Party occasionally mount the podium to have a bash at those who wish to protect the right to abort a pregnancy. We’re not America, with the hysterical religious right.
No one in the mainstream is really of such a character that they would lead the charge to end the (admittedly half-assed) system by which we allow women to get rid of an unwanted foetus.
The last few months have increasingly shaken my faith in this regard. Alex Salmond wants to cut the abortion period. Catholic clerics are quitting Amnesty International in protest at the adoption of a pro-choice stance by those experts in fence sitting. The Pro-Life Alliance is up in arms to cut the abortion period.
The Science and Technology Committee is taking up the question, relating specifically to medical advances rather than the ethical and moral question.
It has fallen to a Liberal Democrat, of all things, to come out and not only defend the right to abortion but to attack the so-called conscientious objectors who refuse to sign off on abortions. Rightly, Dr. Evan Harris (of Oxford West and Abingdon, and who I had the good fortune to meet last year) has demanded that such doctors step back and have no role whatsoever in counselling pregnant women, lest they try and influence the women not to have abortions.
All eyes will be on Dawn “Postmaster Idiot” Primarolo’s testimony before the committee. Aren’t we glad Mr “Wants to be a Catholic” Blair isn’t in charge anymore! With the debacles over faith schools and adoption agency exemptions and so on, I don’t think I could take much more of a section of the party dangerously close to letting religion dictate politics.