Harass your MP over Tory anti-abortion bill


by Sunny
29th May, 2007 at 6:40 pm    

This was sent to me by Abortion Rights.

On 5th June, Ann Winterton will table a Ten Minute Rule Bill to impose mandatory counselling on women seeking an abortion (see text below). This is a condescending, cynical attempt to chip away at women’s abortion rights that will lead to further delays in service provision.

This is the third anti-choice Bill in less than a year. The other two were successfully defeated thanks to our combined and sustained lobbying efforts. Please contact your MP today and urge them to vote against this Bill.

More on their website on how you can lobby your MP with sample letters.
As a side note, Donald wrote a good article on abortion for The Sharpener last year which is worth reading. I’m pro-choice so there’s no point trying to convince me otherwise.


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Filed in: Civil liberties,Sex equality






12 Comments below   |  

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  1. Rumbold — on 29th May, 2007 at 7:40 pm  

    Judging by ‘Abortion Rights’ summary of the bill, it is not an ‘anti-abortion’ bill, as your heading suggests, it just delays the process by a week. Women can still have an abortion at the end of it. While the majority of people in this country believe that abortion should remain legal (as do I), many are concerned by what they see as the easy availability of abortion and the speed of the process.

    Aborting can lead to serious mental problems later on in life, especially for those mothers who wonder “what if”, so counselling and a pause before the abortion might be immensely beneficial for them. If they are determined, they will have the abortion anyway. Too many in the ‘pro-choice’ lobby seem to want to relegate abortion to something you might have done in your lunch break then pop back to the office. Legal abortion then becomes seen as a “good thing”, rather than a necessary evil, ignoring the consequences for the potential mothers.

  2. Roger — on 29th May, 2007 at 10:26 pm  

    There’s a good article by Zoe Williams in the Guardian on this subject from October last year – well worth a read:

    http://society.guardian.co.uk/health/story/0,,1932834,00.html

    In response to Rumbold above – I don’t think it’s a necessarily a given that “Aborting can lead to serious mental problems later on in life”. I think that’s as much a case of the anti-choice lobby making sure women who abort know that they “should” feel awful about it, and must be made to mourn for the rest of their lives.

    As Zoe Williams says, “if you do not consider this foetus human, then it becomes no more of an issue than getting a tumour removed”.

    I am undecided on at what point a foetus becomes a human (though I would say probably at the point it can survive without it’s mother), but I am certain that a lot of the guilt factor is deliberately manufactured by people with an ulterior motive – usually religious mentalfundalists, claiming absolute moral right.

    Without that artificial climate of taboo and guilt, I really see no reason why women should need to suffer from any mental problems, in what is really, an entirely personal matter.

    NOBODY is more qualified than you are to decide what your life will be. In the case of an unborn foetus, that would not survive outside of the womb, this decision rests with the mother.

  3. Saqib — on 30th May, 2007 at 12:13 am  

    I have finally finished the exams – Phew. Rumbold i will get back to you tomorrow on the issue on my blog…i was just having a peep at PP before i hit the sack.

    I think the issue of abortion is one which, within a secular context can, and indeed should always go down the path of ‘pro-choice’ as the issue of whether a life is taken or not is not one that can be verified in a court of law; ultimately it will boil down to peoples’ own convictions of how people choose to define life. And that’s while not even getting down to the issue of how far do people have autonomy over their bodies…take the famous case of Judith Thomson and her ‘violinist’ conjecture.

    There may, however be a juftifiable reason for giving women below a certain age threshold, perhaps teenagers, a more thorough advice session – ‘mandotary counselling’ if you will, to ensure that they are making the decison after having really thought it through.

    I am not sure what the legal age of abortion is at present without the consent of her guardian, but I was thinking something like 16-18 being a cut-off point.

    Just a thought

  4. Rumbold — on 30th May, 2007 at 12:18 am  

    Sorry Roger, I did not mean to imply that all (or even the majority) of women who have abortions will go on to have mental problems, but some will.

    “but I am certain that a lot of the guilt factor is deliberately manufactured by people with an ulterior motive – usually religious mentalfundalists, claiming absolute moral right.”

    This is true in some cases. However, even if there was no taboo, some women would still wonder “what if”. A delay means that women have more chance to consider what at the time might seem trivial, but in fact could be a massive step.

  5. Rumbold — on 30th May, 2007 at 12:20 am  

    Saqib:

    “There may, however be a juftifiable reason for giving women below a certain age threshold, perhaps teenagers, a more thorough advice session – ‘mandotary counselling’ if you will, to ensure that they are making the decison after having really thought it through.”

    Excellent point.

  6. Sunny — on 30th May, 2007 at 1:06 am  

    A delay means that women have more chance to consider what at the time might seem trivial, but in fact could be a massive step.

    People make this point and to be honest I can’t imagine any woman who makes this decision takes the choice lightly.

    I’ll accept Saqib’s point (well done on the exams mate) that young kids may need counselling to ensure they understand the emotional implications, but for adult mothers, no. I bet Kulvinder is going to come along any minute now…

  7. ChrisC — on 30th May, 2007 at 9:14 am  

    I’m pro choice too, but let’s not make ourselves feel better by pretending it’s anything other than killing.

  8. Kismet Hardy — on 30th May, 2007 at 10:38 am  

    As someone with two amazing little people borne from my loins, I still have no problem whatsoever saying abortion is none of my business. It’s the woman’s choice. If she doesn’t want to bring a child into a world of love and support, no po faced pro-lifer should make her. Especially seeing as they’re the same people who’ll call for beheading when that kid grows up a screwed-up violent mess. You want the baby to be born anyway? Then fucking look after it yourself

    As Bill Hicks said:
    “I’m pro-life!” Boy, they look it don’t they? They just exude joie de vie. You just want to hang with them and play Trivial Pursuit all night long.

    You know what bugs me about them? If you’re so pro-life, do me a favour – don’t lock arms and block medical clinics. If you’re so pro-life, lock arms and block cemeteries. I want to see pro-lifers with crowbars at funerals opening caskets – “get out!” Then I’d be really impressed by their mission.

    Ooh I’m a pro-lifer. I’m a pro-lifer non-smoker. Let’s party”

  9. justforfun — on 30th May, 2007 at 12:06 pm  

    Roger – not all presure is external. Think about it some more –

    Without that artificial climate of taboo and guilt, I really see no reason why women should need to suffer from any mental problems, in what is really, an entirely personal matter – this is bollox.

    Guilt is not something that is just from outside – often the worst guilt is the guilt one imposes on oneself. That guilt is far more the cause of metal health problems , than twittering by others.

    Because as Chris C says ……, but let’s not make ourselves feel better by pretending it’s anything other than killing. This is how many see it “after the act” and then have to live with themselves. Words of explanation that it was not a “real human” etc etc just don’t console those who later judge themselves too harshly.

    We are all different and some woman and men can cope with abortion quite easily and see it as a simple pocedure. Others will not and if these personality types can be identified and advised before the act, then I for one would think that a good thing. As Saqib says – its probably the young who have not yet developed their own picture of themselves and who they are and how they will view their actions in the future.

    Justforfun

  10. bananabrain — on 30th May, 2007 at 12:22 pm  

    hehe, he said it didn’t he?

    i don’t see what’s so bad about offering people counselling. i’m not sure you can actually make it mandatory in any meaningful sense. and frankly, i think it’s a decision you ought to think through very carefully. i’m not saying it shouldn’t be the woman’s choice, of course that should remain the case, but i don’t think it’s especially helpful to characterise it as “a condescending, cynical attempt to chip away at women’s abortion rights”. that sounds like a doctrinaire position to me and i don’t think i like the sound of this organisation any more than i like the so called pro-life organisations. this is a complicated issue and knee-jerk ideologues will do no good whatsoever to the women concerned. i have a friend considering this at the moment. frankly, she needs counselling and is not sensible enough to seek it on her own account.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  11. Soso — on 30th May, 2007 at 6:49 pm  

    This is a condescending, cynical attempt to chip away at women’s abortion rights that will lead to further delays in service provision.

    Gee, Sunny, not even a teensy 5 minute councelling session to counter the two months of get-an-abortion badgering the girl’s useless boyfriend engaged in?

    I’ve seen polling results on abortion and the reasons given by women for ungergoing the procedure.
    Do you have any idea just to what extent their “choice” was determined by the whining males in their lives? Do you have any inkling of how many girls, upon realising they’re pregnant, then become afraid of losing their boyfriends?

    Exercise your choice…..and stand by yer man.

    All things said, abortion benefits men. With the annoying foetus out of the road, the boys can continue to have lots of sex.

    Pregnancy is such a boner-breaker, isn’t it?

    Abortion, you see, isn’t so much about a women’s choice as it is about keeping women sexually “available”.

    That’s crucial, seeings we live in a consumer society where EVERYTHING marketed and sold is attached to sex.

    Were Britian’s birth-rate to soar back up to 1950s levels, there’d be a great deal of unsold inventory on shop shelves.

  12. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 31st May, 2007 at 11:11 am  

    We need more babies, like the France the indigenous population isn’t even sustaining itself any more. Of course this isn’t a problem if you think there are enough white people in this world and “one day we will all be brown”.

    TFI

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