Pro-choice campaigners are fighting back against what they view as attempts by the Christian right and social conservatives to chip away at established abortion rights as MPs attempt to tighten legislation.
It comes as a “rising tide of opposition and concern” is emerging about the agenda of figures in the government, according to Diane Abbott, the shadow minister for public health, who is to address a pro-choice meeting in London on Monday.
The gathering will bring together women’s rights activists, trade unionists and others and is one of a number being organised nationwide in which liberal-left bloggers are playing a key role.
The government had appointed an anti-abortion charity, Life, to a new sexual health advisory forum and omitted the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) last month which has sparked the retaliation. ‘Life’ is opposed to abortion in all circumstances and favours an abstinence-based approach to sex education. The organisation is expected to take up its seat at the second meeting of the forum this week. BPAS had claimed that it had been “disinvited” after attending the forum’s first meeting in January. The government maintains the panel reflects a “wide range of interests and views”.
Pro-choice supporters, however, are particularly concerned about an amendment to the health and social care bill that would create a new precondition for women having an abortion to receive advice and counselling from an organisation that does not carry out terminations. The amendment is part of a campaign called Right to Know, launched by Nadine Dorries, a Conservative MP, and Frank Field, a former Labour minister.
Diane Abbott has stated that,
We cannot allow Nadine Dorries and some of the anti-abortion groups currently advising the government to turn the clock back for millions of women. Mainstream medical opinion is united in its agreement that, when carried out in a legal setting where sterile facilities are available, abortion is a safe procedure carrying a low risk of complications. And we must not underestimate the chilling news that the government has appointed anti-abortion group Life to their expert advisory group on sexual health. This appointment, coupled with the retraction of an invite to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, one of the UK’s leading abortion providers, signals a dangerous move. Increasingly, people up and down the country are looking to take a stand against what they see as an attempt to chip away at abortion access for women in England, Scotland and Wales. There is a rising tide of opposition and concern about the agenda being pushed by figures in this Tory-led government, and David Cameron must come clean on where the Tories now stand on a woman’s right to choose.
Darinka Aleksic, campaign co-ordinator at Abortion Rights, the national pro-choice campaign, added that the appointment of Life to the forum was a “tipping point” that’s caused the pro-choice supporters growing increasingly concerned about a new threat to the 1967 Abortion Act.
We have had legal abortion since 1967 so in some ways perhaps we have got used to the idea that it is always going to be there, but the fact is that people are becoming aware that those rights are under threat and need to be protected. There is a groundswell of support for that protection. Things have been quiet since 2008 when there was an attack on the time limit for abortion but in the last few months a change has been happening.
Yeah, ok, this is all very well what these pro choice supporters are saying, but I’m afraid they’re going against the grain of their very label. Pro choice. What is the harm in having a pro life organisation on the panel? As the Government said, they need various views on the subject. And ultimately, if women go to a pro life organisation for advice, there is still an option to abort.
It seems to me like these people want abortion for the sake of having abortion! I’m afraid that I have to seriously consider the back-motives of these pro choice campaigners. The move by the Government hardly changes anything, but only gives a more balanced view, and provides more than one option to the woman. That is truly what pro choice is. What these people are representing is ‘pro abortion’; a marketing campaign for a drastically horrific procedure which can be avoided. Surely women have a right to know this side of the story?
Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre.
Read More @ http://deanroberts.net/about
I think you may be missing the point here a little. I myself am pro-choice – I believe in a woman’s right to choose if she wants an abortion or not. I don’t believe that abortion can have absolutist views attached to it, since it depends so much on the individual situations at hand. However, this doesn’t mean that I myself would be happy having an abortion. In fact, I know for definite that even if I became pregnant now, I wouldn’t even consider one.
I think the pro-choice campaigners are simply worried that the current freedom of choice that women have is under threat by the government appointing increasingly more anit-abortion organisations to positions of influence and seemingly ignoring pro-choice ones – it’s not that all pro-choice people believe that every woman should have an abortion, but that they should have the right to choose – if anti-abortion organisations gain more control then this freedom of choice is under threat.
I personally don’t believe that they have any hidden agendas, but I do agree with you on educating women about the procedure and the implications (both physical and mental) before they make the decision.
They may be worried, but I think it’s abhorrent that abortion laws state that a child can be aborted at 24 weeks. I also feel that they are scared because they feel that if a woman who was previously going to abort changes her mind, they think that someone has forced her hand to keep the baby.
I must say that sometimes, these campaigners do seem to portray themselves as vicious feminists who have a political agenda, rather than people who genuinely look at women as individuals, and try not to fit them into the one size fits all option of abortion – because abortion is simply not the best option in many many circumstances.
You can read more on this, and what BPAS stand for @ http://deanroberts.net/current-affairs/is-abortion-a-contraception-backup/ .
I’m not saying that the law on abortion is perfect – I don’t know enough about it to be able to comment on that. But what I’m saying is that it should be legal, for women who choose and want to have an abortion – if it’s legal, it’s safe (I know that’s debatable, but I mean in general, i.e. no back-street clinics etc).
The only thing I think they’re scared of, as I said before, is that women’s choices are taken away. I doubt they’d get upset if a women changed her mind – it’s HER decision, that’s the whole point. I’m sure many of them have children, so you couldn’t say that they advocate abortion in all circumstances.
I would never say that abortion is the best option in many circumstances – I’ve already said that I myself would never get one – but sometimes it’s what the people involve want and therefore it should be legal to allow it to happen in a safe environment.
Also, why do you have a thing about feminists? In general, all they do is stick up for women and advocate equality etc… what’s wrong with that?
I have a thing about feminists, because they are different from people who campaign for equality.
I’m all for rights for women etc, but not the way that feminists do things.
As I’ve said- the whole idea of this forum is the idea that women can get views from all angles, not just the medical procedure of abortion.
I should say- that not ALL feminists are radical, but it is the radical, even militant at times, feminists who appear in the news etc.
Actually, feminism in its true sense is about promoting equality for women, allowing them the freedom of choice to be able to do what they want in life, achieve ambitions etc. I consider myself a feminist in this respect, though I’m certainly not a radical one. A feminist can be a housewife, who upholds traditional values – but the point is that it’s her choice. Unfortunately I think you’re basing your views on a few radical feminists who give feminism a bad name. It’s like basing your views of Muslims on the few radical ones.
You’re right about these things, though would I consider myself or define myself as a masculinist? No I wouldn’t….
Because there’s no need for these terms, if, as you say, they represent rights for women. I think there should be rights for men, and rights for women, but I would never label myself with these terms, because, their meaning has changed to insinuate people who go to bitter extremes to promote their beliefs.
Good article, but please stop using the inappropriate term “pro-choice”. It is a meaningless word unless one knows what you are choosing between – i.e., chocolate or vanilla ice cream, for instance. See Randy Alcorn’s Eternal Perspective(s?) web site (U.S.) for more resources. I would use word “pro-abortion” in place of the “liberal’s” preferred language. The use and misuse of language is half the battle (ideologically & spiritually speaking). Geo. Orwell taught us that. Also another book entitled “How to argue Pro-Life” (or something similar) written in the 90’s explains the tactics of the pro-death lobby to win the hearts & minds of the public through repeated use of their words and phrases (classic propaganda techniques). I’ll try to find the ref. for you. Many Christians unwittingly use the language of the opposition when debating these moral and cultural issues. We are admonished to: “Cast down imaginations and every thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God…” and “speak the truth in love”. http://britnoramfreedom.blogspot.com
Thanks for the blog comments 🙂
Although I would encourage you to see the meaning behind the blog post, rather than the terminology used. I think most will understand what I’m getting across and will know what I mean by ‘pro choice’. Your comments are always valued though!
Thanks. OK. Here’s an article that might interest you and your readers:
Some of it applies to British women as well.
Taki’s Mag sometimes has a few good articles, but I think the one I recommended is in poor taste. You may want to delete it. Sorry I forwarded it to you now. Older women should teach femininity to the younger ones, as the Scripture says. That’s the answer, I think.
Indeed, I think so.
Here are some references for your information (if interested):
1.) http://www.francisbeckwith.com – see book: “Politically Correct Death”
2.) Search for “John Thomas Noonan” books on U.S. site of Amazon.com – “How to Argue About Abortion”
Randy Alcorn – “Pro-Life Answers…” book
I mistyped last web address (no. 3 above), should be: http://www.epm.org/store/product/prolife-answers/
Thank you for the articles 🙂
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