Saturday, November 04, 2006

This proposition was voted against by MPs in parliament on Tuesday:

Ten Minute Rule Bill: TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY, Mrs Nadine Dorries
That leave be given to bring in a Bill to reduce the time limit for legal termination of pregnancy from 24 to 21 weeks; to introduce a cooling off period after the first point of contact with a medical practitioner about a termination; to enable the time period from the end of the cooling off period and the date of termination to be reduced; and for connected purposes.

This proposal was nothing very radical. Reducing the upper time limit by three weeks is not a great restriction, it would simply bring it on a par with most of Europe.
A cooling off period may be a slight inconvenience for those who have firmly made up their minds and are determined, but for a significant vulnerable minority (who are in quite a few cases coerced) it could make all the difference - between giving birth and and having to live with a decision that you will regret for the rest of your life.

I suspect that the Tories and Lib Dems were divided on the issue and voted according to their consciences. The Labour Party, on the other hand, have been known to be intolerant towards pro life members. So much that the Labour Life Group are not allowed to hold fringe meetings at their conferences. The only grounds for being on 'Emily's list' (the all woman short list) was that one supports 'a woman's right to choose'. Therefore it is disputable as to how many Labour MPs would actually vote with their consciences on the issue rather than that of the whips.

Meanwhile this came from the 'Abortion Rights' Pressure group:

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has launched a parliamentary campaign to drive back women’s abortion rights. Dorries has tabled a Ten Minute Rule Bill calling both for a reduction in the time limit for abortion and the introduction of a mandatory delay in service provision. This is in the context of a concerted campaign by the anti-choice lobby to confuse opinion over a woman’s right to make her own abortion decisions and to build support for successive restrictions in abortion rights.

Please email or phone your MPs office and ask them to be in the Chamber on Tuesday 31st October, from 2.30, to vote against this attack on women’s crucial reproductive rights. MP's email addresses follow the following pattern: Their office can also be contacted via the House of Commons switchboard on 020 7219 3000.
Please let us know what responses you get.

I have said what I will about the 'mandatory delay in service provision'. But I will point out that nobody is trying to 'confuse opinion'. The facts, medical and scientific, are there for people to make up their own minds accordingly. If you believe that foetal development is irrelevant to the availability of abortion provision then so be it. But please do not lie and claim that any inquiries into the matter are 'anti choice' (sic) nor dismiss any findings which are not to your liking as pseudo science (which is what this lobby does repetitively).

'Crucial reproductive rights' are also a subjective matter. Not every woman (or every feminist for that matter) holds unlimited abortion to be such a crucial right as does this group. As their propaganda is so full of distortions I strongly dispute this groups professed concern for women. They don't even represent the views of all feminists, let alone all women, as I've mentioned before.

But what grates on me is their constant promotion of scaremongering and hysteria. Their campaigning always manages to bring their supporters screaming in full blast at the selected time. Their 'week of action' coincided with this bill, and their postcard campaign to MPs had been leading up to the issue being raised in parliament.
They and their supporters regard any restriction or compromise, however mild, as being an all out assault on women's rights and a victory for the so called 'anti choice' lobby. They are only able to see in black and white. Such has been the climate in America for ages and I fear that it may be getting this way here, if the rantings of the Graun's Zoe Williams and other hacks are anything to go by. And especially if the left continues to unconditionally support what is essentially an extremist and one sided group, the propaganda of whom shows no respect for the feelings of women whose experience has not been so positive.

1 comment:

Paddy Garcia said...

Actually the limit in rest of Europe is 12-18 weeks, 12-14 weeks in most countries, so 21 weeks is no big deal it still leaves Britain with the highest limit. But it seems to be of no consequence to the screeching liars of Abortion Rights and other anti life groups