Warning: This post was published more than 11 years ago.
I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!
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The number of legal abortions carried out on women living in England and Wales last year was the highest ever, up more than 3,800 on 2003.
I think I’ve made my abortion views fairly clear over past posts – abortion isn’t something I particularly like, but nor is it something I feel should be criminalised, as this penalises only the most desperate.
What’s shocked me in this case, though, is not the figures themselves, but the Department of Health’s response:
The DoH said: “It is disappointing that the overall level of abortions has increased this year.”
What possible authority does the DoH think it has to pontificate about the decisions desperate people take, and to call them ‘disappointing’? The health service should be about providing unconditional help to the needy, not judging them. Their comments naturally imply that abortions are a ‘bad thing’, without recognising that they are often medically necessary, and that it is really the parents’ decision as to what is a ‘bad thing’ for them.
The DoH would never dream of saying that it’s ‘disappointing’ that suicide levels have increased, or that it’s ‘disappointing’ that poor diets mean diabetes is on the increase. Why is it any different for a parent who feels so desperate that they have to go through the appalling procedure of abortion, often meaning (in the case of later abortions within the legal period) that they have to go through a full birthing process, producing a stillborn foetus. Until the righteous right realise that getting an abortion is rarely as easy as having a tooth removed, then they can’t even begin to understand the mental anguish it confers upon the parent.
Could their be any greater example of the ‘nanny state’ than saying that the result of one of the hardest decisions a person has had to take in their whole life is ‘disappointing’? I think not: It is truly abhorrent that figures relating to the most vulnerable are being given a populist spin to appease Mail readers and secure political gains.