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Howard urges limits on ‘too easy’ abortions

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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 15 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 15 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and write about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 15 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

In what may be a first for this site, I’m actually agreeing with Tony Blair. Don’t worry, I’m not going to be making a habit of it, but if abortion is to become an election issue, then I’ll have to support him on it.

Michael Howard’s position:

I think that what we have now is tantamount to abortion on demand. I believe abortion should be available to everyone, but the law should be changed. In the past I voted for a restriction to 22 weeks, and I would be prepared to go down to 20.

I don’t see what good would be done by reducing the age at which abortion can take place, and I see no scientific evidence for doing so. Mr Howard is responding to the pro-life propaganda pictures of foetuses that look like people. Jelly babies also look a bit like people, but I have no ethical dilemmas when it comes to munching my way through a packet.

Charles Kennedy:

I don’t know what I would do now

That’s not what one would call a well argued thought out position on the issue. And if he doesn’t know his position, how am I supposed to know it? And, indeed, if I don’t know his position on key election issues, how am I supposed to vote for him? Come on Charlie, you can do better than this…

Tony Blair:

However much I might dislike the idea of abortion, you should not criminalise a woman who, in very difficult circumstances, makes that choice. Obviously there is a time beyond which you can’t have an abortion, and we have no plans to change that, although the debate will continue.

I know that this will come as a surprise, but – finally – I agree with Mr Blair on this. I’d perhaps go slightly further than him, because he’s left himself open to attack over women who aren’t in ‘very difficult circumstances’ but still obtain abortions, but he’s in a pretty solid position. For the first time in this not-quite-an-election-campaign, I can say: Well done, Mr Blair!

This 437th post was filed under: Election 2005.

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