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‘Abortion is safer than having a baby’ – according to abortion providers, that is

New guidance from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is misleading

By on Monday, 28 February 2011

The late Charlton Heston, pictured in 1994, was publicly pro-life (Photo: AP)

The late Charlton Heston, pictured in 1994, was publicly pro-life (Photo: AP)

A headline in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph, indicating the insane world we inhabit, read: “Abortion is safer than having a baby, say doctors.” Reading on, incredulous, I learn: “The draft guidance from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is for all doctors, nurses and counsellors advising women contemplating terminations. Its first recommendation on ‘what women need to know’ instructs professionals: ‘Women should be advised that abortion is generally safer than continuing a pregnancy to term.’ The guidance also says that women who are deciding whether to have an abortion must be told that most do not suffer any psychological harm.”

Abortion can only be “safer” than giving birth by the deadly logic that death cuts out the risk of living. Of course it does; but to follow it through as our most authoritative and prestigious medical college recommends is simply to worship at the altar of the god Moloch. Are we no more civilised than the ancient Carthaginians who, according to the Roman senator Cato, were abhorrent because they sacrificed their babies to this bloodthirsty deity?

Again, the assurance that “most” women who have abortions do not suffer psychological harm is mendacious. Research shows that depression, alcoholism, suicidal tendencies and self-harm surface, often years later, and blight the lives of women who have attempted to suppress the guilt of what they have done. A Catholic psychiatrist who treats women suffering from PASD (post-abortion stress disorder) once told me that although he did not have figures to prove it, he was certain that all women who have had abortions experience psychological trauma at some stage because the self-inflicted wound to the female psyche is too fundamental to be ignored.

Apparently the draft guidance was drawn up by 18 senior gynaecologists, nurses and abortion providers (my italics). I do not suggest that brown envelopes passed hands but abortion is big business; the market depends on a large and steady supply of victims. Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.

The once-notorious abortion provider, Dr Bernard Nathanson, died recently. The man who personally performed 5,000 abortions, took responsibility overall for 75,000 abortions, paid for the abortion of a pregnant girlfriend and himself performed an abortion on another girlfriend, admitted that paying for the first abortion “served as my introduction to the satanic world of abortion”. Nathanson’s is an extraordinary conversion story; turning against his infamous trade, he made two films: The Silent Scream in 1985 and Eclipse of Reason, showing a late-term abortion, in 1987. They can be seen in horrifying detail on YouTube but not on major TV networks. As the late actor Charlton Heston observes in his introduction to the latter film, the media has not done its job: to inform the public about the facts of abortion. (Can you imagine an actor of similar status in this country publicly outing him or herself as pro-life?)

According to pro-life colleagues, Nathanson, who was baptised a Catholic in 1996, “underwent huge amounts of fasting” in reparation for his past. Perhaps we need to do the same, in recognition of what we have left undone that we could have done to change the public mind on this silent holocaust.

Another thought comes to mind as I watch the news about Libya: we preach the benefits of democracy to North African countries run by corrupt, self-serving tyrants, relieved that we live in such a green and pleasant land. Yet we have denied the right, not just to vote but to life itself, to millions of unborn children since the Abortion Act of 1967, children who will never have the chance to grow up to argue the merits of one political system over another or to experience life in this green and pleasant land.

  • http://towertales.tumblr.com/ Londonistar

    An abortion last year came very close to costing me my fertility and overall health. My experience of Marie Stopes was that it was an industry run on cashflow not one on concern for womens health. My story would be alarming enough to make many women reconsider aborting a healthy child and I strongly condemn the policy outlined by various talking heads that presume it to be wholly safer than having a baby. I am happy to have seen neither pieces of propaganda for pro life you outline which would cause me emotional and physical pain. The abortion last year was a decision after our much wanted baby was diagnosed with a life existinguishing syndrome wherein the baby would have died in the womb had I carried to term, something for which I am sorry to say I had not the guts to follow through on, or shortly after birth in pain and suffering at full term. We made the choice not to force enormous suffering onto the child or me. I would caution you against generalising about abortion the way that you do endlessly in your pieces and to try for once to make distinctions to allow as many people as possible to support the anti abortion position as I indeed do when it comes to social abortions. I wish you would allow myself and my husband into this debate but we feel forever marginalised. Its a pity because what I have to say about abortion and its horror stories are valid and valuable and far more likely to win over hearts and minds. Instead when you talk of us denying our child a chance to argue and debate – or silent screams – you bestow on us the personae of vile vicious murderers – the sort of callous disregard for feelings and life that you presume of all women and couples who walk into these clinics. Having some experience in this area I can assure that is not the case. For anti abortion to succeed pragmatism, compassion and understanding is required along with a little more light on the all too appaling care offered in these clinics to which I can attest a long year of suffering and surgery to put it all right.

  • Jeannine

    There are always exceptions to the rule. I don’t think this article is in any way commenting on heart-wrenching circumstances such as what you have been through. Be comforted by realizing that God knows all & understands the thoughtful & difficult decision you had to make.

  • Anonymous

    Londonistar,

    Many years ago, my wife and I lost a daughter a few weeks after her birth due to congenital heart and kidney deformities that may well have shown up in the womb had today’s technology been available then. Having read your heart-wrenching story, I had to ask myself whether we would have made a similar decision to yours had that news been made put before us.

    I honestly think that we would still have gone full term and placed our daughter’s future in the hands of God. Had He wished to take her, as He did, or to bring some other plan (such as a technological breakthrough that may have helped her) into play, we cannot tell. What I will add is that shortly afterwards, we were blessed with with another child who is now in his forties and has a healthy daughter of his own.

    Your experience of the Marie Stopes Clinic, and our experience of better things to follow, might just, together, help someone else who reads this post, and guide them towards the right decision.

    We pray that God will strengthen you and your faith in Him, and thank you for sharing your tragic story.

  • http://towertales.tumblr.com/ Londonistar

    Thanks for the interesting feedback. Unfortunately the abortion debate automatically fails to make any such distinction. And as such we are lumped in with people who could not care less about the tiny life inside them. We could. And did. That is why I am pressing for a more mature discussion. I reallly cannot see how Silent Scream could serve anyone in our position other than to push them over the edge in an already ghastly and heartbreaking set of circumstances.

    Marie Stopes do likewise. They lump all women and couples in together and fail to address basic concerns or provide for informed consent. We fell foul of this is a truly awful fashion and I just pray to God now that it is neither too late nor too much damage done to prevent us from having our first child.

    leprechaun_himself I am so very sorry for your loss. God bless

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry londonistar but I’m afraid your appeal to emotions CANNOT swerve us from the fundamental absolute moral principle that abortion is an intrinsic evil.

    You call for ‘mature discussion’ – ok you want maturity? Ready?
    You chose to end your child’s life rather than allow both you and your child to go through a drawn out painful separation which would have involved physical and emotional suffering and distress.

    Your choice – a choice your child did not get.
    You believe this was the right decision : We as Catholics do not – and refuse to be emotionally blackmailed into seeming cruel, callous or insensitive because you sadly, terribly lost a child.

    I and my partner lost our child – we empathise with your pain – but we never had an opportunity to ever see or bury our child – never got a chance to say goodbye because its dead body was merely cut to pieces and removed…normative procedural D & C.

    So let’s for once remove ourselves from the fallacious appeals to emotion, shall we?

    Only 4% of all mechanical/surgical abortions in this country are on medical grounds – even though the law states it should be 100%
    Let’s face it: Abortion on demand is here – it’s being used systemically as a form of ‘contraception’ or rather birth prevention.

    Lumping all women together?
    I’m sorry Ma’am but for every one where there is a heart-rending case like your own? there are a thousand where the ‘procedure’ is done over an extended work lunchtime or schoolbreak….

    You of all people would never want such an awful circumstance to be treated flippantly, glibly, dismissively – well i’m sorry ma’am but it is – by millions…

    How many abortions a year Ma’am ?
    well in the past forty years we’ve had over 1.5 Billion mechanical abortions – and we have no ide how many chemical ones [it's actually illegal under international law to know how many were murdered- yes murdered - let's not equivocate over this 'choice baloney' - they're dead by their hundreds of millions as a 'lifestyle choice' or 'government policy' or the imposition of international tied-aid demanding population control [remember when Obama sent Biden to Kenya with the Blackmail "you allow state abortions or you get NOTHING!"]

    Have you read Melanie Phillips today? Maybe you should?
    You want mature grown-up deabate?
    That’s fine by us…
    We’re not the ones dwelling in universal denial that what we are experiencing is a rout of humanity of heretofore never envisioned proportions…just so people can continue to engage in indiscriminate sexual activity…

    The world came to a halt on 9/11 because so many died – yet we’re oblivious to the 46million surgically terminated and the tens of millions more poisoned and crushed with the morning after pill….

    You wish to talk about this like ‘responsible adults’ ?
    Pray tell: where have all the responsible adults gone…?

    If you think I am being somewhat cruel – I apologise for it – but I make no apolgy for being right.

  • Anonymous

    But if abortion is so bad then why does God permit so many natural miscarriages over the whole course of human history?

  • http://ccfather.blogspot.com/ Ben Trovato

    Nestorius

    God also allows many children and adults to be killed in natural disasters: earthquakes, floods, and so on. But I may not take that to mean it is ok for me to kill children and adults.

  • Anonymous

    The idea that there have been millions (billions?) of human beings that have never been born in this world but who are presumably saved means that most people who are saved have never had explicit Christian faith in this world. So we must conclude that having an explicit Christion faith is in fact the extraordinary means of salvation.

  • http://ccfather.blogspot.com/ Ben Trovato

    What on earth has that odd assertion to do with this discussion?

  • penny

    I know someone who was rushed into hospital in terrible pain, and woke up to find that one of her fallopian tubes, along with the ectopic pregnancy she didn’t know she had, were gone. She had terrible guilt and emotional suffering over whether she would be condemned for having had an abortion- she had always wanted a big family. She went on to have one child (miraculously) but is still struggling with the loss of that first child, 24 years on. We are all prone to thinking in black and white. We shouldn’t assume that God is as limited as us. If I’ve learnt anything in my adult years, it’s that I understand very little about love and mercy. Doctor Nathanson came to see abortion as wrong, eventually. While he was preforming abortions, he didn’t believe them to be in any way wrong. I would like to think I’d never have an abortion, but have never been in the situation. What sometimes gets lost in all the human certainty is that there is always mercy and forgiveness- and we will all be asking for this when we face Christ. The question He will ask of us is have we forgiven others- if not, how can we then demand it of Him? I think Londistar is feeling not only the loss of her child but the hurt and defensiveness that comes from not feeling accepted, as the result of having made a decision that she felt to be right, but thinks may be seen as wrong by the Catholic Church. Londonistar, in this situation you need to stop thinking of yourself as having been judged already; the job of the Church is to lead us to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In that you will find the answers you are looking for.

  • M Rimmer

    Removal of an ectopic pregnancy isn’t an abortion and is allowed by the Church.

  • ryan

    Abortion is ‘safer’ than birth! Not for the aborted baby it isn’t. ‘Safer’ in what sense exactly? How exactly is it safer? And by what margin are we talking about? And so they do acknowledge that abortion is not risk free at least.
    @paulpriest: well said.

  • Marypettifor

    Dear Londistar, the dreadful pain you have experienced shines out from your post. Please God may you go on to have the child you so long for. As Catholics, we believe that decisions of life and death lie firmly in the hands of our Creator. We believe that all human life is valuable – even that which our society deems unfeasible. This is the stance of the pro-life movement which seeks to protect the mother and her unborn child in a world where abortion is promoted as being safer than giving birth.

  • Ted Watt

    I think it’s time to stick it to the ob/gyns. They are standing up for abortion because for years they have been complicit in abortion. Almost to a man they have abandoned, forty years ago, their duty to treat the lives of their unborn patients as of equal importance to the lives of their adult patients. Many ob/gyns are abortionists themselves; almost all are accomplices of abortionists. Let’s say so, clearly and often

  • Ratbag

    I wonder if the abortionist-in-chief, Obama, is sending funds to these people?

    Since taking office, the contraception/abortion agenda has been publicly stuffed down our throats like geese being prepared for foie gras! This publicity machine costs money… and money is plentiful, as far as this evil trade is concerned!

    Co-incidence?

  • Jfgarcia

    “This guidance, intended for all doctors,nurses and counsellors advising women contemplating having an abortion,said such women should be told that terminating a pregnancy was safer than having a baby.
    To which one can only ask: safer for whom, precisley? Not for the baby, certainly.”
    Quote from article in Daily Mail by Melanie Philips 28/02/11

  • Anonymous

    always exceptions?
    erm…in what way?
    Sorry Jeannine it might sound nice and ‘pastorally sensitive’ – and you’re definitely not the first to say it – but I’d truly like to know what all these exceptions to these rules are….?
    Nobody’s said there aren’t difficult decisions – but that doesn’t refute there invariably being right [albeit awkward and challenging] answers which are invariably never the easiest option.
    I’d just like to know from where and in what circumstances these so-called ‘exceptions’ arise and may be applied – because I’ve never encountered them nor can I envisage any circumstance when they’d be valid…so if you can – pray=please elucidate…

  • Anonymous

    This is not a comment on my views on abortion. I would like to say however, as far as being pro-life you really chose the wrong figure to look at.
    Charlton Heston is certainly not ‘pro-life’ in my eyes, a great actor, but a very poor example for the Church I’m afraid.

    Say Charlton Heston to me and the first thing I think of is not the classic Hollywood hero, but rather the silhouette of his body as he raises his arm in defiance to the NRA crowd, holding a shotgun above his head and shouting to the crowd ‘from my cold, dead, hands’.

    Not only a gun advocate, but head of the NRA (national rifle association) for five years and an honoury member. He also had the audacity to hold a gun convention less than 15 miles from the site of the Columbine gun massacre within a short time of the tragedy.

    He also was an advocate for the death penalty, which if you look at the teaching of the Church, and the catechism; violates ‘the dignity of the human person’.

    I am afraid with John Boehner, who you mentioned favourably in another article, you (the Herald) manage to pick really bad Americans as Christian examples. Many, many people in America are pro-life; this does not mean that they are good examples of Christians in other respects. I would hope you do some better research in future.

  • Anonymous

    I do not hold a pro-life position. However, I think that most would agree with me, that in terms of bio-ethics – in this case abortion – the profit motive is a very bad thing to have around. Abortion doctors should not be encouraged by a fat pay-check in making decisions on life and death. I see that as profoundly wrong.

    Whilst abortions remain legal, they should take place in NHS (hospitals), a neutral body, that will not force services because of the profit that can be gained.

  • Anonymous

    I have grappled with the issue of abortion for many years, in terms of its morality, and if there is one thing I have learn and found to be most valuable it is what you just said.

    That we should not see the world in ‘black and white’

    I have friends that are strongly pro-choice, and those that are strongly pro-life. I have spoken to doctors and a professor of philosophy. I have talked to my priest, I have read books on bio-ethics. The only thing I can really tell you is that it is all GREYS.

  • Anonymous

    The only publicity Obama gets involved in is press-briefings. The only time I have heard him mention abortion, was when questioned during in the lead-up to the 08′ election. I have heard little of his ‘contraception agenda’ as you put it.

    …Oh, and I believe the publicity-machine you are confusing this with is probably Fox News.

    And, as a Catholic myself, just to put a spanner into the works on Catholic teaching on contraception – 95% of sexually active couples in the Church use methods not accepted by the Church – artificial contraception that is.

    Also the countries with the lowest rates of abortion statistically, have the highest rates of contraception usage and school sex-education. Therefore the solution to abortion IS contraception.

    The church is being a fool, it need to move-on, save lives from AIDS in Africa and stop needed abortions. It needs to allow artificial contraception. If you disagree I ask you what is morally MORE unacceptable, the usage of a rubber covering of the male anatomy, or what you believe to be the destruction of a human child in the womb?

    Unprotected-sex leads to unwanted pregnancies, and unwanted pregnancies end in abortion. It is a very obvious narrative to follow.

  • louella

    No it isn’t all greys Paulsays. For the aborted unborn child abortion is very black and white. Their lives are taken from them…….they are murdered. There is no inbetween for them. Try looking at it from their point of view…….cos God does!

  • Anonymous

    I would remind you that for the majority of the pregnancy in which abortions occur they are not developed enough as beings to think or have thought processes, so they could not have a ‘point of view’. For much of the time they are merely biological machines.

  • Anonymous

    This is correct. Most women trying for children are biologically likely to have many miscarriages that are too small for them to notice.

  • Anonymous

    The point is that is we are to play by God’s moral terms, he should at least conform to his own. Which in the position of being a omnipotent being, he does nothing to save people from pain, suffering and death in the case of disease and natural disaster.

    Where are God’s moral standards? – based on what can be seen in the world in he is mercilessly indifferent to human suffering….

  • http://ccfather.blogspot.com/ Ben Trovato

    Obvious but wrong. Availability of contraception leads to increased promiscuity, leads to increased contraceptive failure, leads to increased abortions. Even the British Pregnancy Advisory Service has noticed this.

    As for Catholics not following Church teaching, I dare bet that 99% or more of Catholics lie – but that doesn’t mean they reject Church teaching on lying being bad, merely that they find it difficult.

    I think the reference to Obabma’s publicity may have been (inter alia) his much-reported remark about welcoming an abortion for his daughter if it saved her from having a baby she hadn’t planned…

  • louella

    Well we have to have a point of view for unborn children then. Neither does a newborn baby have a point of view….but society holds one for them too!

    And for all of the time from conception….a human baby is a human being. To dehumanise them…..is full of evil. That’s what all evil atheistic regimes do to some particular group of humans or other……dehumanises them in order to destroy them. Shiver! Let’s bring back true civilisation.

  • penny

    No-one is arguing that abortion is ever right, good or moral. If we were all perfect, we would all do the right thing, always. But then, we wouldn’t need Jesus Christ, would we? Nor am I trying to trivialise life, by saying our sins don’t matter- we all know that they do; they affect us terribly, and those around us. But as I said- it’s o.k. to be a position to say “I would never do that”; My dear friend wasn’t given the choice. It is also easy to say that an ectopic pregnancy isn’t “considered” an abortion in the eyes of the Church, so that’s alright. There’s the thing; the result is the same in emotional terms. To say my friend’s deep feeling of loss are any more than that of someone who has chosen an abortion, and comes to doubt or regret the decision, or that her sense of guilt is any less, is to forget just how fragile we are, and is “black and white” thinking. We must speak out against abortion, expose the horror of it and the deception that presents it as a problem-free option; at the same time, we cannot dismiss, despise, neglect or shun those who have had abortions. Isn’t the goal of the Church to get us all to heaven? To cheat the devil out of the souls he thinks he has won? And isn’t the best weapon of the Church the ability to offer hope; forgiveness of sins as it says in the Benedictus? Again, this is not a wishy-washy concept- I can’t get through a day without complaining or internally cursing a colleague, I want to be sweetness and light to everyone, but I am not, and it is very important that I recognise that – the beatitudes remind me that I am in danger of hellfire- every time I despise someone in my heart- and when I complain about them to others, I might as well be taking their life. We all fall (with apologies to all you saints out there; when you are finally recognised, please pray for me), the Church helps us stand up again and that is the only difference between us and the non-believers- we fall, we stand up again, and keep going in hope.
    To try and stop any warriors from blasting me with the anti-wishy-washy-pinko-liberal-scum-laser- I just want to say that he job of a prophet (i.e. the Catholic Church and her representatives on earth, starting with The Holy Father and ending with anyone called to the faith, especially the warriors) is to call people to conversion AND OFFER THEM HOPE.

  • Anonymous

    I would argue, whether you think abortion is morally permissible or not, having abortion legalised produces the LEAST HARM. In that women do not die having backstreet abortions. The Catholic ideal of no contraception and abortion is something that was thoroughly TESTED under the Catholic dictatorship of Franco in Spain for over 30 years, and failed.

    From 1974 to 1985 (when abortion was legalised), the rate per year was around 350,000 thousand back-street abortions per year. Today abortion has been made legal, and in 1996 it was at 5.5 per 1000 women which was in fact one of the lowest rates in Europe.

    Decide which is more important, the moral high-ground of illegality, or the actual reduction of abortions via contraception and legal abortion?
    EVEN if you believe abortion to be entirely immoral (which I can understand), you would put your moral principles ahead of reducing a practise you think is morally wrong?

  • Anonymous

    Abortion is a nuanced issue. There are very few things in life that are purely ‘black and white’ acknowledging the fact is much less comfortable than sticking to an absolute position.

    Black and whites give people comfort and security in their moral principles, absolute positions are also the easiest to argue from. However, this is not seeking the truth, and for the most part I see it as intellectually lazy and decadent not to acknowledge the grey areas.

  • Anonymous

    It is a logical narrative to follow – and appealing if it was in fact true. I had opinions similar to yours in the past, and this was my main argument against contraception. That was until I took the time to do some basic research, now I am of the opinion their is little immorality concerned with contraception.

    Let’s check the facts by comparing two countries with totally different views on contraception:

    HOLLAND has the lowest abortion rate in Europe and the lowest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe, whilst maintaining a thorough sex and contraception education from a primary school age. Its abortion rate is 6.5 per 1000 women per year.

    The PHILIPPINES, a country with an 80% Catholic population, in fact has a ban on any form of artificial contraception, abortion is illegal and sex-education is purely biological (nothing on contraception) and is only taught briefly to the very oldest children. Pressure to change such policies has been rigorously opposed by the Church, which is highly influential there.
    Its abortion rate (although it is an illegal) is at 25 per 1000 women per year.

    The Philippines shows us that the illegality of contraception has produced a country with almost 4 times as many (384% more) abortions. A FOUR-FOLD INCREASE. I’m afraid the ‘contraception increasing abortion’ narrative is just a convenient fallacy.
    Feel free to prove me wrong though if you can find evidence to the contrary.

  • http://ccfather.blogspot.com/ Ben Trovato

    I’ll do some digging in the archives to find the facts to back up my assertion if I get a minute or two – as I say the BPAS have admitted this to be the case in the UK and somewhere I have the references on that (but having four kids, I’m unlikely to get to this at the weekend…).

    In the meantime I would point out three things:

    One is that the Dutch figures exclude early chemical abortions, which are simply not recorded, so you are not comparing like with like.

    Secondly, even if this were the case, we cannot do evil even if we believe good may result. We do not offer suicide booths to ensure that suicidal people can despatch themselves painlessly…

    Thirdly, there can be no doubt that the ready availability and promotion of contraception in this country has led to a massive explosion in promiscuity and resultant STDs (which are astronomical in teens) as well as abortions – and the huge social costs of people damaged by casual (at least on one side) sexual encounters.

  • louella

    Abortion is not a nuanced issue…..the strong do not have the right to kill the defenceless weak ever! And that is what happens in abortion. The Church is against all abortion….legal and backstreet….and the primary victim of abortion is always the unborn child…..who so many people seem indifferent to. Chilling.

    Bring back true civilised society please…ban abortion.

  • louella

    Yeah…..you are right….the child in the womb is never given the choice is he/she?! So let’s all fight for the right of the unborn child to live their life…..without evil adults snuffing out their fragile chance at life!

    Ban abortion! And those societies that don’t…..are going to their grave as all evil societies do! Have you seen their birthrates yet?! The dodo has nothing on them.