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The lessons of Nadine Dorries’s bungled attempt to reform abortion rules

The episode has exposed the cowardice of the Coalition Government

By on Friday, 2 September 2011

The silhouettes of Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

The silhouettes of Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

If there is any lesson to be learnt by pro-lifers over this latest bungled attempt to modify the Abortion Act it is that we must be resolute in stating clearly and publicly that abortion means the deliberate killing of preborn life.

What motivated MP Nadine Dorries to try to introduce mandatory “independent counselling” for pregnant women contemplating abortion? It can’t be because she is pro-life, because she isn’t. Is it because, as someone who is pro-choice, she is still uneasy about the number of abortions performed every year in this country? Or uneasy that almost all the counselling that pregnant women receive at present is given by those who stand to profit from abortion?

Her extraordinary statement when interviewed on the World at One earlier this week shows how muddled and morally ambiguous her thinking is. Asked by the interviewer what independent and impartial counselling would mean, she replied, “It means someone who isn’t an abortion provider, who isn’t of a religious organisation. I can assure you that if a Catholic group said they were going to set up and offer advice I would be as against them offering advice as I am the abortion provider; so it would, I imagine, be counsellors who are registered with the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapy…”

Other bloggers have pointed out that this takes away the ordinary rights as citizens of people with religious views, to publicly affirm them. It tells me that Dorries, terrified of being associated with genuine pro-lifers and wanting to avoid the fury of the hard-line, pro-choice, feminist lobby, is showing her true colours: queasy about the ease with which abortions can be performed but too much of a coward to properly fight it.

I cannot see what “independent and impartial” means in this context. We are talking about life or death issues, not moving house or changing jobs or what to do about an unhappy marriage. You are either pro-life or pro-choice; there is no such thing as “neutrality” here. No Christian should offer “impartial” counselling. Indeed, is Ms Dorries saying that that you can’t be registered with the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapy and at the same time be a Catholic? Or do you have to promise when you register that your private religious beliefs will remain just that – private – and not interfere with your professional work?

Abortion is always a tragedy for those involved. As for the current legislation, it is destructive on a massive scale. Yesterday’s report about the Dorries amendment in the Daily Telegraph shows the Coalition to be as cowardly and morally compromised as Ms Dorries herself. “It is now clear that Mr Cameron does not favour the changes and instead ministers will only promise to look at the issue later this year.” A Downing Street spokesman said, “The discussions currently under way do not represent any moral shift in the Government’s approach to abortion as an issue and there are no changes to the Abortion Act involved…”

Are we surprised?

  • Caroline Farrow

    It also shows us how much of a fight we have on our hands if such a minor and trivial amendment can’t be passed.

    Where the Dorries amendment initially had it right, was that it separated the decision on whether or not to abort, which will always be a moral one and almost impossible to be impartial about, with the clinical decision with regards to the procedure. Abortion should have nothing to do with the procedure. A woman should not be rushed into the Early Medical Abortion, which the abortion stats would currently indicate. 

    Crucially it recognised abortion providers for what they are. Profit making organisations with a vested interest in the outcome.

    The amendment would have had no impact on the abortion laws, but the dirty way that the pro-choice lobby spun this,shows that the pro-life lobby has so much to learn in terms of politicking. 

    What dismays me is that SPUC would not support it because what could have been a very welcome consequence of fewer abortions could not be quantified. One would have been enough and it is likely that this amendment would have had a preventative effect. 

    Also when you looked at the text of the amendment under debate religious groups were explicitly NOT excluded. Dorries was panicked into adding that into her rhetoric, but of course LIFE are technically not a religious group as the recent controversy over their counselling proved. 

    All in all, terribly disappointing.

  • Parasum

    I’m sorry for her – she’s managed to attract brick-bats for not going nearly far enough, and for going a great deal too far. Considering that she tried to have the laaw amended in 2006, inadequate as the amendment may have been (then, or now), ISSTM she deserve some credit at least for trying to do something. Saving five lives may not be as good as saving a thousand, but it is a great deal better than saving none at all.

    Which is better: to do nothing about abortion, like Blair (who voted against, or abstained from voting) bills and amendments for decreasing the number of abortions, & like the present PM; or to try do something ? The idea that only the best conceivable course is ever good enough and that anything less is intolerable, may be all very well as a principle, but in real life it is very poor guide to getting rid of social evils. Those who try to do the right thing deserve to be encouraged – not to be savaged for not doing more.

  • Anonymous

    Should we be invaded because we kill our own people…who are innocent and not taking shots at govt leaders or throwing grenades in their path? should we have a no fly zone and be exterminated for not following the pro choice view? should we be killed in our churches by a succession of 12 rockets on Easter Sunday?
    How does abortion relate to the mass killing of people in our recent wars?
    Pklease pray for those in Sirte and Ben al wadah and all Libya because they are being exterminated by mercenaries on the ground and rockets B52 B2 bombers …not by Gaddafi but by Nato! Please pray for TRUTH to out for yourself and the world. The rebels are not a nice bunch as a whole and kill any captured Libyans like sheep with a kinfe to the throat. I am suffering and wringing my hands and crying and unable to sleep. Help us stop nato war crimes and lies. Pray for God’s Will and for TRUTH to encompass us with regard to Libya AND Gaddafi…who I admire as a man for the people!

  • D B McGinnity

    Nadine Dorries managed to get her photograph in the Catholic Herald and had a few interviews on prime time radio. Nadine loves self promotion and she makes gaffs by the dozen and is prone to making a faux pas each time she opens her mouth. I am reminded of a Laurel and Hardy film with the opening lines “Mr Laurel and Mr Hardy had no thoughts in their heads of doing anything wrong, that is because Mr Laurel and Mr Hardy had no thoughts in their heads of any kind”. This reminds me of the mindlessness of Nadine Dorries who will do and say virtually anything for publicity. I spoke to my MP about this parliamentary matter, and he just laughed at the whole idea. No one is taking it seriously. Finally, to abort a foetus at any stage is killing. and it makes no difference whether it is done at 24 weeks, 20 weeks or 10 weeks. Killing is killing at any stage, and this item has no business being associated with Roman Catholism.

  • D B McGinnity

    The ethics and practices of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy are beyond question. In order to be a registered member of this organisation there are the most rigorous professional standards to adhere to and Ms Dorries impugns their veracity by suggesting that any of their members would allow personal of pecuniary advantage to skew their objective reasoning. I do not know what is the rationale of Ms Dorries, ill thought out, grossly inarticulate and highly erroneous escapade. Her action does nor behove or further the cause of the unborn child, in effect the causes a setback to the subject particularly when she makes clinical and ethical claims that are so facile that they immediately become a cause of derision and mockery. The editor of The Catholic Herald has been very kind and generous to give her antics prominent journalistic space and a big ‘ego boosting’ photo opportunity.

  • Caroline Farrow

    You would no doubt be interested to hear that Dr Evan Harris has stated that BACP are “not as professional as other clinical organisations. My dead cat could join”. When I asked whether or not BACP would take kindly to that statement and pointed out that is statement was derogatory, implying that BACP was unprofessional, Dr Harris accused me of making up quotes, hectoring “thou shalt not bear false witness” at me, meaning that I incurred the wrath of some of his more insalubrious followers. He has not yet apologised or clarified, merely stating that his dead cat could join the AA.

  • ms catholic state

    The hysterical reaction to this modest proposal….shows that the enemies of the unborn child are not even pro-choice….but are firmly pro-abortion. 

    And if Nadine Dorries is a self-publicist….then so what?!  She has managed to bring the issue of abortion to the foreground….and exposed the pro-aborts among our MP’s.  Amazing that they can pompously rail against teenage looters who steal sports bags….while they, ‘respectability’ itself, authorise the deaths of millions of helpless unborn children.  I know which is more evil!! 

  • D B McGinnity

    It matters deeply that Nadine Dorries is a self publicist and has wasted this opportunity to bring reform. I do not know if you have heard the content of her radio interviews and her level of understanding and reasoning. Some of her propositions defy logic and are the source of scorn and levity. The most serious matter is that many years will pass before ‘The Leader of the House’ will permit the topic to be raised again on the floor of the House of Commons. She has displayed poor judgement in terms of Parliamentary procedure and in preparing her case for debate, which denotes a poor level of literacy and a lack of a higher education. The matters she has raised are so silly and so unconvincing that even supporters of anti abortion are appalled by her antics. Whilst I admire your aspiration for a Catholic State, I am morally certain that your ambition will never happen in the UK or elsewhere. The integrity and morality of Catholic States such as The Vatican, Ireland, The Philippines, Mexico, Spain etc., do not have a good record for morality, truth and justice. Your comment about “teenage looters who steal sports bags” is ill thought out and it is an insult to the law and the people who suffered from those feral criminals and you allow banal emotion to cloud your logic, just as Nadine Dorries has done.

  • ms catholic state

    I didn’t hear the interwiew with Nadine Norris…..but my point is…if she didn’t try to even merely lower the abortion rate then who would have?!  It seems we have had complete silence on the issue for a long time now.  I don’t condone looting at all…..but it seems to me that with pro-abort elders and pillars of society….then how on earth can we expect model behaviour from immature youngsters.  And to see such a crew lecturing on morals just highlights their own hypocrisy.  My logic is crisp and clear. 

    I have great faith that the time for the Catholic State is coming again.  Let’s face it….every other model has been tried and tested….and they have all failed badly.

  • Jane Brady

    One very important thing is that Nadine Dorries would not declare who was financing her abortion amendment. She stated that “Freedom to Know” was important on one hand, but not the peoples’ freedom to know that American Alliance Defence Fund (ADF) among others were funding her campaign. If it is true that right wing ‘bible belt’ protestant, anti abortionists were backing her cause, and that these people already have a foothold in the UK with the anticipation of replacing The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) and Marie Stopes Foundation, then this is a very serious matter for British politics and for society as a whole. It would seem that American right wing Protestant organisations are using Nadine Dorries in their attempt to thwart and frustrate the British Parliamentary System and to obtain the monopoly on counselling (controlling) women who may wish to terminate their pregnancy. The old adage “follow the money” is never too far away. It is little wonder that David Cameron and Nick Clegg and all other sensible politicians have suddenly backed off from supporting Nadine Dorries campaign.

  • ms catholic state

    The most serious issue for British society is legalised abortion ie the legally sanctioned murder of the youngest citizens!  And if the ‘bible belt’ Protestants want to tackle this….then good for them.

    They aren’t trying to thwart any British Parliamentary System!….just undermine pernicious abortion.  I don’t call being pro-abortion ‘sensible’.   I call it plain evil! 

  • Jane Brady

    Please stop talking airhead nonsense. Murder is what the law says it is and legal abortion is not classified as murder, so please stop this inane overblown rhetoric. You do not have a mandate or the competence to decree what is legal and by what standards other people should live. Animal rights people talk about the same sort of nonsense as you about murder of animals. This sort of semi-illiterate, closed minded, hyperbolic nonsense as you express only brings derision and ridicule to pro-life campaigns and becomes a source of flippancy and mockery. Your definition of murder is totally inconsequential, as is your catholic state fairyland.

  • ms catholic state

    Murder is the taking of an innocect human life.  What the law says murder is, can and has been changed to suit evil personal and political agendas.  Surely you have learnt that from the history of the 20th century??!!  We are not talking about the taking of animal life….but of human life.  And calling me nonsense names doesn’t obscure the glaring evil and injustice of abortion.

    Thank God all aborting nations are now in serious demographic decline….they will be cleansed and replaced by more fertile child-friendly pro-life generations.

  • JMunro

    “Tearing a developed fetus apart, limb by limb, is an act of depravity that society should not permit. We cannot afford such a devaluation of human life, nor the desensitization of medical personnel it requires. This is not based on what the fetus feels but on what we should feel in watching an exquisite, partly formed human being being dismembered. I wish everybody would witness a second-trimester abortion before developing and opinion about it.” - Dr. George Flesh

  • D B McGinnity

    It is a great sadness that fantasists and scaremongers enjoy to tell second and third hand gruesome stories in order to give themselves kudos and sense of melodrama. These stories are usually innocuous but occasionally they are frighteningly destructive. It does not advance the cause of The Roman Catholic Church or Christianity to be associated with pseudo religious antics and other pseudo psychodrama. It is pertinent to Nadine Dorries has told a story about when she was an eighteen year old nurse she witnessed an abortion where the child was still moving and she was told to wash it down the sluice by the hospital matron. She as a junior nurse would never have been allowed to participate in or take charge such a serious situation, and it would have been illegal to dispose of a foetus in the way she describes. Nadine is now fifty four years old so this incident would have taken place in about 1975, and it would be interesting to know if anyone who worked with her at the time can substantiate of refute the incident in question, because most nurses tend not to forget incidents like the one described by Nadine Dorries. If possible, verification of the incident in question by someone who was there at he time would be a great help.
    It is possible that a patient had a miscarriage (evacuation of uterus) but that is not an abortion as she claims. If there had been an miscarriage, then there are specific legal requirements to be completed, and there would have to have been a medical examination of the mother and foetus. Also, histology and pathological tests would have been conducted. She said that the matron of the hospital told her to discard the dead foetus and flush it down the sluice pan that would have been a crime. If this incident had happened and was an abortion (mechanical termination of pregnancy), as Ms Dorries claims then it would have been conducted in an operating theatre, and an eighteen year old student or pupil nurse would not have been allowed to participate in such a procedure. The nursing curriculum would not have allowed this to happen and senior nurses would not have taken the risk of being disciplined and their name removed from the nursing register. Fantasists and scaremongers are dangerous people who dramatise, fabricate and exaggerate their life’s experiences in order to be noticed, as with contemporary celebrity culture.
    http://spiderplantland.co.uk/?p=7286
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/sep/02/abortion-debate-dorries-campaignhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/sep/02/abortion-debate-dorries-campaign

  • JonnyB

    You bring a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘blind faith’ (emphasis on ‘blind’) which, if it wasn’t capable of causing such serious damage, would be pretty hilarious.

    You bang on about how perfect the RCC is, deriding anyone else (without pausing for consideration of their actions/inactions), whilst continuously turning a blind eye, of biblical proportions, to the (many) failings of the organisation you follow.

    To quote you, in this instance, you say “Murder is the taking of an innocect human life” in response to which I _still_ refer you, by way of example, to Pope Innocent III & the Albigenses. That is (a much repeated part of) the history of the actions of the  ‘catholic state’ for which you so proudly (& frequently inanely) campaign for.

    Incidentally, in response to an assertion you made (with laughably flawed logic) on another topic, suggesting I take evidence from pro-RCC media, such as the Catholic Encyclopedia, I quote from there:
    “Properly speaking, Albigensianism was not a Christian heresy but an extra-Christian religion. Ecclesiastical authority, after persuasion had failed, adopted a course of severe repression, which led at times to regrettable excess….
    The death penalty was, indeed, inflicted too freely on the Albigenses, but it must be remembered that the penal code of the time was considerably more rigorous than ours…”

    Oooh is that a case of “What the law says murder is, can and has been changed to suit evil personal and political agendas”.
    Remember, we are not talking about the taking of animal life, but of human life ;)

  • Anne

    Who is your MP?  It’s impossible to judge your comment without knowing who it is?

  • D B McGinnity

    If you know the name of the MP who was nonchalant to the point of satire about Nadine Dorries abortion amendment issue, what good will that do? He just dismissed the matter out of hand as a stunt to give American right wing anti abortionists the monopoly on pregnancy counselling in the United Kingdom. He thought the whole matter of abortion was very serious and that it could be and should be treated very seriously in terms of parliamentary debate. But because there has been so much hype and absurd comment about it so far, the whole matter has now been rendered frivolous and inconsequential. Tuesdays debate will probably be memorable, but for all the wrong reasons. A great opportunity for proper debate and reform will have been wasted, and parliamentary time will not be given again to the issue for several years to come.In the United States anti abortion groups (who reputedly are financing Nadine Dorries cause) have caused mayhem, and caused structural damage to clinics and have issued overt and veiled threats to persons engaged in the abortion industry and to individuals who have not obeyed their anti abortion edicts. The counselling that they offer is not the sort of counselling as we know it in the UK, but it is rather, their coercive instruction to people not to have an abortion. It will be a sad day for the Roman Catholic Church in the UK if they go down the road of “right wing extreme” Christian fanaticism, as some Catholic blogger’s advocate. No!, I will not give you the name of my MP, and you are free to make whatever judgement you wish about that.

  • Paul Padley

    Ms Dorres has taken on tough job. She needs all the help she can get. Spiritual and moral arguments will not cut much ice in the House of Commons. Like it or not Catholics have to make their case using arguments based on those Christian principles which have successfully permeated the secular sphere over the last 2000 years.

    The members of the
    Marie Stopes Investment Supervisory Group listed in the 2009 published accounts were:

    Mr T M Rutter FRCS
    (Chairman)

    Dr T R L Black CBE MBBS
    MRCP DTM&H MPH (Trustee)

    Mr D S Hovig (Chief
    Executive)

    Mr ED Whitewright
    (Finance Director) – UK ”

    The abortion providers
    are not charities as you and I would understand the concept, standing
    on street corners with collecting tins, or even soliciting direct
    debits from individuals. They are businesses with a missionary zeal
    for product growth who receive the majority of their income from
    governments and a small number of other similarly motivated
    self-interest enterprises. The US Evangelical groups have chosen to compete in similar vein. I believe this is a mistake and in the UK will certainly alienate potential supporters of abortion reform.

    A brief inspection of the membership of the MSI
    investment supervisory group above must surely indicate that it is
    disingenuous in the extreme for doctors working for the abortion
    organisations to play the General Medical Guidelines joker card and
    assert that their counselling advice is impartial. Frankly, in terms
    of impartial advice, the financial services industry is better
    regulated.

    Women whether religious or no, who are making
    the decision about whether or not to proceed with an unexpected
    pregnancy should be offered the opportunity to inform that decision
    by receiving counselling on the premises of an organisation with a
    culture of their choosing and which does not financially benefit in a
    direct way from their decision. If Parliament cannot support this proposition then our MP’s, secular and religious, have a case to answer.

  • D B McGinnity

    These are different times than when the Abortion Act 1967 first became law. Now there is instant information about all the different variables concerning abortion from family, friends, the family doctor and from many other technological agencies. By the time a person chooses to go for an abortion they have already made their mind up. Most abortions take place within weeks of pregnancy confirmation usually from a home pregnancy testing kit. The stigma of unmarried pregnancy is virtually disappeared and the concept of teenage and underage pregnancy is well understood, so what is all the fuss about. Maybe Nadine Dorries is trying to do the right thing, but she is certainly doing it in the wrong way inasmuch that there are so many ‘loose ends’ even before any debate has begun. Yes, she had taken on a tough job, but she is not a first time politician and by now she ought to have been able to prepare a political amendment for debate in a clear professional manner, and she has not done so. Many people are still very confused about what she is trying to change and moreover why she is trying to change it. The aims and objectives of her proposed amendment should be unambiguous. It is incorrect for you to assert that spiritual and moral arguments will not cut much ice in the House of Commons. Parliament takes the law very seriously, and it ensures that the parliamentary process is not abused with frivolous attempts to change the law so that some pseudo religious or pseudo philosophical organisation can prosper. Politicians on all sides of the house are generally wise and moral, and they can spot a bogus bill, and will not have their time and talent wasted with political frolics for the pecuniary gain of Christian fundamentalist organisations.

  • Anonymous

    “….. too much of a coward to properly fight it.” I’m mystified as to what you think would constitute a “proper fight”. But then again coherent thought isn’t exactly your strong point is it Francis?

  • JMunro

    Why not stick to the thread? Your muddled post doesn’t belong here.

  • JonnyB

    Responding to the hysterical claim of ‘murder’, by pointing out the hypocrisy in such a statement, is not sticking to the thread how, exactly?
    If I had wished to make a separate & distinct statement of my own, regarding the article, then, I would have done so instead of clicking on the ‘reply’ button.

  • Anonymous

    “It also shows us how much of a fight we have on our hands if such a minor and trivial amendment can’t be passed.” – Caroline Farrow

    Indeed.  The time has come for us to end this pretence that our current pro-life tactic will eventually persuade our fellow-citizens that abortion should be re-criminalised.
    We must now adopt a more Gandhi-like strategy and engage in civil disobedience if we sincerely wish to see an end to the merciless slaughter of these innocents.  We must take up this particular cross and follow Our Lord to Calvary, and if necessary be prepared to be crucified.  There is no other way but His.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps the BACP would welcome the dead cat’s application for membership but reject Dr Harris’ request?

  • Anonymous

    @ DB MCGinnity Nothing and no one are beyond question.

  • Anonymous

    I suggest you Google-Image ‘Abortion’. Spend a few minutes looking at the images.

    Then Google ‘selective reduction’/’foetal reduction’, or maybe ‘late-stage termination’ (curious, isn’t it, the kind of language that is used to make killing more palatable?).

    Then listen to your heart. Feel anything?

  • Anonymous

    Yes, if you take the phrase literally (which I don’t think DBMcG was doing), then I would almost agree with you. It is a very good reason why religious faith is such a bad thing, and why institutions that portray religious faith as a virtue are so damaging.

    (But is it beyond question that I just typed that?)

  • Maryp

    Francis, however muddled Nadine Dorries philosophy might be, her sincerity and motivation to reduce the number of abortions in this country is without question.
    Much as I disagree with her views on Catholics providing counseling, she is echoing the opinions of many.
    This softly, softly, catchee monkey approach is the only one with any chance of success in the UK.
    I for one will be praying my heart out for her success and urging others to do the same.

  • Anonymous

    Your arrogant suggestion of heartlessness is despicable. Appeals to emotion are attempts to dilute objectivity, as observed in the lynch mob mentality. Nadine Dorries seems to be driven by emotion. She has a self-confessed aversion to inconvenient facts. That is no basis for sound judgement.

  • Anonymous

    What a bizarre reply. Not sure how my comments could be seen as arrogant, or despicable.

    Sometimes emotion is a useful indicator of something important, like right or wrong and our innate sense of each. 

    My suggestion was to look at the images, do some research, maybe even read some of the testimonies of former abortion clinic workers:

    “I found much distress in the clinic, but it involved not only the women. I saw the pain of the babies who were born burned from the saline solution used for late-term abortions. I saw the bits of feet, bits of hands, the mangled heads and bodies of the little people. I saw pain and felt pain.” 
    Paula Sutcliffe in ‘Precious in My Sight’
    Pro-Life Feminism: Different Voices Gail Garnier-Sweet, Ed.

    Admittedly not very objective, but something that should happen less, more or stay about the same? What do you think?

  • Anonymous

    @ treenonpoet……Faith , of course pursued properly, requires that you do question all, as Saint Paul(I think) exhorts us to do. You clearly know little about faith or that would be known to you.
     What would an example of an “institution that portrays religious faith as a virtue” be?

  • Anonymous

    “less, more or stay about the same?”

    I assume that you are referring to the number of abortions. The question is a bit like asking how many people should rely on kidney dialysis machines (in that the ideal is none, but given that some people suffer kidney failure, perhaps the number should be those in need). You might argue that people with two healthy kidneys should be compelled to donate one, but there are counter-arguments. Would you prefer that potential donors had the choice?

    In your earlier comment

    “Feel anything?”

    implies that you consider the person being asked may be capable of not feeling, and implies that you are superior in your capacity to feel.

  • Anonymous

    I referred to religious faith – i.e. that faith which is maintained not only when there is no evidence to justify it, but also in the face of evidence that seems contrary to that faith. How does one “pursue” religious faith but by retaining it in spite of everything. How often is a question that challenges a particular religious belief responded to with “it’s a matter of faith” as if that was an adequate answer?

    An example of an institution that portrays religious faith as a virtue is the establishment in England (for example, in the promotion of schools of a religious nature by successive governments and by the Church of England). The very idea is an impediment to the understanding of the importance of science.

  • Anonymous

    The question is not at all similar to your example. How is pregnancy like kidney disease? As for your point about kidney donation, you’re so wide of the mark it’s hard to know where to start. 

    No, I’m not implying any superiority, and I notice no reply to my invitation. I am genuinely curious what you feel when you read that quote. Did you even look at the images?

    So, I ask again: do you think efforts should be made to reduce the number of abortions, increase the number, or keep the numbers pretty much as they are? 

  • Anonymous

    To your different question

    “do you think efforts should be made to reduce the number of abortions, increase the number, or keep the numbers pretty much as they are?”

    I would answer “no, not directly” because I consider the number of abortions to be a consequence of other factors which should be tackled…

    In particular, I would have thought it better to avoid an unwanted pregnancy in the first place. There are a number of ways of contributing to this cause. One way is encouraging the use of contraceptives. (You might not believe this, but some actually discourage this.) Another way is to highlight the selfishness of having too many children in over-populated environments. (You might not believe this, but some would rather see an increase poverty and suffering than suggest the limitation of family sizes.) Another way is to increase respect for women. (I hope you get my drift.)

  • Anonymous

    @treenonpoet… Again I would say you have no esperience of “faith”. There are people who have none yet “get it”. You do not seem to get it at all. We could go on for ever with this, but I will say one thing, in the end its all a person has. It would be so much easier to have none, lie in  bed on a sunday, have no framework for my decisions etc. So its not something which is easy.”Its a matter of faith” is an adequate answer.
     No one forces parents to send their children to a faith school. Its a choice.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you whole-heartedly on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies. And I agree that contraceptives are a reality though these do come with their own problems. I don’t see much respect, self or otherwise, towards women in modern Britain, a country where religion is marginalised and contraceptives are widely available.

    As for the selfishness of people having ‘too many children in over-populated environments’. It could be argued that over-population doesn’t cause poverty. Poverty causes over-population. One might well have five or more children if a) two of them would be dead before they reached the age of 5 and, b) the family as a whole relied on them for survival. 

    Interestingly, the DR Congo has one of the highest birth rates in the world (almost 50 births/1000 people) yet the population density is around 30 people per square kilometre. The UK has a birth rate of 12/1000 people and yet has a population density of around 250 people per square kilometre. DR Congo is many, many times poorer than the UK, but this is hardly due to them having large families.

  • Anonymous

    P.S. Interesting article: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/2804102.html

  • Anonymous

    I disagree with both paragraphs, but I think this discussion is getting too far away from the main subject of the thread (my fault), so I had better not elaborate.