Arguments over women fighting in the armed forces and the legalisation of abortion are linked

Two items not unrelated to the current abortion debate caught my eye over the weekend. The first was an article in the August 2011 issue of Chronicles concerning the inappropriateness of women serving in the front line in the armed forces. Although the article referred to the US marines, it is relevant over here too. The author of the article believes that “the central reason women have no business in combat is [because] bearing arms is a violation of the nature of women, which is to give and nurture life…”

In the UK, although women are allowed to perform almost every role in the services, I understand the jury is still out on whether the last taboo should be lifted: to allow them to serve in close combat units where they would have to kill the enemy face to face. I daresay equal rights will eventually force the issue in women’s favour. Yet it struck me that it is not a coincidence that this debate crops up only 40-odd years after the Abortion Act of 1967. Once it has been conceded that the nature of women is no longer simply to give and nurture life, and that, through legal abortion, they have the right to choose to destroy it, why should they not serve and be prepared to kill alongside men in close combat units?

The second item, from CF News, concerns a new study conducted in the US and just published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. Entitled “Abortion and mental health: quantitative synthesis and analysis of research published 1995-2008”, it found that women who underwent an abortion experienced an 81 per cent increased risk of mental health problems. The study also found that almost 10 per cent of all women’s mental health problems were directly linked to abortion. According to the report: “This study, more comprehensive than any other to date, contradicts the recent, biased and less systematic review by the American Psychological Association which failed to find a relationship between mental health problems and abortion.”

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Perhaps the nature of women hasn’t changed so much after all: when they do something directly in violation of their nature, the evidence suggests that it will cause mental anguish and suffering.

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