The abortion of a healthy pregnancy is not a good thing.
There, I’ve said it, so I must be an anti-abortionist, right?
I’m pro-choice. That doesn’t mean I like the idea of abortion. I don’t know anyone who does, including women who’ve had them.
Sometimes though, and more often than you’d think, the alternative to abortion is worse. Leaving aside such obvious examples as rape victims or a pregnancy threatening the life of a woman, a child that is unwanted is at a disadvantage right at the start. In such cases, it would be better if conception hadn’t taken place, but if it has, the earlier the termination, the better.
The amendment to the NHS bill put forward by two MPs, Nadine Dorries and Frank Fields, is problematic for a number of reasons. They purportedly want to provide unbiased counselling to all women considering abortion, claiming that organisations like Marie Stopes and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, both not-for-profit, gain financially from performing abortions, and are therefore untrustworthy. (I’m surprised such a slur hasn’t been challenged legally.)
Fields hasn’t had much to say publicly since the amendment was tabled, but Dorries has. She hasn’t, though, said who these replacement counsellors are to be, claiming that she’s pro-choice herself, and that she’s not hoping for a change in the law on abortion.
Alas, this doesn’t square with some of the shrill nonsense she’s spouted in interviews and on her blog, where she’s recounted a gruesome anecdote about an abortion she attended when she was a nurse. That this story followed the template used by fanatically religious anti-abortionists rang alarm bells with me, and I doubted its veracity immediately. It then emerged that her campaign is being funded by religious zealots from America. Her own pronouncements on religion are alarming too. She claims that God chose her to be an MP, something the Electoral Commission surely ought to look into.
Worse, she seems incapable of presenting her case clearly, preferring to rely on character assassination, most notably of Dr Evan Harris, a former Liberal Democrat frontbench MP, who she has dubbed “Doctor Death”. She claims he is “widely known” by this name, including by other MPs.
Nadine Dorries is not widely known for her honesty.