Tag Archives: Minister for Equality

Abortion debate: Some Tories just can’t keep their mouths shut

In the 1966 movie Alfie, the main character (Michael Caine) impregnates another man’s wife (played by Vivien Merchant) and has to take her to a backstreet abortionist. Do Maria Miller, Jeremy Hunt and now Theresa May want a return to this extremely dangerous practice?

This won’t be a popular post. It seems you don’t want to read about abortion from the figures on my ‘Killer’ Miller piece.

But I don’t write this blog because I want to be popular; I say some things because they are to be said, and this is one of those pieces. Cutting the time limit on abortions will continue to be ignorant lunacy, no matter how many Cabinet ministers support it.

From that, you can guess my opinion of the Cabinet ministers involved, who are Maria Miller, Jeremy Hunt, and now Theresa May.

The Home Secretary said she thought there was scope for a 20-week limit (the current limit is 24 weeks, remember). The Health Secretary had already gone further, saying he supported halving the limit to just 12 weeks.

This is a man who admits that doctors have operated on his head. Presumably they removed all his intelligence.

Thank goodness they were only expressing personal views, no matter what may be said by those who support the suggestion – oh, what am I saying? The Conservatives are desperate for a popular policy. They’re probably writing it into their Conference speeches right now.

I am glad to see that my own concerns about this were absolutely correct. In a comment on Today, Professor Wendy Savage, a gynaecologist and campaigner on women’s rights, pointed out: “The number of abortions that take place over 20 weeks is very small. Of those a considerable proportion are of foetuses which have got a congenital abnormality.

“I think the majority of the population think that if somebody has got a foetus that, if born, will have a severe disability, they should have the right to choose whether or not to continue with that pregnancy.”

If you’re still undecided on the issue (all 12 or 13 of you who are reading this), try reading Laurie Pennie’s ’24 Reasons for 24 Weeks’, a blog she wrote back in 2008, before the Tory MP Nadine Dorries (remember her?) was defeated in her own attempt to cut the time limit.

Of particular interest should be number 3: “Research shows that lowering the time limit does nothing to lower the number of abortions taking place.” But if they can’t get a legal abortion, where do they go?

Back to the backstreets, everyone?

‘Killer’ Miller’s new job – removing women’s rights

Maria Miller: This minister for equality understands the needs of women even less than she understood the disabled.

Maria Miller, the newly-appointed minister responsible for persecuting minority groups, has started by attacking pregnant women.

She wants to lower the legal abortion limit in England, Wales and Scotland, from 24 weeks to 20.

This should come as no surprise to anyone. She voted for a 20-week limit in 2008, as I mentioned in a previous article on this blog.

Ms Miller has justified her stance by saying care for extremely premature babies has improved rapidly, saying it was “really important” to consider the impact on women and children, and claiming it is “common sense“.

But the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists reviewed the matter two years ago and said there was no scientific evidence to justify a lower limit. Survival rates before 24 weeks have not improved. Also, there are circumstances in which some women will need to end a pregnancy after 20 weeks.

In other words, based on the scientific evidence, Ms Miller’s approach is the exact opposite of “common sense“.

One has to wonder, what is this minister’s problem? She must know that there are reasons for terminating pregnancies that are based on the health of the mother, the child, or both. And that doesn’t even take into account the effect on the lives of those individuals after the child is born.

Correct me if I’m wrong; I’m looking at this as a health issue because it occurs to me that, except in rare cases, a woman would be aware she is pregnant after 20 weeks and would want the child. I don’t think we’re discussing the “pro-life/pro-choice” issue here. It seems to me that we’re discussing whether children will be born with congenital conditions that will impair their experience of life, or whether the pregnancy will seriously harm the mother’s health.

In either case, being forced to go to full-term, because the law demands it, could lead to a life on benefits as what Ms Miller might call a burden to society – or so it seems to me.

So this “common sense” approach is entirely contradictory, considering the minister’s history.

Hasn’t ‘Killer’ spent the last two years taking benefits away from people like that, effectively killing them off? Why is she now trying to bring more of them into the world?

In short: Does she get a kick out of causing suffering?