Abortion, For Any Reason, Up To Birth – The Abortion Lobby’s Ultimate Sub-Humanist Campaign

by Peter D. Williams

This morning, a campaign was launched to promote the most extreme proposals ever officially advocated by the abortion lobby: abortion up to birth, and for any reason. Headed by BPAS, the leading organisation of the UK abortion industry, the campaign also includes eight abortion lobby groups (interestingly, this number does not include Abortion Rights UK) who together comprise just less than half of all the campaign.

The radical platform the campaign prescribes is unsurprising in its content, if nonetheless astonishing in its extremity, when you know how BPAS under the leadership of Ann Furedi has consistently advocated for the removal of all restrictions on the practice of abortion. Furedi is one of the most intellectually open and honest of all abortion lobbyists, and unlike the majority of people on either side of the abortion debate, she is strikingly (if hideously) consistent in her view that abortion should be available for any reason at any stage of gestation. In her view, the autonomy of the mother outweighs any intrinsic rights or value her unborn child may have.

This ideological commitment entails that she, and the abortion lobby, do not just want to amend current UK laws on abortion, they want to do away with them altogether. For many, such a proposal will come as a surprise, not merely because of its radicalism, but because it identifies something that is less well known than perhaps it should be: Abortion is a crime under UK law.

Under sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against The Person Act 1861, abortion is what used to be called a ‘felony’. Moreover, all abortions after 28 weeks are prohibited under the crime of ‘Child Destruction’ due to the Infant Life Preservation Act 1929. Some abortions are de iure permissible due to legal precedents set in court cases, and due to the Abortion Act 1967, which gave exemptions from prosecution under the 1861 Act for performing abortions for a few ostensibly very narrow reasons, as long as two doctors affirmed in ‘good faith’ that the conditions of the Act were met. (These exemptions were extended to the 1929 Act, and an upper limit for most abortions set at 24 weeks, in 1990.) The abuse of this Act has led to a de facto situation of abortion on demand, but the letter of the law means that abortion is indeed, as a legal norm, still banned.

The consequence of this is that some people are still prosecuted to this day for performing late abortions outside of a medical context. I wrote in December about two such recent cases: Kevin Wilson was found guilty of ‘Child Destruction’ for having assaulted his ex-girlfriend (whom he had tried to pressure into an ‪abortion) by stamping on her stomach, causing his unborn child (then at 32 weeks) to be stillborn. Natalie Towers, a woman in County Durham, was convicted of the same crime after taking contraction-inducing drugs whilst heavily pregnant in order to miscarry her unborn son, who, posthumously called ‘Luke’ by the medical staff, was also at 32-34 weeks and consequently died of oxygen starvation.

For the abortion lobby, the prosecution of the Towers case was an outrage, and they have decried UK abortion law as an unacceptable ‘patriarchal’ limitation on the personal autonomy of women, a ‘Victorian’ relic of a time before women even had the vote. (This language is employed regardless of Towers being prosecuted under a law passed in the 20s, after female suffrage was secured.) Unsurprisingly for a campaign ‘conceived’ and so dominated by them, the arguments for it are similar typical pro-abortion tropes.

It’s been given the title and hashtag ‘We Trust Women’, as if laws restricting abortion were about questioning the decision-making powers of individual women, rather than providing at least some protections for unborn children. It gratuitously asserts that restricting abortion denies women ‘fundamental rights’, even though there is not and never has been a right to abortion. It argues from a radical view of bodily autonomy, claiming that it is a legal principle that “a person’s body is their own”. This despite the fact that we are actually legally limited in what we can do even with our own body – we may not, for example, contract a doctor to remove one of our healthy limbs just because we want them to – let alone the body of another, such as that of our unborn child.

Consequently, Furedi, BPAS, and the wider campaign they are leading wants to see the total ‘decriminalisation’ of abortion. They point to the Australian state of Victoria as a precedent, where abortion lobbyists succeeded in passing profoundly permissive abortion laws in 2008. The UK campaign’s plans, however, go far beyond even what abortion lobbyists succeeded in gaining Down Under. Though the Victorian law allows for abortion up to the ninth month of pregnancy, it is only on demand up to 24 weeks. For abortions to be performed further than that, certain physical, psychological and social grounds have to be approved by two doctors, though this can be the operating surgeon and anaesthetist. The UK campaign would, by contrast, have no limitations whatsoever.

The problem for the abortion lobby’s campaign, is that their view is completely contrary to where science, medicine, and public opinion have moved in the last few decades. Consequently, the manifesto her campaign has drawn up is far removed from what is morally and politically acceptable.

If abortion in the UK were to become as totally deregulated as the abortion lobby would like, this would mean removing that two doctors give their ‘good faith’ judgement that the abortion is necessary for certain prescribed reasons, and that doctors alone (not nurses) should carry out abortions. It would also include the license of abortions that most people rightly find abhorrent: such as abortions based on the sex of the unborn child. Just as the preferred abortion lobby term ‘pro-choice’ simply begs the question ‘Which choice?’, so ‘We Trust Women’ begs the question, ‘To do what?’ To have sex-selective abortions (which Furedi has supported, and BPAS has insisted is legal, despite Government disagreement)? To kill their child at 32-34 weeks as Natalie Towers did?

Such an agenda runs counter to the consensus of UK public opinion. As RTL reported earlier:

“In October 2014, a ComRes poll found that 84% of people favoured a total and explicit ban on abortions based on the baby’s sex, including 85% of women. Another ComRes poll in March that same year found a similar figure, with 86% of people favouring a total ban (including 88% of women). This latter poll also found that 89% (92% of women) agreed that a woman requesting an abortion should always be seen in person by a qualified doctor, and 76% (78% of women) agreed that the health of women considering an abortion would be put at risk unless the doctors who sign abortion request forms had also seen the patient.”

What the abortion lobby are asking for – for nurses to be allowed to perform abortions and for abortion to be so on demand that it could take place for the purposes of sex-selection – completely contradicts what the vast majority of the public, especially women, think about those issues.

The marginality in the appeal of this extreme campaign, however is only one dimension in the practical question of its popular relevance. As the advent of 4D imaging, improvements in the ability of doctors to save pre-term babies, and better public knowledge of embryology have all made increasingly clear to the wider proportion of Britons, abortion always involves the destruction of an unborn human being. The life of a defenceless child is ended at precisely the time and place where they should be safest. As public awareness of unborn humanity increases, so more horrifying the idea of a total and sub-humanist disregard of the dignity and right to life of children in the womb will become.

More critiques can (and will) be made of the ‘We Trust Women’ campaign. What is immediately clear for now is that it is nothing less than the apotheosis of pro-abortion ideology. It is a campaign that dresses itself in feminism despite enabling gendercide. It prescribes a legal and social scenario utterly unacceptable to the majority of Britons. It involves a callous disregard for the humanity and rights of unborn children. In short, it is a ludicrous and hopelessly unrealistic move that only serves to helpfully demonstrate the extremism, anti-feminism, and inhumanity of the abortion lobby.

Hypocritical Horror: Society’s Incoherent Attitude To Child Destruction

by Peter D. Williams

Our society furnishes us with many examples of its inconsistent approach to the lives of unborn children. The perennial debate over the ‘upper limit’ on ‘Ground C’ abortions has raised stories of hospitals where babies at twenty-four weeks gestation have been aborted on one floor, whilst in the intensive care unit doctors will be trying to save the life of a baby at the same stage of development. Four stories in the last month however, have particularly well illustrated the schizophrenia of our society (in the colloquial and etymological sense of being ‘split-minded’, not in any sense that is purposefully pejorative of mental illness) when it comes to the destruction of fetal human beings.

The Iraqi activist group ‘Mosul Eye’ recently reported that a Saudi named Abu Said Aljazrawi, one of the ‘Judges’ of the Shar’i Board – that is, those who rule on the application of Islamic Sharia Law – of the terrorist group ISIS, has issued an ‘Oral Fatwa’ to ISIS members authorising them to “kill newborn babies with Down’s Syndrome and congenital deformities and disabled children”. Mosul Eye further reported that more than thirty-right children born with deformities and Down’s syndrome, aged between one week and three months, had already been murdered by ISIS militants either by lethal injection or suffocation.

Immediately parallels were drawn, as had been on previous occasions after similar ISIS atrocities, with Nazi Germany. From 1939, in their ‘T4’ Euthanasia programme, the Nazi regime organised the murder of at least five thousand severely mentally and physically handicapped children and young people up to sixteen years old in over thirty so-called ‘special children’s wards’. Unlike ISIS, the Nazis veiled their eugenics as ostensibly compassionate. Parental petitions asking for their disabled children to be given “mercy killings” were used as justification and to show demand in the German population. When Hitler agreed to these actions, he made the head of his personal secretariat and his own personal physician “euthanasia commissioners”. ISIS have no such sentimental pretensions.

Around half a week later, another sickening story appeared in the media that twenty-two year old Kevin Wilson had been found guilty of the crime of ‘Child Destruction’ – the killing of an unborn baby between twenty-eight weeks gestation and birth – for having killed his unborn child. He had committed this by assaulting his ex-girlfriend (whom he had tried to pressure into an ‪abortion‬), stamping on her stomach. The mother was at thirty-two weeks when the attack occurred, and the story includes her account of the acute loss she feels, still in mourning for her stillborn baby.

Soon after the reports of both these brutal atrocities, however, came two other reports that should lead us to question the consistency of our right social outcry against them.

The day after ISIS’s horrifying barbarity was printed in the British media, another story was reported of a fifteen year old girl who had been accused of killing her own baby shortly after giving birth. The Police had said that they were called to a house in Burnage, south Manchester, during the early hours of the eleventh of February last year and consequently charged the teenager (who is anonymous for legal reasons) with concealment of birth, infanticide, and manslaughter. The girl was granted unconditional bail at Manchester Youth Court, and was due to appear at Manchester Crown Court on the twenty-third of December.

Meanwhile, on the same say that the Wilson verdict was declared, another disturbing case of Child Destruction, this time by a mother at thirty-two to thirty-four weeks was accounted. Natalie Towers, a woman in County Durham, had taken contraction-inducing drugs in order to miscarry her unborn son, who consequently died of oxygen starvation. Whether or not the sentence is appropriate (the article suggests that Towers may have mental health issues), it is worth noticing the disparity between the humane approach taken to the unborn baby by the medical staff who tried desperately to save him and posthumously named him ‘Luke’, as well as the Telegraph article’s use of terms that recognise the humanity of the child – referring to “unborn son”, and “baby” three times – and the dehumanising language of the Judge, who referred in his judgement to “unborn foetuses” and inaccurately talked about her offence “extinguishing life about to begin”. This, even though he found her guilty of the destruction of a child (not a mere ‘foetus’ that is an ‘almost-life’).

All four stories have rightly brought shock and appalment to most Britons who read them. Yet they should not simply generate moral outrage, but introspection.

After all, everyone rightly condemns the unspeakable evil of ISIS, yet section 1(1)(d) of the Abortion Act 1967 allows the destruction of disabled unborn babies, including those with minor rectifiable cosmetic disabilities such as a cleft palate or a club foot. We also have a medical system that, in failing to support parents whose unborn baby is diagnosed with foetal disability, and in commonly blithely assuming that parents will want an abortion after such a diagnosis, encourages such destruction to happen. This has led to 90% of Down’s Syndrome babies being aborted every year. The informal material eugenics of our own culture can scarcely be thought of as more civilised then, than that of the evil practitioners of terror in the Middle East.

Similarly, our society is quite properly angered at the wickedness of the Manchester teenager having murdered her baby after birth, the thug who stamped his own unborn child to death, and the County Durham mother who poisoned her son in the womb. Yet since 1990, when the Abortion Act was ‘de-coupled’ from (that is, unlimited by) the Infant Life Preservation Act 1929, the law that prohibits ‘Child Destruction’, this protection does not affect abortions for foetal disability, which may take place up to birth.

If any of the three mothers in these cases had a disabled baby, or had it been judged that an abortion was “necessary to prevent grave permanent injury to [their] physical or mental health”, or that “the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to [their] life” greater than if the pregnancy were ended, then they would have been able to have their unborn babies killed through late-term abortions only a matter of minutes or hours before birth. The location of the baby within simply a few minutes, and the person making the ‘choice’ to end their baby’s life, is all that makes the social and legal difference between acceptance and censure.

Even though at such a late stage foeticide (as opposed to live delivery) would have been utterly unnecessary from a medical perspective, such abortions would have been perfectly legally acceptable, albeit seen as personally ‘difficult’ decisions.

All this illustrates, quite starkly, that our laws and social attitudes to abortion are grossly hypocritical and hopelessly inconsistent towards the humanity of the unborn child. This is particularly true when she possesses a disability, when a callously discriminatory approach is implemented.

The right-to-life movement has a lot of work to do in educating public opinion sufficiently, such that society recognises its own organised hypocrisy towards unborn humanity and leads the political consensus to rectify this, by affirming the dignity and rights of all human children before as well as after birth.