Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Safe at Home?

UPDATE: Over half of all doctors don't support the UK's abortion laws. But that doesn't mean anything bad. In fact, what they oppose is the two doctor requirement - that is, most think that it should be enough for one doctor to approve an abortion. Sanity. In comparison to the below, anyway.

I've just been catching up on The F-Word - sorry, prof, but securities regulations is not THAT interesting and I have been paying attention for forty minutes or so without blogging - and I have just read this which is deeply depressing.

The abortion debate here is so impassioned, so polarised (despite repeat surveys showing that a majority of Americans support a woman's right to have an abortion) that home seems distantly quaint and safe. And yet, and yet, it's doing its best to undermine that right now with the people allowed to testify on an enquiry looking into the legal status of abortion (not to make it illegal, but they are looking into the 24 week limit and so forth):

The enquiry has solicited evidence from doctors and medical associations in the lead up to the enquiry, which is standard procedure. This morning, however, it emerged that the committee clerk has had to take the “unusual step” of writing to all individuals who have submitted evidence to the enquiry and asking them to disclose all of their affiliations. The reason this step has been taken is that it has emerged that at least eight of the private submissions have come from medical professionals who have not disclosed their affiliation with Christian groups opposed to abortion. Six of those are members or activists of Christian Medical Fellowship.

For reference, the CMF have made an organisational submission to the enquiry which suggests that:

  • the 24-week limit should be reviewed;
  • the limit for abortion for foetal abnormality should be no higher than the general limit;
  • “any change in the law which increases abortion totals should be resisted”;
  • the requirement for permission to abort from two doctors should remain; and
  • there is “overwhelming evidence that abortion causes significant rates of serious mental health problems”.

They further note that they regret that the committee will not consider ethical or moral issues associated with time limits and that they are “reluctantly restricting ourselves to the science in this submission”. So it’s pretty clear where their opinions lie. The CWF is an anti-abortion group.

Now we’re told that at least 6 of the (about 20) individual submissions are members of this group, and that a further two are members of groups likely to hold similar opinions.

Ugh, ye gods. Arseholes. ARSEHOLES - how can they think it's ok to have over a quarter of these "experts" to all be members of a publicly pronounced opposition group to abortion rights?

Forty years since it became legal, British people really do have to protect it and make sure that the UK is forging a path to be an example for the US. The F Word has ways you can help... including a special screening of Vera Drake. GO AND DO IT!

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