In an ideal world there would be no abortion, but we do not live in that world and never will. Those of us who adopt a pro-life attitude must recognise that we cannot roll back the clock and shouldn't try to. We have to be pragmatic, but that does not stop us trying to understand why the abortion rate in this country is so much higher than in most others, and then doing something about it. The question is, what. The Select Committee of Science & Technology is holding an inquiry into the subject at the moment. Health Minister Dawn Primarolo appears before it tomorrow.
Nadine Dorries, a member of the Committee, has written a blogpost today which is quite explosive. In it, she accuses the vested interests on the 'abortion industry' of manipulating a Select Committee inquiry for their own ends. In particular she highlights the role of the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG). Nadine writes...
The RCOG Committee which drew up the guidelines, that regulate the abortion
industry is made up mainly of abortion providers, both on a large and small
scale. For example both the BPAS and Marie Stopes who carry out the lions share
of 200,000 abortions per year are advisors to the Committee. Dr Kate Guthrie, is
an advisor – it was she, who when giving evidence to the Science &
Technology Select Committee, said speaking with her RCOG hat on, that she saw no
evidence to change from 24 weeks – and then said on national TV the following
night via the Dispatches programme, that she wouldn’t abort a baby over 20
weeks. When asked was this because it was too much like a baby, she said “I
suppose so.” Militant, pro-abortion groups are also advisors, but in the name of
balance, no pro-life groups. Almost every person on the committee has a vested
financial interest in ensuring that the number of abortions which take place in
the UK remains amongst the highest in Europe.
I believe that the RCOG may have deliberately attempted to mislead the
Science & Technology Committee in its submission. It failed to mention the
Hoekstra study which demonstrates how with good neonatal ntervention, 66% of all babies (that is babies born naturally because there may have been medical
complications not healthy babies aborted) at 23 weeks live. It failed to mention
how in the UK at good neonatal units such as UCH London and Hope hospital in
Salford, 43% of 23 weekers live. Instead it chose to quote a study which
averages out births at all hospitals across the UK, which puts the figure at 10
-15%. The RCOG also failed to quote any papers linking abortion to pre-term
delivery which had been published after 2003 and completely ignored the recent
peer reviewed acclaimed study into foetal pain produced by Dr Anand. The RCOG
also went foolishly further than this and have in a very childish way claimed
they are not aware of Dr Anand on their web page. Dr Anand is the world's authority on foetal pain - it was his work at Oxford in the 1980’s which resulted in all neonates being given anaesthesia for general surgery today. Until he produced his work it was thought that neonates could not feel pain, by measuring stress hormones he proved otherwise. Dr Anand has been published world wide. The RCOG web site stating that they are unaware of Dr Anand is the equivalent of a group of mathematicians asking “who is Einstein?”
She then goes on to question the role of the BMA, which "voted at its conference to support the move to require only one doctor's signature for an abortion to be performed, not two".
Nadine is accusing Dawn Primarolo of coming to the Committee tomorrow having already publicised her evidence in advance. Primarolo is a known advocate of the liberalisation of abortion laws, so I am not sure that this should come as a great surprise to anyone, but if she really has made up her mind on the 20 versus 24 week term limit argument, Nadine has a point in asking why the Select Committee has bothered to have an inquiry.
On the argument in question, my own view is that the law should indeed be changed to reduce the limit to 20 weeks. Medical science has moved on in light years and it is now possible for a 24 week old foetus to be kept alive. We know this because it regularly happens. It also feels pain, as Dr Anand has proven. Those who argue against this and accuse us of having a wider agenda of banning abortion (not true in my case) need to think again and accept the fact that by arguing for an outdated 24 week limit they are arguing for the continuation of licensed murder. Even Sir David Steel, who introduced the 1967 Act agrees.