Jeremy Hunt MP spoke out lately saying that the legal time limit for abortion ought to be reduced from 24 weeks gestation to 12 weeks. Jeremy Hunt has taken a lot of flak over this. He is still pro-Choice of course. He was not saying that termination of pregnancy ought to be outlawed – only that its legality should be further restricted. Militant pro-Choicers mauled him in the press accusing him of endangering women’s lives.
I am embarrassed to say that I am pro-Choice but with the greatest of reluctance I am. I can see a strong case for lessening the time in which termination is allowed. The ideal number of terminations is zero. As for termination when the woman’s life is genuinely in danger (such as in the case of ectopic pregnancy) then there should be no time limit. Even most pro-Lifers accept termination is moral in that situation.
What galls me is the dishonest rhetoric of the aggressive end of the pro-Choice movement. The radical pro-Choicers resort to sickly euphemisms such as ‘services’ for pregnant women. They also talk about ‘care’.
Many of these people are liberal-left – often extremely so. They often crow about how concerned they are with human rights and the rights of the child. They are such good people – so compassionate. They pose as fearless defenders of the vulnerable. Does it not strike them as in the least ironic that they deny any modicum of mercy to the most defencelss of all – those who can have done no wrong and who have no voice: the unborn.
Let us be candid and face the fact that in a country such as the United Kingdom the great majority of terminations are in fact late contraception. The Abortion Act 1967 is a dead letter. It is not the case that there is a termination because continuing the pregnancy would damage the woman’s health – social or physical. It is in effect termination upon request.
If termination were outlawed what would happen if those who wished to terminate a gestation would get on Eurostar, fly to the Netherlands – go to a jurisdiction where it is allowed.
Hunt made a moderate point. The furious reaction shows the spite and unreasonableness of some of the maxmialists among the pro-Choicers. The pro-Choice stance, when carried to an extreme, is that a woman (or even a girl) must have the legal right to terminate a pregnancy at any time without giving a reason. Even if the baby is due to be born that day and is totally healthy, even if this is the woman’s first child, she is married, she had plenty of money, they have bought the toys, painted the bedroom, chosen the name booked the baptism: it is the perfect situation – even then it is acceptable for her to have the child killed. Admittedly very few terminations occur in such circumstances.
Terminating a cluster of cells to small to be beheld but under a miccroscope is one thing. Terminating a baby that weighs 3.5kg is another issue.
We live in an age of equality. Disabled people are as good as anyone else. We try to include them. Yet we are allowed to terminate disabled babies until the day of birth. Most feminists are pro-Choice, some of them are hysterical about it. Yet abortion has boomeranged on feminists. Females in India and China suffer the ultimate discrimination. Female foetuses are much more likely to be terminated. They are terminated on the sole grounds that they are female. It is unlawful in India but it happens on a large-scale.
Termination is pernicious but we cannot wish it away. I hope to at least reduce it. To make people use more effective contraception. It would be good if everyone had a vasectomy and stored sperm so they only had a child when they really wanted one. The trouble with that is that the swimmers only stay good for 10 years.