Friday, September 06, 2013

How can procuring female infanticide not be a prosecutable offence?


Last year, the Daily Telegraph carried out an investigation into the abortion practices of certain doctors in certain clinics, and its findings were alarming. Not only were some medical professionals consenting to terminate pregnancies because the developing baby was female; they were pre-signing abortion forms in order to avoid the inconvenience of troubling two of them with having to conduct full medical examinations of the women concerned. One of the doctors consented to terminate a baby girl, even using the term ‘female infanticide’. Astonishingly, another said it was not her job to ask questions.

Since it is manifestly the legal responsibility of a doctor involved in consent to abortion to ask certain basic questions; and it is manifestly the legal obligation of a doctor involved in consent to abortion to carry out a physical and psychological examination of their patients; and it is manifestly the legal obligation of a doctor involved in consent to abortion to obey the law of the land, specifically as it relates to aborting a baby on the basis of gender selection, you would think that Keir Starmer QC and the Crown Prosecution Service in England and Wales – armed with sufficient evidence to prosecute – might be eager to enforce the law.

But no action is to be taken against the doctors who authorised abortions based on the sex of the child, because (we are told) to do so would ‘not be in the public interest’.

This is a bizarre, puzzling, not to say outrageous decision.

Certainly, it appears that no abortion actually took place, but does a person need to be killed before those procuring the murder may be arrested and prosecuted? To incite, conspire or contract to kill a person is unlawful of itself: it needs no successful execution before the CPS may gather evidence and bring charges. But, once again, we see the abortion laws of Parliament undermined, and so they ‘develop’ along ever-liberal lines.

It seems now that a doctor may offer to kill a child in the womb – for payment – for no other reason than she is the wrong sex. And this, according to the CPS, is not a matter of public interest.

If it be not in the public interest to prosecute these zealous doctors, is it not a matter of grave public concern that a culture exists within entire institutions that believes the law does not apply to them? How can it not be in the public interest to make it clear and explicit that abortion law is not otiose?

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is on the record as favouring a cut in the upper limit for abortion: he said a year ago: "There's an incredibly difficult question about the moment we should deem life to start. I'm not someone who thinks that abortion should be made illegal. Everyone looks at the evidence and comes to a view about when that moment is and my own view is that 12 weeks is the right point for it."

On the assumption that 12 is better than 24 (and, incidentally, much more in line with limits over the rest of the EU), it is clear that the Health Secretary isn’t afraid to put his head above the parapet and confront abortophiles like Diane Abbott and Harriet Harman, for whom any discussion on reducing the upper limit amounts to ‘another assault on women's reproductive rights’. Here is an opportunity for Mr Hunt to put his head above the parapet to enforce the law as it stands – with which, surely, all law-abiding abortophiles will agree. Not even Diane Abbott and Harriet Harman would countenance terminating a baby simply because it is to be a Diane or a Harriet. Where’s the gender equality in that?

It does seem strange that we live in a country where the CPS authorises charges to be brought against those who protest against abortion – on the grounds that banners may cause ‘harassment, alarm or distress’ under the Public Order Act 1986 – and yet they are not prepared to authorise charges to be brought against doctors who consent to gender-selective abortion, which is a blatant contravention of the limited conditions provided for in the Abortion Act 1967.

Unsurprisingly, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, which carries out 55,000 abortions a year, has already declared that the CPS decision establishes that terminating babies because of their gender is not necessarily a crime.

Sorry, Mr Starmer, but if you consider this to be merely a matter for the GMC, you are saying it is a question of professional regulation and discipline, not criminal justice and sanction. You are saying that these doctors are somehow exempt from the law, or may subjectively interpret the law in a manner quite contrary to the clear will of Parliament.

This is not a ‘pro-life’ vs ‘pro-choice’ matter: it is in the public interest to prosecute, or the statutory limitations of the 1967 Abortion Act may be manifestly bypassed with impunity. And among certain groups in certain sub-cultures, the termination of baby girls will eventually become routine. This is morally repugnant, but no one will dare speak out, for fear of ‘cultural sensitivities’ and allegations of ‘racism’.

91 Comments:

Blogger English Pensioner said...

When the original abortion laws were introduced, the public was assured that they would rarely be used, when a mother's life was threatened or the baby was severely deformed, or when the mother was a victim of rape. This all sounded so reasonable, but over the years it has been extended in practice to become effectively abortion on demand as an alternative to contraception, and now selective abortion.
Why bother to have any laws on the subject at all? They have become totally pointless.

6 September 2013 at 10:08  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

It might be tempting to see this as further evidence of a politically motivated government agency manoeuvring the law to favour imported cultures in accordance with the unwritten, but evident, “hierarchy of rights” that prevails in our equal and diverse paradise. However there is cross-party outrage at what has happened and the motivation for this extraordinary CPS decision is far from clear.

It would be possible to bring a private prosecution against the doctors involved and to challenge the CPS decision in the High Court by seeking a judicial review. I hope that such action of will be taken. There is a public interest in prosecuting crimes that are hard to detect and gender selection abortions are in that category. Legal clarity is essential or abuse will become routine.

6 September 2013 at 10:35  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Thank you Your Grace for spotlighting this worrying matter.

The CPS seems driven by other agendas than the intelligent and even handed application of the law, to me. It is predictively selective in which part of the public interest it persues -- ever leftwards!

English Pensioner.

I agree. Like you I am of an age when I just about remember the assurances accompanying the introduction of this law, all of which were soon forgotten. Now abortion appears to have become a routine matter of personal convenience and preference, and human life is held in disrespect. The introduction of seemingly humane but legally limited changes in the laws are then "stretched" , through misapplication, beyond the breaking point of the reasoning given, initially, to justify their introduction; this example illustrates perfectly how our society is adrift without any moral compass, it having discarded the irritating encumbrances that previously guided it.
Expect more of the same as we descend the slippery slope.

6 September 2013 at 10:42  
Blogger David B said...

I am aware that I am in the minority of those who regularly comment in these pages, because of my view that while abortion is not a good thing it can be, and often is, the lesser of evils.

It appears that, for financial and sometimes other reasons, the arrival of a female child in some cultures and subcultures is considered a disaster, and within that subculture, because of dowry customs, this view is not entirely without foundation.

Now, my view is that it is that, while abortion is sometimes the lesser of evils, that pandering to some cultural, and indeed religious, mores is a very bad idea.

We don't, I feel sure, want self proclaimed witches killed on religious grounds, or the killing of people who are under literal law from the Torah or the Quran to be killed. We don't want FGM, we don't want child beating.

And we don't, I feel sure, want foetuses aborted on the grounds that they are female.

Which means that the policy of pretty much unequivocably pandering to cultural and religious mores need to change, in my view.

Education, debate, and agitation in favour of such change, seems to me the way to go.

Calling people racist or cultural imperialists for wanting debate about how people ought to live and interact with each other does not strike me as any more helpful than claiming, as some morally repugnant, ignorant and stupid people do, that such views and practices are down to race.

They are not, they are down to culture, and, like suttee, bear baiting, cock fighting or Chinese foot binding, that should not remove some practices from criticism or legislation.

David

6 September 2013 at 10:48  
Blogger Albert said...

Excellent post. The CPS is a serially discriminatory body: who get prosecuted is not equal. Genders are not equal. Human beings are not equal. Different groups standing before the law are not equal.

However, the case shows up the inconsistency of being pro-abortion. If you believe in the mother's right to choose, you necessarily believe she has the right to choose on grounds which are repugnant (gender, race, sexuality in principle). If you choose to limit her right to choose, it ceases to morally strong enough to justify abortion at all. That I think is the real reason here: this case exposes the fact that people who support abortion are either wicked, stupid or both.

Mr Hunt There's an incredibly difficult question about the moment we should deem life to start.

No it isn't.

6 September 2013 at 10:55  
Blogger LEN said...

I wonder how 'feminists' and those who promote 'equal rights' will respond to the 'terminating 'of females purely because they were female?.

For a Society which is obsessed by 'self' and and all that entails I suppose the' terminating ' of ones offspring because they are of the wrong sex or have the wrong colour eyes is inevitable.
Abortion which we were promised was only to be used in extreme cases is now being used as a means of birth control or even more sinisterly as part of some sort of eugenics programme.
Our Secular Society tells us that they have a 'moral value system' this obviously does not include infants in the Womb if they do not come up to spec.
Darwin opened the floodgates for anything that man could describe as 'good' to be carried out regardless of any moral code or value system.

6 September 2013 at 11:07  
Blogger Albert said...

David B,

I think you've got this back to front, the people being pandered to, and being given a free pass to break the law, are the abortionists. All animals are equal...

6 September 2013 at 11:09  
Blogger David B said...

Albert, there is something in what you say - those performing as well as those seeking to procure, and in fact procuring, abortions purely on the basis on the sex of the foetus are both being given free rides.

As a result of over-sensitivity to cultural mores, in my view.

David

6 September 2013 at 11:14  
Blogger Martin said...

It is very simple, is it not. The law on abortion has been ignored in a number of ways, not just on gender, and the authority entrusted with upholding the law has failed to act to punish those breaking the law.

It appears that the CPS is corrupt in its handling of the law.

Apparently this hot potato was handed off from those concerned with the law to those responsible for health. The latter concluded that while the law had clearly been broken they would not be reporting this fact to the police.

All very nice and convenient avoiding any questions of the CPS and making it appear that it is merely a health issue.

6 September 2013 at 11:15  
Blogger Albert said...

As a result of over-sensitivity to cultural mores, in my view.

No, it is because it exposes the immorality or absurdities inherent in the pro abortion position.

6 September 2013 at 11:17  
Blogger Albert said...

Martin,

It appears that the CPS is corrupt in its handling of the law

The Corrupt Prosecution Service.

6 September 2013 at 11:18  
Blogger David B said...

Albert. I don't think there is a pro-abortion position, only an abortion-as-the-lesser-of-evils-position.

David

6 September 2013 at 11:20  
Blogger Albert said...

David,

Don't people call it "pro-choice"? And isn't that the point? If it is the woman's right to choose, it is the woman's right to choose. If the child does not have the right to life just by being human, why should the child have the right to life because she is female? There no avoiding the point, however you play this, a person who is pro-choice supports something that is utterly repugnant.

This is a coup for abortionists who are saying that it shows gender selective abortions are legal. But then, I suppose when your pin-up girl is Marie Stopes, you don't really care which moral company you keep...

6 September 2013 at 11:26  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

Female infanticide, together with polygamous marriages, creates a shortage of females among a certain religious group. The effects in terms of pedophile abductions, grooming and the rape-jihad epidemic are all too obvious.

6 September 2013 at 11:27  
Blogger The Gray Monk said...

I suggest that this debate, like too many others, has become so polarised it is impossible to find a middle ground. However, whoever made the decision not to prosecute the doctors and the people involved in this should be named, shamed and sacked. If, as is usual in Whitehall, it was a "committee" then the entire committee must be sacked.

Abortion is not a "convenience" to be used because someone finds being pregnant inconvenient. I think the Health Secretary is right in stating it is an incredibly difficult decision and twelve weeks should probably be the baseline unless there are serious medical reasons for a later termination - and that should really mean 'life threatening' and not whatever the doctor decides today.

As to when life begins, I am with the Chinese. It begins at the moment of conception.

6 September 2013 at 11:39  
Blogger Corrigan said...

This kind of outrage always puts a somewhat worn and cynical smile on my manly and charismatic physiognomy; after all, what did anybody expect from a pig but a grunt, or a liberal but savagery. That western society is now effectively back to the days of the Roman Empire, when unwanted infants were routinely left exposed because their lives were worth precisely nothing, is uncontested. Our population would no doubt, given the opportunity, welcome the return of gladiatorial combat, although the liberals would probably veto that on the grounds of its overtly testosterone nature being sexist.

We used to say during the (First World) war that if Prussia conquered civilization failed, but that if the Allies conquered civilization was reestablished - What did we mean? We meant, not that the New Barbarians could not handle a machine: They can. But we meant that they had learnt all from us. We meant that they cannot continue for themselves; and that we can. We meant that they have no roots.

Hilaire Belloc, Europe and the Faith

6 September 2013 at 11:43  
Blogger Albert said...

Monk,

it is impossible to find a middle ground

Please explain where this middle ground is, what it looks like and it is morally attractive.

6 September 2013 at 11:43  
Blogger Albert said...

why it is morally attractive, I mean

6 September 2013 at 11:44  
Blogger IanCad said...

YG,

A post to make me sick at heart.
Utterly, utterly evil.
Moloch rules.

6 September 2013 at 12:04  
Blogger David B said...

Albert, yes indeed, there is an element of pro-choice in the debate, but most people who do claim to be pro-choice, in my experience, are not completely laissee faire about it (aborton at 35 weeks? No!) and also recognise that sometimes people can choose the lesser of evils.

The excess value of males over females in some cultures, though, seems to me to be a great evil.

We have gone over this debate before, and no doubt will again, but on the specific matter in question, the selective abortion of foetuses simply on the grounds of sex, I agree with His Grace.

"This is not a ‘pro-life’ vs ‘pro-choice’ matter: it is in the public interest to prosecute, or the statutory limitations of the 1967 Abortion Act may be manifestly bypassed with impunity. And among certain groups in certain sub-cultures, the termination of baby girls will eventually become routine. This is morally repugnant, but no one will dare speak out, for fear of ‘cultural sensitivities’ and allegations of ‘racism’."

Well, he from his religious conservative POV does dare speak out against it, and from my liberal atheist POV, I concur.

David

6 September 2013 at 12:55  
Blogger Guy Jones said...

Ian Cad

Yes, and I am sure that similar pressures caused people to perform such wickedness back then.

Unless it repents the retribution will be terrible for the outrages of this nation.

6 September 2013 at 13:18  
Blogger Papaman said...

This on the Today programme. Kier Starmer is claiming as progress that there could soon be a prosecution for performing genital mutilation on a woman. Why is the silence from the feminists so deafening on this and the abortion of infants for being the 'wrong' gender?

6 September 2013 at 13:22  
Blogger Papaman said...

This on the Today programme. Kier Starmer is claiming as progress that there could soon be a prosecution for performing genital mutilation on a woman. Why is the silence from the feminists so deafening on this and the abortion of infants for being the 'wrong' gender?

6 September 2013 at 13:23  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Re: "not be in the public interest"

A curious phrase. Does the prosecutor think that laws against sex-selection abortions are archaic? That would be the consistent position. Abortion is justified on the basis of autonomy. That doesn't allow for exceptions. If abortion is allowed so that adults can repudiate the obligations of parenthood, then it shouldn't matter why parenthood is being repudiated.

Or does the prosecutor simply not want to prosecute a crime that disproportionately affects Muslims? Then it isn't anything but cowardice.

Perhaps third alternative? I haven't thought of one yet.

carl

6 September 2013 at 13:25  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

It seems now that an offer to kill a child in the womb – for payment.

That two doctors did so offer, while being covertly filmed nearly two years back,under a journalistic scam/set up (no smoke without fire admittedly); does not necessarily make it commonplace, or the accepted routine of the medical profession and the ethics of the GMC. The GMC should however be charged with conducting an enquiry in to the allegations of malpractice and reporting to the police any individuals proven to have acted in breach of the law.

“A CPS official said that pursuing the case was deemed not to be in the public interest because no abortions were carried out and because the doctors could be suspended or struck off by their professional body, the General Medical Council” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2413458/Fury-dangerous-decision-charge-doctors-willing-abort-female-babies.html#ixzz2e6xomwn, which seems to me to be a reasonable stance if it is based on the obligation CPS to proceed with charges on provision of ‘acceptable evidence’ that will lead to the probability of conviction. Agreeing to perform a criminal act is not the same as committing a criminal act. Nor does it appear to me to be a case of the statutory limitations of the 1967 Abortion Act generally being be’ manifestly by-passed with impunity’.

"We are clear that gender selection abortion is against the law and completely unacceptable," Mr Hunt said. – (BBC). Hunt also is on record (with which I fully agree) in saying that he would like to see the maximum gestation period under which an abortion is deemed legal, is reduced to a maximum twelve weeks gestation period, in line with many other European countries.

If the BPA has interpreted this as some kind of green-light to proceed or had been given an indication of approval of a variation to the provisions of the Act, then that indeed should be investigated with the same rigour.

6 September 2013 at 13:37  
Blogger Albert said...

David B,

I agree it is not purely a question of pro- or anti-abortion. However, I think that your idea that the CPS has taken this view on ethnic grounds is mistaken. Look at how many prosecutions there have been recently of Asian men grooming white girls. That is far more sensitive. Not only is it sexist, but it has several layers of racism attending it. And most of all, most people are going to be more worried about Asian men raping their (white) daughters than aborting their own daughters. So your case won't wash.

What's left then? All that's left is pandering to pro-abortionists. So the secular-liberal makes the laws on these matters, he does all he can to use the law to silence opposition, and then he breaks the laws he has made.

most people who do claim to be pro-choice, in my experience, are not completely laissee faire about it (aborton at 35 weeks? No!)

There is no rationally coherent line that can be drawn between conception and some time after birth - take Peter Singer and a variety of other moral philosophers for example.

from my liberal atheist POV, I concur

So you don't believe in a woman's right to choose? Can you come up with a coherent defence of your position?

6 September 2013 at 13:42  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dreadnaught

Agreeing to perform a criminal act is not the same as committing a criminal act.

It's called conspiracy, and people go to jail for it all the time. All that is required is the commission of an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy. Yes, it isn't the same as committing the crime. But it's not as if a crime wasn't committed. Yet the prosecutors washed their hands of it. Throwing this problem into the hands of a non-judicial agency smacks of burying a politically-sensitive problem.

carl

6 September 2013 at 14:18  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Carl

Conspiricy requires the collusion of two or more persons. It's not clear that the doctors in question were acting or in concert with one and the other.

6 September 2013 at 14:45  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dreadnaught

The co-conspirator is the woman putatively seeking the abortion.

carl

6 September 2013 at 15:07  
Blogger David B said...

"So you don't believe in a woman's right to choose? Can you come up with a coherent defence of your position?"

I do believe that a woman's right to choose is a moral desideratum.

But, as I have said several times before, I am not a moral absolutist (no matter what they say, I think most people are not in fact absolutist).

Rather I see morality not as some God-given or Platonic absolute, but a developed or emerged, and still developing and emerging, part of the human extended phenotype, and one in which many more or less good moral rules of thmb develop.

Sometimes these moral rules of thumb conflict with each other, like the moral desideratum to avoid fighting and the moral desideratum to defend one's family. Or, as in this case, the woman's right to chose as against the moral desideratum of making choices that do not discriminate on grounds of race or sex.

The defense of my moral position depends on seeing morality as about seeing morality as looking for the best compromise between often conflicting desiderata, rather than being to do without what follows logically from moral axioms that are deemed to be absolute, for I think that that is a maistaken view of what morality is.

Now - how would you defend absolute moral axioms?

David

6 September 2013 at 15:28  
Blogger Albert said...

David,

how would you defend absolute moral axioms?

Partly by proposing them, e.g.:

"It is always wrong to torture and kill small children purely for fun."

I cannot see how a human being can deny that, and still claim to be moral. Would you deny it?

Partly by observing that if there are no absolute moral axioms then it is possible to trump morality with non-moral considerations - which is the same as having no morality.

I also observe that everyone does believe in absolute morality, when it suits. There are circumstances when everyone recognises justice - particularly to do with themselves.

I do believe that a woman's right to choose is a moral desideratum.

Why do you think that is relevant to a procedure that is carried out not on the mother, but on the child? And as it is not absolute, how do you determine it is more desirable than unborn child's right to life, but less desirable than (say) an unborn girl's right to life? Moreover, what is the moral standard by which you measure these competing rights, and is that standard not absolute?

6 September 2013 at 15:59  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

A poor decision which brings the CPS into disrepute. And we can’t be having that.

The Director of Public Prosecutions must overrule, and at the same time ask himself whether the staff responsible have any future in the CPS...

6 September 2013 at 16:38  
Blogger Martin said...

Albert

Yes, I think Corrupt Prosecution Service fits the bill.

....

As for the suggestion that this was only an agreement that they were prepared to break the law, how about those clinics & their staff where the law has been broken in using pre-signed forms? Why have they not been prosecuted?

6 September 2013 at 16:40  
Blogger Albert said...

Martin,

Why have they not been prosecuted?

Quite! I think we all know the answer. After all, if your morality allows you to kill babies, why would you worry about any other moral consideration?

6 September 2013 at 16:43  
Blogger David B said...

""It is always wrong to torture and kill small children purely for fun."

I cannot see how a human being can deny that, and still claim to be moral. Would you deny it?"

As I said above often good moral rules of thumb come into conflict - but sometimes they don't. I don't see this as more an absolute than any linear programming result is absolute - as a moral decision goes it is a no-brainer, but it is not, I think, an absolute in the sense that it is an axiom on which one could base a moral system.

"... it is possible to trump morality with non-moral considerations - which is the same as having no morality"

Let us say spades are trumps, then it is possible to trump a heart with a spade, which is not the same as having no hearts.

"Why do you think that is relevant to a procedure that is carried out not on the mother, but on the child?"

We come back to the definition of a child. An acorn is not an oak.

" And as it is not absolute, how do you determine it is more desirable than unborn child's right to life, but less desirable than (say) an unborn girl's right to life?"

By making value judgements, which are so much a part of the human extended phenotype as to be impossible to avoid.

All we can do is to make the best judgements we can, often, even usually, but not always, in the face of conflicting desiderata.

A more sensible way of looking at things, to my mind, than taking the pronouncements of one of many often conflicting old books which are deemed by some, but not others, to be sacred.

David

6 September 2013 at 16:47  
Blogger Albert said...

I have to say David, that response is so feeble that it is impossible to defeat it for its sheer lack of content. And as for the final sentence, where have I argued from scripture?

6 September 2013 at 17:10  
Blogger JohnH said...

As an ex policeman said to me, CPS = Criminals Protection Society.

6 September 2013 at 17:25  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Carl

Yes, I take you point, I hadn't looked at it in that way and was clearly focused on the law of the land as it stands today, rather than an as an abstract critique of abortion from a Mosaic or even Sharia perspective. Surely though if one is accepting of principle the temporal Rule of Law, then no unlawful act has taken place until such a law is broken.

6 September 2013 at 17:27  
Blogger David B said...

Albert, I'm sorry you find my argument so poor. To me it is just common sense.

I didn't say you have argued from scripture, though many do. I can't recall off-hand an instance where you have, so I'm happy to accept an assurance that you haven't.

David

6 September 2013 at 17:56  
Blogger Albert said...

JohnH,

As an ex policeman said to me, CPS = Criminals Protection Society.

Well quite - although the Telegraph gave a list of bizarre CPS prosecutions, including that of a 61 year old disabled man who kept a knife in his glove compartment for use on picnics, and the case of Paul Chambers about Robin Hood Airport. These people were prosecuted by the CPS as were people who merely protested against abortion. But not these doctors.

I think the CPS is so inconsistent and partisan that it has lost all credibility.

6 September 2013 at 17:59  
Blogger Albert said...

David,

To me it is just common sense.

Mmmm!

I can't recall off-hand an instance where you have, so I'm happy to accept an assurance that you haven't.

I meant on this thread. Scripture wasn't part of it. Clearly I argue moral positions on purely philosophical grounds, so why attempt a counter-scripture attack?

6 September 2013 at 18:01  
Blogger Martin said...

David B

It has often been said that while commons sense is often common it is rarely sense.

Indeed, the reluctance to accept the commands of the God you know exists is quite clearly described as the Bible as foolishness.

As to it being morally repugnant to torture young children for fun. Is not abortion the torture & killing of young children for convenience?

6 September 2013 at 18:22  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dreadnaught

then no unlawful act has taken place until such a law is broken

Contracting to commit an illegal act is itself an illegal act. On rare occasions, Bob will decide he wants to murder his wife. So he asks Bill for the name of someone who might do the job for him. Bill dimes out Bob to the police, who in turn create a fictional hitman to contract with Bob. The 'hitman' does the deal and gives Bob the chance to renounce. Once it can be legally demonstrated that Bob has declined to renounce, Bob is arrested for conspiracy to commit murder - with the pretend hitman as the co-conspirator. A murder has not been committed, but a crime has been commmitted.

The only question I would have is whether the prosecutors decided they didn't have sufficient evidence to disprove a claim of having renouce the arrangement. If so, then the prosecutor's decision makes sense.

carl

6 September 2013 at 18:34  
Blogger Gill Duval said...

What this erudite discussion on rights, ethics and law forgets it that abortion is never an ambition for women - no girl says "when I grow up I want an abortion". It is dreadful for a woman every time. To quote Frederica Mathewes-Green of Feminists for Life: "No woman wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg." So to make abortion difficult to obtain is to protect a woman from those who do not care about her or her baby's long term well-being.

6 September 2013 at 18:51  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Gill Duval

The fact that a woman might 'feel bad' about getting an abortion does not change the moral nature of abortion.

So to make abortion difficult to obtain is to protect a woman from those who do not care about her or her baby's long term well-being.

It stretches even the most Orwellian use of language to suggest that killing a child through abortion is protecting the long-term well-being of the baby. But at least you admit it is a baby and not a meaningless collection of cells.

carl

6 September 2013 at 18:57  
Blogger Gill Duval said...

Carl - I agree with you completely.

6 September 2013 at 18:59  
Blogger Albert said...

Gill,

She wants an abortion as an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg.

I think the metaphor is unhelpful. In abortion, a woman does not remove a member of her body. Rather she deprives of life a different human being. Thus the metaphor plays into the lie that it's like having your appendix out - dehumanising the unborn in the process.

So to make abortion difficult to obtain is to protect a woman from those who do not care about her or her baby's long term well-being.

That is an excellent point. We know that abortion providers fail in their counselling - they do not really offer the possible options, and it is a remarkable conflict of interest that those who do the counselling are also the abortion service providers.

I am sure abortion is dreadful for most women. Perhaps you can help me to understand this though. I genuinely find it hard to understand why someone who is in favour of abortion finds abortion hard. If the foetus isn't a child, what's the problem? If it is, no one in their right mind would have an abortion or be in favour. So there seems some kind of confusion involved. And that seems to me to be a key problem with abortion. However you look at it, it involves contradictions - right to choose vs opposition to sexist abortions.

Secondly, I wonder if it is such a trauma for every woman who keeps coming back for repeat abortions. For some I am sure, but is it really the case that there are no mothers coming for abortions who think of it as a kind of late contraception and nothing more?

6 September 2013 at 19:08  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

We’ve all seen them. There are some disgusting examples of womanhood out there now. Empowered as they are by abortion when they need it...

6 September 2013 at 19:11  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

The wriggle-room and therefore the most probable reason this law is being tip-toed around, is the encoded 'right' of the doctor to act in whatever s/he deems to be in the 'best' interests of the woman including the get out of jail free card of 'psychological' interests.

If this is sole reason for the CPS not prosecuting, then I feel that the law should be recalled and revised as it is clearly being abused and not on the spirit of the original proposal.

6 September 2013 at 19:28  
Blogger David Hussell said...

The fur flies.....

..... as it should, since the impartiality of the law is at stake here. As well as deep moral and philosophical matters.

The Corrupt Prosecution Society, or The Criminal Protection Society. Readers can choose, as both are apt epithets.

As a society we now worship ourselves, expressed as individualism.
And because of moral relativism, we shrink from applying one moral code, originating in the indigenous faith, to other groups. Confusion reigns and evil slips in through the back door.

So the mother and/ or father has the right to "choose", but the unborn little one has no rights, even to life itself. All that potential is cruelly snuffed out before the child even sees it's first daylight. People become commodities and babies are accepted, only if it is convenient -- a "lifestyle" choice. Self interest rules. Unless the mothers life is at serious risk, this pagan infanticide is just plain evil.

And society, whose interests the CPS is asked to progress , having discarded its formerly Judaeo-Christian moral compass, which entailed applying the law of the land uniformly, for all, now appears to endorse different interpretations of the law for different groups. Oh how convenient ! It avoids the unpalatable business of implied cultural superiority. The formerly rightly universal law is now fine tuned to be in accord with the "cultural" needs of dissimilar groups. Oh how sensitive ! Let us accommodate wrong doing ! This moral and legal relativism is unstable, as a house divided against itself cannot stand. Now who said that ?

This society will not endure, as it is built on shifting sands.

Many of the follies of our new, experimental society, are all too sadly reflected in this little 21st century morality tale featuring, amongst the cast list, moral, weakness, cultural confusion and plain old fashioned wrong.

A curse on the metropolitan, political elite and their laws.



6 September 2013 at 19:28  
Blogger Peter D said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6 September 2013 at 19:29  
Blogger Gill Duval said...

Women have abortions because of other people. They are told it is simple with no consequences. They are told by their parents (actually commonly by a parent and step-parent) - get an abortion or get out. They are told by their boyfriends and even husbands sometimes - get rid of it or I'm off, not realising that he will be off anyway. They are terrified. There is extreme time pressure to make a decision but all the time in the world after the abortion to regret what has happened. The whole thing ruins lives, relationships, families and society. Some women react to abortion by pretending all is well but that doesn't mean that it is. I have a friend who is a nurse who cares for the dying who tells me that women mention their abortions on their deathbeds, still regretting it years later.
I hope this explains it all a little. Women need care and help not abortion.

6 September 2013 at 19:32  
Blogger Sean Baggaley said...

@Carl Jacobs, et al:

An acorn has the potential to grow into an oak without any further assistance: it is therefore "alive" in every meaningful sense from the moment it has been blown off the branch that brought it into being.

I would contend that a foetus that is not sufficiently developed to survive outside the womb on its own is not "alive" in any meaningful sense. This is what defines the "Pro Choice" side's cut-off point. It is not an arbitrary selection.

As our science improves, that cut-off point will move closer and closer to the moment of conception, until such time as it becomes feasible to fertilise an ovum and let it develop entirely without the need for a womb. That level of knowledge will be achieved, though not for a while yet.

The "Pro Life" side has no scientific basis: they would have us believe that a foetus is a viable life-form from the moment of conception, despite all scientific evidence to the contrary. That scant handful of cells cannot survive outside the womb at present. It is entirely reliant on its host and that makes it literally just a parasite at this point. One day, that will change, but that day is not today.

Natural miscarriages are not that unusual during the first trimester, so it is also wrong to suggest that inducing one artificially is any less "moral" than a naturally-induced miscarriage. (This is especially the case for theists: if your morality comes from a sacred text that includes something along the lines of "Thou Shalt Not Kill", how do you reconcile a miscarriage with your omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent deity's own doctrine? It's not as if the foetus ever had a choice in the matter.)

Finally, as Homo Sapiens is not an endangered species, and we live in an extremely imperfect and precarious world, it can also be argued that bringing an unwanted child into the world is just as wrong, morally, as aborting it earlier in its gestation would have been. However, a counter-argument is that the child could be put up for adoption.

As for moral absolutism, consider that poster-child for moral absolutism: "Thou Shalt Not Kill"...

What if you're conscripted and you come face to face with an enemy soldier? Do you shoot? Do you let them shoot you, knowing that by doing so, they'll be free to kill a number of others in your squad who would effectively have been killed by your choice?

What if you're in charge of a bus and the brakes fail: do you choose to plough into a nearby wall and mow down a couple of innocent bystanders to protect the dozens of passengers on board, or do you sacrifice your passengers and let the bus go flying off the dock wall into the stormy sea? Either way, somebody has to die. Choose! Quickly! There's no time!

Clearly, there are exceptions even to "Thou Shalt Not Kill". It is therefore not a moral absolute, but an ideal. Ideals are something we're supposed to live up to, but there is little to be gained in assuming that life can be so easily reduced to such digital "yes / no", or "black / white" states. The answer is not always so clear.

*

"It is always wrong to torture and kill small children purely for fun."

Spoilsport.

6 September 2013 at 19:46  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

A curse on the metropolitan, political elite and their laws.

Well hubble-bubble boil and trouble who'd a thought it - a man who believes in a God and in the power of a curse? Strange is that for sure.

6 September 2013 at 20:12  
Blogger Albert said...

Thank you Gill. I am sure what you describe is common - but it can't describe all abortions. After all, most women are in favour of abortion, so there must be more to it.

6 September 2013 at 21:06  
Blogger Albert said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6 September 2013 at 21:08  
Blogger Albert said...

Sean Baggaley,

There's so much in your post that it's hard to know where to begin.

The "Pro Life" side has no scientific basis: they would have us believe that a foetus is a viable life-form from the moment of conception, despite all scientific evidence to the contrary.

So you honestly think, that Carl, and Peter and Gill, and Cranmer and everyone else pro-life seriously thinks that a foetus is viable from the moment of conception? Seriously?

You honestly think that all those cases you gave about "thou shalt not kill" are new to you? That pro-lifers do not know how to distinguish between one act and another? You think that we are utilitarians - rooted only outcomes, not in the nature of the act itself?

If you do, I can say with confidence that your position is neither thought through nor informed and your support for abortion lacks all moral justification.

6 September 2013 at 21:15  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Albert, with reference to this

"Secondly, I wonder if it is such a trauma for every woman who keeps coming back for repeat abortions. For some I am sure, but is it really the case that there are no mothers coming for abortions who think of it as a kind of late contraception and nothing more?"

A woman doctor once told me that if a new patient came into her practice and there was a medical history of two or more abortions, the notes were flagged with a green star. The green star was code for "suspected victim of sexual abuse, often years ago as child". What the cause/effect pathway for this was, I have no idea, I'm not a psychiatrist. But she considered it diagnostic, even if it took many years for the patient to trust the doctor enough to start talking.

6 September 2013 at 21:21  
Blogger Albert said...

Thank you Sr T - a fascinating but terrible suggestion. When it comes to abortion, we really dealing with the realm of the greatest darkness - against which, those who try to defend the practice look totally inadequate compared with the task they undertake.

6 September 2013 at 21:26  
Blogger Martin said...

Sean Baggaley

So on that basis you determine who is worthy of life based on the level of dependency they have. Next you'll be suggesting that because a baby is dependent on their mother it is acceptable to kill them. Hardly a 'scientific' basis.

That miscarriages occurs is similar to the fact that people fall down cliffs. It doesn't justify killing someone.

Man's position as the as the summit of God's Creation means that killing a man is a serious matter, even for an animal. We are not simply an animal.

On the other hand, once the egg is fertilised it is actually a human being and a human being is different to an oak. That is science.

As for "thou shalt not kill" you will find that more modern translations say "You shall not murder" since that is what it means. The Hebrew word is a bit more specific than kill.

6 September 2013 at 21:57  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Sean Baggaley

I would contend that a foetus that is not sufficiently developed to survive outside the womb on its own is not "alive" in any meaningful sense. This is what defines the "Pro Choice" side's cut-off point. It is not an arbitrary selection.

I see. So you arbitrarily define 'life' according to the convenience of your argument, and then use that definition to claim you are not being arbitrary.

Nice work if you can get it.

carl

6 September 2013 at 22:08  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Gill Duval

Please let me apologize to you. I COMPLETELY misread your comment, and the fault was entirely mine. Just reading too fast.

carl

6 September 2013 at 22:10  
Blogger Peter D said...

If it were ever discovered there was a 'homosexual gene' (which I very much doubt) how would the 'luvvies' on the left react to a woman wanting an abortion? The grounds being the woman couldn't bear to witness a child suffering in a homophobic world and the prospect was causing them mental anguish.

Or a 'religious gene' (again, unlikely)? An atheist might regard this as a form of mental disability and want to prevent their child facing a life of suffering.

Let's face it, the law permits abortion on demand. If the CPS had prosecuted, future women wanting girls murdered would have 'manufactured' another reason and the abortion industry would have doctors accepted it.

6 September 2013 at 22:39  
Blogger Jumbo Driver said...

Kier Starmer, the head of the CPS, was active on the far left of politics when he was younger. As such he is probably in favour of wimmins rights and indifferent to the fate of the unborn. He was appointed by Bliar and is a friend of Cherry Bliar, well known for her extreme left wing views. Starmer should be removed. He is a disgrace

6 September 2013 at 23:48  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Sean Baggaley

"I would contend that a foetus that is not sufficiently developed to survive outside the womb on its own is not "alive" in any meaningful sense. This is what defines the "Pro Choice" side's cut-off point. It is not an arbitrary selection."

If this is the criterion for the cut-off point, then on what basis are the pro-choice side not supporting a change in the law to reduce the legal time limit for an abortion to 20 weeks since many babies have now survived born before the 24 week legal "deadline"? Attempts to do so have now failed in parliament more than once - and it isn't the pro-life side opposing it.

7 September 2013 at 07:58  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Jumbo Driver,

If what you say is true about the politics of the head of the CPS, and I have no reason to doubt you, then that explains much. It also tells us a great deal about Cameron and his lot, as the fact that they have not rectified this obvious politicisation of the law, which should be impartial, and therefore requires a head of the CPS who is capable of delivering such impartiality.

Sister Tiberia,

Good point. Such indicators tend to show that we are dealing here not with a principled grouping of reformers, although they may portray themselves as working towards some overarching human good, but schemers who are really just in the business of using any argument or tool that they can lay their hands on, in order to facilitate irresponsible levels of freedoms, even at the expense of the lives of developing humans. Their reforms are a one way ratchet, we gain these freedoms to kill, but when medical science advances we refuse to lower the age for terminations. Why? Because that's what we want ! Suddenly the "principles" are ditched as they are no longer useful. I am sure that the same flawed logic is used elsewhere to further other "society improving " liberalisations.

7 September 2013 at 08:24  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

The Koran dictates that unwanted femail babies are buried alive.The nub of the problem is the lack of any kind of morality ,in either sex,and in society in general,which regards sex for sex sake as the highest aspiration of human kind,the consequences are of no account,we have a society so besotted with itself that depravity has become the order of the day,and invent excuses to justify it,we kill the young,old,we even kill for peace,and pretend that the fault does not lie within us ,but with society,some-one elses fault always.We have laws to protect the weak from the strong,they must be enforced.

7 September 2013 at 08:36  
Blogger Albert said...

Or how about an "atheist gene" PeterD?

7 September 2013 at 08:41  
Blogger Albert said...

Martin and Carl,

Excellent posts.

Next you'll be suggesting that because a baby is dependent on their mother it is acceptable to kill them.

Which is of course, exactly what the most consistent abortionists say. And these are not obscure figures, but people like Peter Singer - front rank secular ethicists.

7 September 2013 at 08:43  
Blogger Dr Robert Warde said...

prosecute Christians for preaching the gospel that's OK, but interfere with a cherished humanist dogma no way prosecute, prosecute every time

7 September 2013 at 08:59  
Blogger Roy said...

Sean Baggaley said...

if your morality comes from a sacred text that includes something along the lines of "Thou Shalt Not Kill", how do you reconcile a miscarriage with your omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent deity's own doctrine?

What you are saying is that since miscarriages occur there is nothing wrong with terminating pregnancies.

Using the same "logic" you could say:

Some people die before the age of 70. Therefore killing people under the age of 70 is not wrong.

7 September 2013 at 09:36  
Blogger Nick said...

There are two issues in play in this case. The CPS's politically-motivated decision (a sign of internal corruption in the CPS), and the illegal activities of doctors.

These doctors were exposed by the investigation, but I wonder how many similar cases have not been exposed? The medical prpfession is riddled with dodgy practice, some of which gets into the public domain, but a lot doesn't.This case gives those corrupt medical practioners the confidence that they are safe from the law, especially on politcally sensitive areas like abortion.

It is of course hypocritical of the feminists to keep silent about this issue. If there were a gene for sexual orientation say, and that was used as a basis for abortion, one can only imagine the outcry.

7 September 2013 at 10:48  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

It seems to me that if the law there is not to be enforced then it may as well be ditched. Of those two choices, I'd much rather it were enforced.

7 September 2013 at 12:41  
Blogger Albert said...

Roy,

Some people die before the age of 70. Therefore killing people under the age of 70 is not wrong.

Or even "100% of people who have been born die, therefore killing people is not wrong."

7 September 2013 at 13:00  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

She: 'I want an abortion.'

He: 'What is the reason?'

She: 'I am carrying a girl.'

He: 'What?! I can't do that! It's against the law! It's an outrage! It's morally repugnant!'

She: 'Well then... I don't want stretch marks.'

He: 'Right. Let's get you scheduled.'

carl

7 September 2013 at 13:33  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl, you missed out...

She: This is the worst decision I’ve ever had to make

He: I thought you said that was when you decided against buying those shoes you really liked last week.

She: Alright, one of the worst decisions...


7 September 2013 at 13:47  
Blogger Albert said...

Carl,

Quite. Those who seriously think gender selection abortion is wrong, but abortion is not wrong either lack morals or intelligence.

7 September 2013 at 13:59  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Albert

Certain motivations for abortion target classes of people. The targeted classes (those already born anyway) feel devalued as a result. So if those classes are represented by sufficient power, then they act to defend themselves. Women and homosexuals are the two basic examples of this dynamic. Other classes (Downs Syndrome, the disabled) don't possess such power. They get aborted with abandon. This argument is not about abortion at all. It's about the self-interest of targeted groups.

This is why the pro-abortion argument is so inconsistent on this matter. It justifies abortion in terms of the absolute autonomy of adults to repudiate the obligation of parenthood. And yet it seeks to impose on that absolute autonomy if it encounters certain disallowed reasons for that repudiation. You can't repudiate the obligation to parent a girl, or a homosexual. But you can repudiate the obligation to parent a child with Down's Syndrome. There is no logical sense to it in terms of abortion. It only makes sense in terms of self.

carl

7 September 2013 at 14:43  
Blogger Albert said...

Very well put, Carl.

This is why the pro-abortion argument is so inconsistent on this matter.

And that is why, in turn, there has been so little written about sex-selective abortion and why the CPS did not prosecute. To discuss it is to expose the fact that the pro-abortion position is incoherent and wicked. Better to ignore the repugnance and illegality and hope there aren't many people who are both moral and able to think for themselves.

7 September 2013 at 14:51  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Having worked as a GP over three decades (thankfully no more ) I can assure people that Britain has de facto abortion on request. I never once heard of a request refused. One woman ...no I can't bring myself to recount that story.

Abortion on request is a requirement of the sexual revolution and most often removes a consequence of elective unprotected sex in an uncommitted relationship. As such, it is sacred to our ruling liberal left elite. Thats why the commie wretch Keir Starmer won't prosecute.

Incidentally there is a theoretical link with mass immigration. Too few young people. Now there are loads- Muslims are very fertile. Do the math. Seven million babies up the chimney since 1967.

8 September 2013 at 06:10  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

The fertility rate of our established Muslim citizens has been consistently falling. It's new Muslim immigrants who bring a high rate with them. The falling rate is probably to do with size of housing, aspiration w.r.t. local culture, cost of living, etc.

8 September 2013 at 06:28  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Here's some data I posted ages ago for what I've said above:

http://www.uptap.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/uptap-findings-dubuc-sept-10.pdf

8 September 2013 at 08:37  
Blogger Albert said...

Rambling Steve,

One woman ...no I can't bring myself to recount that story.

Thank you for shedding some light on this. Higher up the thread a suggestion was made that women going for abortion don't want abortions but feel forced into it, by others. While I have no doubt that that is sometimes the case, I have great doubt that it is always - or even usually - the case. Are you able to shed the light of experience on this question too, please?

8 September 2013 at 09:43  
Blogger Peter D said...

Albert said...
"Or how about an "atheist gene" PeterD?"

Or a "misogynist gene"; maybe a "racist gene"?

Think, the world would surely be a duller place without more little Inspectors running about.

8 September 2013 at 10:50  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Plenty of anecdotal evidence out there that in the case of homosexuality, it does run in families. Although at only 1.5% of the population, it’s hard to quantify and also to rule out coincidence.

It would be a marvellous discovery if it was hereditary in some manner and a pre natal test available, because at the moment the slaughter will continue unabated unless a powerful focus group like Big Gay gets involved.

The resulting attention will bring abortion into the living rooms of every household in the land whereas it is largely confined to Christian blog sites at the moment. One is sure if the full facts were made public, including that of our race of people aborting itself into non existence, the dead child’s place to be taken by a foreign import, perhaps Islamic, de facto abortion on demand would be made illegal.

8 September 2013 at 11:26  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

It's hardly general ignorance that's at issue here surely, except perhaps some of the gory details? If there is ignorance then it's probably by younger people in regard to the not too distant past of women being social outcasts, lives ruined, for becoming pregnant outside of marriage when social attitudes were less tolerant.

8 September 2013 at 11:44  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The world gets by on general ignorance. Many years ago, it was found that a third of London schoolchildren couldn’t make the connection between a carton of milk and a cow. Many had never even seen a cow. It resulted in a scheme that took city children into the countryside on narrow boats. Still going today...

8 September 2013 at 11:55  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

That link I posted compares TFRs by religion. Curiously, the data for Christians isn't too good.

8 September 2013 at 11:59  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Anyway, back to that all powerful pressure group. If an astonishing 65%, or so we are told, of a previously disinterested public can overnight become in favour of SSM, then what we wonder would be the public support for abolishing abortion ?

As one previously stated, if the campaign centred on where the dead child’s replacement is coming from, then we can count on a surprising reaction that our politicians dare not ignore...

8 September 2013 at 12:24  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Albert

Its complicated but I would say that there is definitely a 'you should have been on the pill...how do I know its mine...don' wanna know...get rid of it' factor. I suspeft many women choose to bevome pregnant but yhen whencthe reality kicks in, the doyfriend skedaddles
and they want to be unpregnant.

Sex without commitment has led to millions of abortions AND an unpredented level of fatherless children. Counterintuitive and of course the opposite of what we were told in 1967. But nevertheless true. Weeping women being put on Prozac.

Atonement babies born within 18 months of the abortion are common. It is very rare for a relationship to survive an abortion, I think the extent to which liberal and mostly taxpayer funded abortion has empowered MEN to fornicate freely without fear of responsibility deserves more consideration.

In my experience the whole sexual revolution has been a disaster for women. That will continue to be my view whatever names I am called.
The whole subject sickens me more than I can say.

8 September 2013 at 12:26  
Blogger Albert said...

Rambling Steve,

Thank you.

Counterintuitive and of course the opposite of what we were told in 1967.

The rise in unwanted conceptions began steeply after the introduction of the contraceptive pill a few years earlier. It's pretty clear that anyone who is concerned about unwanted pregnancies, abortion and women's welfare, will be opposed to artificial contraception. Although contraception is obviously not in the same moral category as abortion (except for those forms that are abortions), the social effects (among them increase in abortion) are as bad, if not greater. You tell a tree by its fruits.

8 September 2013 at 13:07  

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