Thursday, October 10, 2013

Attorney General: a jury is incapable of judging the ethics of sex-selective abortion

In a Westminster Hall debate yesterday, Conservative MP David Burrowes secured the airing of the thorny issue of abortion based on the sex of the child, which was triggered by The Daily Telegraph’s investigation last year into the culture of abortion clinics. Following a police investigation, the Crown Prosecution Service decided that it "was not in the public interest" to prosecute those doctors who were found to have contravened the Abortion Act 1967 with regard to the authorisation of sex-selective abortion.

The lack of a prosecution is bizarre; moreso because the DPP Keir Starmer has effectively decreed that offences contravening the Act are largely unenforceable. Two doctors are supposed to give signed consent before a procedure may take place, yet it is apparently quite legal for these forms to be pre-signed, thereby circumventing the need for a woman's physical and mental health to be established.

Ann Furedi, Chief Executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service which performs 60,000 abortions a year, is of the view that there is no legal requirement to deny a woman an abortion if she has a sex preference. Her view is that a woman's right to abort is inviolable: a girl in the womb (for girls it will be) may be a legitimate cause of mental suffering for the woman, and so legitimate grounds for termination.

Mr Burrowes said:
When I heard about the investigation and the Care Quality Commission investigations that followed, I could not believe that such things could be happening in this country. The words I have quoted and the lack of any prosecutorial decision — there have been a handful of prosecutions for abortion contraventions in the past 10 years — give a green light to abortion on demand, which flies in the face of the Abortion Act and the intention of parliamentarians in 1967. Some 98% of abortions tick the box of mental health risk, but if we are honest, the truth is that that covers a multitude of reasons, and one of those reasons might include gender.

The DPP himself has referred in his statement to a programme manager at the Department of Health who indicated that many doctors feel that forcing a woman to proceed with an unwanted pregnancy would cause considerable stress and anxiety. The corollary of that is justifying the mental health grounds. It follows, therefore, that in practical terms we have in this country abortion on demand. I recognise that the Attorney-General is focused on the prosecution policy and will not trespass into the wider health policies, but my question is relevant. How does this reality impact on the policy towards prosecutions? How can it be in the public interest — Ann Furedi has raised this question — to prosecute contraventions of the Abortion Act when there is such a gap between the law and practice? (Hansard)
Essentially, mental health issues have become a catch-all for grounds to procure (and be granted) an abortion. In this case, one of the GPs involved admitted that the procedure would be "like female infanticide”.

To any reasonably person, abortion on the grounds of gender is unacceptable and illegal. Mr Burrowes asked Dominic Grieve to confirm this, because, as Ann Furedi notes, the law is “silent” on the question. Indeed, the DPP has also confirmed that the law does not expressly prohibit sex-specific abortions. Rather, as Mr Burrowes notes, "it prohibits any abortion carried out without two medical practitioners having formed a view in good faith that the health risks of continuing with the pregnancy outweigh those of termination."

He further observes: "The British Medical Association takes it a stage further, aside from the issue of whether there is an express prohibition. In the BMA’s words, 'there may be circumstances, in which termination of pregnancy on grounds of fetal sex would be lawful'".

That, apparently, is in the BMA’s handbook of ethics and law and the guidance that goes to GPs.

This ought to be a matter of public interest, but the DPP considered it not so. The Abortion Act 1967 provides effective safeguard and defence against the Offences against the Person Act 1861. Mr Burrowes is of the view that this has been lost: "We have a gap," he says, "And the issue is, where it has been exposed — rarely do such cases see the light of day — why, when the evidential threshold has been reached, is it not considered in the public interest to take things a stage further, into court?"

The CPS stated that it was up to doctors “to interpret the law” and, flowing from that, that the cases were "better dealt with by the GMC rather than by prosecution". Mr Burrowes notes the logic of this:
The gap I referred to is, therefore, in effect being determined by doctors, with their wide discretion to interpret the law — if a problem is exposed, it is for the professional body to investigate. As a politician, to me that seems to be passing the buck — the responsibility for enforcing the law — from the courts to doctors, thereby second-guessing the intentions of Parliament on enforcement.

..The last time that I checked on enforcement of the Abortion Act, it was for the courts to do, and not for a disciplinary committee of GPs, which was never mentioned or even suggested in 1967. That option is certainly not in statute. This is specifically prescribed in statute as a contravention, and the law should be enforced. I trust that the Attorney-General will make it clear today that criminal sanctions cannot be avoided because of professional status — making a point about integrity — and that applies across the board with other instances of criminality involving the professions. Plainly, everyone is equal under the law, although some of us would say that that is not the case for an unborn child.
But the Attorney General is of the view that a jury is incapable of determining malpractice. He explained:
To prosecute would have been to ask a jury to decide what steps a doctor should take. Juries take difficult decisions robustly, and sometimes they have to find their way through conflicting medical evidence. Is it right or fair, however, to ask a jury to arbitrate on a question of medical standards and ethics on which the profession has not published a detailed consensus, and on which a great deal turns for both doctor and patient? The CPS concluded in the recent cases that it would be contrary to the public interest to proceed. (Hansard)
So, basically, the Attorney General is of the view that Statute Law is an insufficient basis upon which jurors may reach a judgment on the illegality of sex-selective abortion: since the medical profession has not been issued with a "detailed consensus" ( can one be issued with a "consensus"?..), a jury cannot possibly arbitrate; it cannot discern where a blind eye is being turned; it cannot judge abuse of the 1967 Act, and neither can it form a balanced opinion of doctors' dishonesty, complicity and criminality.

This is why prosecution of those GPs who approved sex-selective abortion was deemed not to be in the public interest. And so we await the GMC's "detailed consensus" on the matter. In the meantime, Ann Furedi can go on terminating girls in the womb with impunity.


Blogger seanrobsville said...

Sex-selective abortion will produce a sex imbalance in the Muslim population resulting in an excess of Muslim males over females. The social effects of this are likely to be catastrophic, with gang-rape and pedophile networks becoming even more prevalent and violently predatory against the kuffar.

10 October 2013 at 10:10  
Blogger David Hussell said...

What an appalling situation for a formerly Christian country to get itself into, by degrees, thanks to "kindness" and social liberalism.
I can hardly believe this ! Are we really being told that laws can be passed, intended to prevent a handful of back street abortionists wielding their grubby tools, thus "saving" the lives of young, vulnerable women. I was young but remember the arguments. But that then gradually, over the decades the interpretation and practise changes beyond all recognition, until now, when we are put into the hands of unelected professionals, whilst the true lawmakers, in Parliament washes it hands of the awful, bloody matter.
In the meanwhile hundreds of thousands of healthy babies are slaughtered as they are inconvenient. Furthermore we see the spectre of a sex imbalanced demography, in certain minority populations, with the real risks highlighted somewhat graphically by seanrobsville above. The Chinese experience supports his warning.
It's time for all moral people, Christian and others to oppose this growing evil.

10 October 2013 at 10:40  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...


Ernst's historic points on this blog regarding whichever party or mix you vote for nowadays, the 'government' always gets in.

What can we expect when there a shiver/battery of ex barristers swarmig the HOC?

Two Brains my %$*&. Another two faced jANUS.



Brother Ivo " don't we have to take a lesson from the likes of Malala who unselfconsciously and openly offers prayerful thanks where it is due for blessing received?"
Perhaps muslims will be offering public DU'A this morning for not having to face equal blame in the docks with those who allow selective murder at their request, praise be to allah the innocent.
Lesson learnt dear Ivo, lesson learnt!!!


10 October 2013 at 10:55  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Increasingly I find myself in agreement with the comment of the last Pope, when he said very clearly, that the world is filling up, ever faster, with evil.

How can anyone not see that, even applying the misguided thinking of the "Equalities" lobby, that this is wrong. These people have no wisdom. We store up terrible problems for the future.

10 October 2013 at 11:21  
Blogger Elby the Beserk said...

It should be noted that Ms. Furedi is an alumnus of the hilariously named (now defunct) magazine, "Living Marxism", and its founders, the equally hilariously named "Revolutionary Communist Party" (as opposed to the "Stay At Home and Watch TV Communist Party?) - or - yes, yes, it's true, the splitters "The Revolutionary Communist Tendency" (not to be confused with "The Alan Parsons Project").

Anyway, she's a Marxist, with all the contempt for the sanctity of human life that goes with that vile sect.

10 October 2013 at 11:23  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

I am still alarmed by how little the understanding of how and what babies feel, experience and are in the womb, and the effects that this has upon later life, are so little percolated through society. A seminal and brilliant work on this theme was the popular but well written in research terms, book, "The Secret Life of the Unborn Child". The mother's attitude to the baby has long lasting implications, and to get right back to the subject it is highly important that the mother is positive and welcoming- and the father also- whatever the gender, the look or the abilities of the baby, for that way healthier better adjusted and happier adults happen!! Her moods make for chemicals which go through the cord through the baby which experiences many of the same emotions.

10 October 2013 at 11:24  
Blogger gentlemind said...

I'm in two minds on the issue of sex-selective abortions. Every abortion is a murder. If we allow murder for no reason, then we can allow it for any reason. If the reason is emotional, then it is ungovernable. The end result of a sex-selective abortion is the death of a human. The end result of an abortion for any other reason is... the death of a human.

This is what happens when principles are broken - they cannot be "partially broken": what looks like another step down a slippery slope is in fact merely another revelation of the fact that things are either right or wrong. Compromising on truth leaves no truth in place.

This is why the subject of sex-selective abortions is important: through it, supporters of abortion can be shown the dilemma of their own position. They must either accept sex-selective abortion, or accept that all abortions are wrong.

10 October 2013 at 11:33  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...


It is not that the sex is female but that the abortion itself is NEVER murder in the eyes of beholder or political parties.

Self Determination and Choice is GOD!


10 October 2013 at 11:46  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

When the Act of Unintended Consequences 1967 was passed, there were relatively few men in Britain who saw baby girls as inferior beings. Now there are many more. Even if abortion on the grounds of fœtal gender were outlawed, other methods of termination are available. A Jihad Watch post from 2008 quotes a Telegraph article that has been removed from the paper’s archive:

Dr Husain, who works at Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals in Berkshire, told the Muslim News that many women ask to be referred to her specialist clinics because she is a hijab-wearing Muslim, allowing her to discover the true scale of domestic violence in her religious community. She said: ‘I’ve seen injuries on some of my patients that I wouldn’t dream would happen to pregnant women. I’ve seen strangle marks, finger marks on their necks and bruises on their pregnant abdomens.’

10 October 2013 at 12:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How effective government has become in making a mockery of its own laws, using moral relativism to give professional immunity and avoid juries etc when it suits them. The law is being twisted to say whatever they want it to say and what it says today may be different tomorrow. This slide into a morass of moral ambiguity is a neat way of avoiding responsibility and accountability. We have now sunk to the depths where some unborn children are more equal than others.

10 October 2013 at 12:06  
Blogger JimS said...

The statement by the Attorney General ...Is it right or fair, however, to ask a jury to arbitrate on a question of medical standards and ethics on which the profession has not published a detailed consensus, and on which a great deal turns for both doctor and patient?.. is beyond belief. This is a question of law not medical ethics. I don't think it is desirable either that the CPS is becoming a de facto law maker by its decisions not to prosecute certain activities. This behind closed doors activity is in complete contradistinction to case law which is made in open court and which can be struck down by a higher court.

10 October 2013 at 12:53  
Blogger JohnH said...

... that the cases were "better dealt with by the GMC rather than by prosecution" ...

Presumably cases of causing death by dangerous driving are better dealt with by the AA?

10 October 2013 at 12:57  
Blogger IanCad said...

So, the BMA's handbook replaces the law of the land?

Do we give credence to the views of Ms. Moloch, the Chief Executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service?

Shall we now admit the precepts of Paganism as the guiding principles under which our land is governed?

Will Cameron sack Grieve?

"It is at the time of national apostasy, when acting on the policy of Satan, the rulers of the land will rank themselves on the side of the man of sin--it is then the measure of guilt is full; the national apostasy is the signal for national ruin."

10 October 2013 at 13:09  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

I think in many ways Dominic Grieve is an excellent Attorney General. He was speedy in sending many of the silliest judgements, often ridiculously lax jail terms or lack of jail terms, for paedophiles who had downloaded 100s of pictures including grossly depraved ones of small children being sexually tortured, to be re-judged.

However here he is himself misjudging.

As well as sending the message that is socially sufficiently acceptable to be turning a blind eye to these abortions, it encourages the women in these communities to have low self worth, with its concomitant problems, and for the boys to be spoilt, arrogant, cocky, unimaginative, and with an outrageous sense of entitlement.

The genders civilise each other. Mixed company is the most civilised. Where one is downgraded or rendered ineffectualised both suffer.

10 October 2013 at 13:14  
Blogger David Hussell said...

This is a rare thing. I find myself in agreement with the main thrust, of each communicants helpful comments.

Until now I've avoided thinking much about abortion, perhaps to my shame, but my views are crystalizing rapidly now. When one stares into the face of pure wrongdoing, the promotion of death, and recognizes it for what it is, fence sitting is not possible.

IanCad. Your quotation - who are you quoting, please? It certainly hits the target.

10 October 2013 at 13:28  
Blogger Anglican said...

seanrobsville said, "Sex-selective abortion will produce a sex imbalance in the Muslim population."

True, with the dire consequences he named. But apart from that, to get an obedient muslim wife, muslim men will simply go back to Pakistan to get one, in order to breed more muslim sons, who in turn will go back to Pakistan to get one….and so on ad infinitum.

10 October 2013 at 13:31  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

I notice a similar story in Australia.

This is one of those situations where it isn't going to be reversed: abortion is only going to be further expanded, not curtailed. People love their freedom too much and won't give it up, as DanJ0 might say.

The only thing that is left for the Church to do is to minister to the people who are left. There cannot be a reversal of any abortion, but there is forgiveness.

10 October 2013 at 13:47  
Blogger Ivan said...

Sex-selective abortion is performed mainly for Hindus; the Muslims do have a strong objection to abortion in principle.

10 October 2013 at 13:59  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Whether it's Hindus or Muslims, it's something to do with immigrant communities, right? And abortion isn't a crime any more, anyway. So there's nothing to get upset about, because the newly-enthroned Bishop of Manchester, David Walker, has reassured us that under both headings, immigration and crime, we have little or nothing to worry about:

The Bishop of Dudley, David Walker, told the Observer: "Public fears around immigration are like fears around crime. They bear little relationship to the actual reality."

10 October 2013 at 14:28  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Uncle Brian,

Forgive this Anglican for not being reassured, at all, by that Bishop's shallow, narrow, sound bite political sermons . He claims to see reality more clearly does he ? How patronizing of him. Perhaps it's his refusal to look at the wider picture, not through his arrow slit, narrow one, that is the problem. I don't suppose that he gets out and about much, talking to the jobbing builders and tradesmen, of any racial background, very much do you think? Blind guides !

10 October 2013 at 14:46  
Blogger Ivan said...

Uncle Brian, I can only commiserate with as I live in Singapore. It is definitely the case that in the main, Christian prelates, Catholic and Anglican, left to themselves would give away the store.

10 October 2013 at 14:50  
Blogger Mr. Morden said...

One more small step along the path of the moral abyss.

10 October 2013 at 15:03  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

What is so enthralling about our demise in Europe is not so much that it is happening, but the minutiae behind it.

When this man researched the behaviour of the tribes in the part of the world that is now under Islam, he found female infanticide was not only endemic, but as old as the hills. Interestingly, muslim scholars will point out that when Islam arrived there, they put a stop to it. Or at least tried to. Very proud of that they are on the net, perhaps even the proudest thing they ever did, can’t think of anything else of worth from them. But Islam is a comparatively young way of life, and they are up against ingrained behaviour.

So the tribe would make war on a neighbouring tribe, and take the women there as their wives, and presumably slaughter any male children the woman may have had with her now dead man. And after today, we will see the muslim increasingly taking for his wife the white women here. You see specimens occasionally now, glad in the garb. Young things, and with a pushchair. No “I’m leaving children until my mid 30s to concentrate on my career” there.

The flourish of European hegemony to vanish in less time it took to develop. Somebody mention a new dark age ?

10 October 2013 at 15:06  
Blogger IanCad said...

David Hussell,

The quote is by Ellen White from her book "Selected Messages."

Although not specifically referring to abortion, it seemed apropos to the thread.

10 October 2013 at 15:31  
Blogger David Hussell said...


Thank you, and I agree.

10 October 2013 at 15:38  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

David and Ivan,

Glad you appreciate Bishop David's mastery of rhetoric. The "around" makes an interesting difference, doesn't it? I'm waiting for an opportunity to use his elegant turn of phrase with a switch of the abstract nouns, possibly something along the lines of "Public fears around islamophobia are like fears around homophobia. They bear little relationship to the actual reality."

Ivan, so you live in the Antipodes. How interesting. I'm at 35°W, 8°S.


10 October 2013 at 15:48  
Blogger David Hussell said...

I am not claiming expertise on this, but my understanding is that it was Judaism, and then Christianity, which accorded respect to the female of the species, and by slow degrees, a growing equality. Other world religions were blind on this point.

Yet those in the "Equalities" industry in the west, and fellow travellers, who are taking this to an extreme, acting against a spirit of fairness for all by imposing quotas and such like, are now deafening, in their silence at this obvious attack on the dignity of the female. What sort of perverted logic supports that position ? There is no consistency in this.

10 October 2013 at 15:48  
Blogger Preacher said...

When a child suffers at the hands of a parent, especially it's mother, as we have seen in several awful cases of children dying lately.
In one case starving to death & being left lying in his cot for two years. there was public horror & a demand for justice against the mother, a chronic alcoholic.
Yet in cases of what amounts to the premeditated execution of the unborn a 'Blind Eye' is turned.
On rare occasions, contraception can fail & even allowing for cases of rape (Where the innocent baby is sacrificed) the numbers of aborted children is totally unjustifiable.

For a baby to be ripped to pieces simply because of it's gender is murder & a shame to any society that claims to be civilised that ignores the crime.

10 October 2013 at 15:55  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Uncle Brian,

Interesting location !

35 degrees west. 8 degrees south ?

My maps are not that accurate, but are you in eastern Brazil ?

10 October 2013 at 16:02  
Blogger David Hussell said...


Spot on. The morality of our "modern" society astounds me.

The death penalty for even the most heinous crime, say for dreadful pre-meditated multiple murderers is rejected as uncivilized; yet the lives of the most innocent, helpless human person, the about to be born, are shredded, literally, in their hundreds of thousands.

Ours is a society stumbling about now, without a moral anchor.

10 October 2013 at 16:07  
Blogger IanCad said...

OIG wrote:

"--No “I’m leaving children until my mid 30s to concentrate on my career”

Take heart Inspector, the tide may be close to full.

A good example could be Dame Linda Partridge.

In an interview a few months back she was asked if she had any regrets. Her immediate response was that it was her failure to marry and have a family when she was young that constantly haunted her.
I must say, it was painful to hear. Such sadness.

We have a couple of dear, dopey female relatives in their twenties. Both with degrees that qualify them as intelligent unemployables.
I try to do my best with them and am constantly reminding them that if, indeed, they were smart they would already have been wed and bred a few times by now.

Maybe it is sinking in.
The clock is ticking.

10 October 2013 at 16:07  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

David, you needn't be so sceptical. Your maps are perfectly correct.


10 October 2013 at 16:13  
Blogger Naomi King said...

We live in a Godless, Christ hating society.

10 October 2013 at 16:18  
Blogger Nick said...

I think it is an absurdity for the CPS to say that a jury is not capable of judging these cases. Courts provide expert witnesses for all kinds of complex cases which require specialised knowledge.

The DPPs ruling is so illogical it has to be politically motivated.

The BPAS (British Progeny Annihilation Service) says that baby-culling is fine if you don't like the gender of your child. I wonder what may happen if they find a gene for political orientation or religious outlook?

10 October 2013 at 16:31  
Blogger Papaman said...

Where are the feminist voices on sex selective abortion? A woman's right to choose to murder another of her own gender in utero? Will none of you speak up for the unborn child? It strikes me that we have hurtled off the slippery slope and plunged into the abyss!

10 October 2013 at 16:40  
Blogger David Hussell said...


Absolutely !

He is denigrating, attacking the time honoured good old, Anglo - Saxon jury system which is capable of dealing with far more complex cases than these. It's just a politically motivated, "brush it under the carpet decision", shameful ! What is unfair, is expecting professional groups, no matter how esteemed or learned, to effectively make law. I doubt whether the politically unmotivated of them want this unfair burden. Are we not a democracy - don't answer that question !

10 October 2013 at 17:01  
Blogger Albert said...

Meanwhile, in Australia, a Catholic doctor is apparently fighting for his job for refusing to perform a sex-selective abortion.

Even if you have no principles and are prepared to just go along with whatever, the secular liberal position is so riddled with contradiction, that you can't even predict what you're supposed to do by their rules.

The sheer mind-numbing contradictory nature of secular liberal "morality" now, seems so great and obvious that it can't be long for this world.

10 October 2013 at 17:03  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Uncle Brian,

Thank you for confirming my estimate of your present location on the globe. I am relieved that my maps and charts appear to be fit for such purposes.

It was a close run thing whether you were just offshore or on terra firma. But I didn't see you as a sailor !

Asking (playfully), are you far enough south to detect the southern hemisphere's rotational Coriolis Force, the "reverse swirl" down the plug hole effect ? Try it at bath time ! That climate you are "enjoying" encourages washing !

10 October 2013 at 17:13  
Blogger David Hussell said...


Well expressed. Even applying their own "rules" it is totally unpredictable now. They are encasing themselves in their own contradictions.
As you say, it's just not stable, having zero intellectual coherence, let alone morality. This is House that will not stand.

10 October 2013 at 17:26  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

The Australian doctor is fighting for his job for refusing refer the request onto another registered health practitioner, and probably for going public about the details, rather than for having a conscientious objection to performing an abortion. The law there protects a right to refuse on the grounds on conscientious objection except to preserve the life of the pregnant woman in an emergency situation.

10 October 2013 at 17:31  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Of course, that doesn't scream quite so well in a pro-life headline.

10 October 2013 at 17:32  
Blogger IanCad said...

An excellent post Nick,

It has been my understanding that juries can define law, inasmuch as they can convict or otherwise on evidence or the merit of the law itself'
In other words-- if they don't like the law they are entitled to acquit.
There's nothing the judge can do about it.

If that is an original --,"The BPAS (British Progeny Annihilation Service)" --very clever. I will remember it.

10 October 2013 at 17:33  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

It seems to me that the 1967 Act needs to be revisited because it's not reflecting what is going on and that makes a mockery of it. I think there are two separate issues in a gender-selection abortion: the actual defences in the Act, and the social ramifications of selection like that. The defences are basically bollocks now; in practice we have abortion on demand at certain stages of the pregnancy. The prevailing ethics around abortion itself are based on a gradualist approach which could be tightened up. The social ramifications can be treated separately as far as ethics are concerned, I think.

10 October 2013 at 17:41  
Blogger Albert said...


So the Australian doctor is fighting for his job for refusing to pass on a sex-selective abortion? I don't really see the moral distinction.

It is difficult to see a case here, after all, as he points out, he didn't know a doctor who would do it. (Of course, he could have sent the couple here, we have plenty of them.)

What is the evidence that it is for going public on the details? Given that his requests to know the identity of his accusers has been refused, this does not seem to hold true, and must, in any case, have come after the disciplinary action was started.

10 October 2013 at 18:04  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Papaman.
Just because some feminists are strident defenders of abortion does not mean that some of us who might wish to stick up for women to be treated decently might not take a different view.

I believe that rights and responsibilities need balancing. It is an awesome privilege and responsibility to share your body with an unborn child, and you cannot have the privilege without all the cares, the pain, the heartburn, indigestion, the pain of childbirth, and the mature acceptance that just as your body is shared, so the apportioning of rights within that body is shared as well. It is a privilege balanced by an imposition!! Not all females take this approach which requires a small degree of maturity.

However for a small minority of women- rape victims, women with very severely handicapped children who will need 24 hour care into the forseeable future followed by early and painful death of child,- the choices are more than painful, and I would not wish them to feel that we would wish to load them down with any more guilt at all to burden them in their misery- at all.

Abortion by gender is obviously wholly improper and selfish, and no one has disagreed, however.

10 October 2013 at 18:11  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

David, the answer to your Coriolis question is anticlockwise. What does that tell you? I carried out the observation myself once in London but it was so many years ago I've forgotten the answer.

10 October 2013 at 18:11  
Blogger Martin said...

It is very simple. Therapeutic abortion is legal if continuing with the pregnancy would risk greater physical or mental injury to the mother than would be the case in abortion.

Most abortions are carried out on the basis of a presumed mental health risk to the mother.

Medical studies have shown no difference in mental health risk between continuing with the pregnancy and terminating it.

Thus most terminations are on a legally invalid basis.

A number of abortions have been clearly carried out wit pre-signed forms, meaning that only one doctor has assessed the mother. Clearly illegal.

Abortions because the infant is the wrong sex are clearly illegal but to prosecute these doctors would require that the majority of abortionists should also be prosecuted for failing to abide by the terms of the act.

Such a result would inevitably bring all the abortion providers in the country to their knees. Abortions would cease as no one would be able to perform them.

Is it right that the guilty should be allowed to continue their practice because they are all breaking the law?

10 October 2013 at 18:16  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Lucy Mullen,

My views are very much in agreement with yours, particularly in cases such as -- to quote your words -- rape victims, women with very severely handicapped children who will need 24 hour care into the forseeable future followed by early and painful death of child.

But once a country has legalised abortion in all cases (subject only to rules such as the first x months of pregnancy) I frankly see no moral or ethical difference between choosing to abort a perfectly healthy baby on the grounds of the baby's sex or from whatever other motive.

There is the question of whether it's wise to allow this, taking demographic trends and so on into account, but that isn't a question of ethics or morals. It's a different department.

10 October 2013 at 18:22  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Uncle Brian ,

Oh good ! Just a bit of fun, but there is a serious, and powerful force under the fun.

"What does that tell you?"

The globe spins and so any object moving across it's surface is influenced by that, as the rotation of the earth disturbs the forces that originally acted upon the object, to make it move. A clash of forces if you like. The water wants to fall, under gravity, but is pushed about by the earth's spinning movement. It was named , The Coriolis Force. It's just a name really. In the two hemisperes, north and south (it rotates around the axis, roughly the line connecting the poles) the so called Coriolis Force acts in opposite directions. So in London the water drains anti-clockwise, but in OZ , clockwise. However you are close to the neutral point, the equator, so "the force is weak", hence my teasing question, can you discern it?
The End .
I'm seriously off topic, apologies YG.
Uncle Brian, Have a beer !

10 October 2013 at 18:30  
Blogger Albert said...


You're right that abortionists are clearly operating outside the law. It's odd isn't it that people often ask Christians why they should be above the law. Perhaps your response about the abortionists is the right one.

Medical studies have shown no difference in mental health risk between continuing with the pregnancy and terminating it.

That's very interesting. Can you provide a source for that, please?

10 October 2013 at 19:15  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Right on, Nick. We're being lulled and dragged towards a system where a politicised judiciary with a cherry-picked class of "experts" will take over social, political and ethics decisions, by-passing the voter and the jury. As things are, we know where the bias we gravitate to: social workers, media, abortion providers and feminist activists. The latter have their panties in a knot, at least here in Canada. On one hand they need to keep "choice" absolute, as the slightest restriction portends a slippery slope towards coat hangers, on the other, the devaluation of women through what is akin to classic female infanticide scares them. If the subject and the stakes weren't so grim, their confusion would be comical.

10 October 2013 at 20:07  
Blogger Roy said...

I wonder what the attitude of the Attorney General would be if a "gay gene" or a particular combination of genes that increases the chances of being homosexual is discovered?

Would the Attorney General and pro-choice people agree with testing for that gene or combination of genes and the abortion of the babies concerned?

10 October 2013 at 20:44  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

What a surprise.

10 October 2013 at 21:00  
Blogger plishman said...

His Grace appears to advertising bingo clubs.

<a href='></a>

I realize this is probably not Cranmer's fault, but it rather blunts the moral tone of the site.

I realize that the ads are in part due to my own browsing habits (though I can't see why, in this case), but I note that large blue chip companies have been able to stop this sort of 'brand' subversion happening when their products have been inadvertently associated with unpleasant things by ad servers.

I'd be interested to know if His Grace has any luck in stopping it happening on this site.

10 October 2013 at 21:03  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! The Attorney General has put a cat amongst the pigeons and no mistake. Barchester's legal eagles met in camera this afternoon as soon as The Jupiter hit the streets, and though all was supposed to be hush hush I found Sir Abraham Haphazard - promoter of the Convent Custody Bill - remarkably susceptible to my macaroons, and consequently willing to let me rummage through his briefs. Sir Abraham thinks the AG has been knobbled by Fabian Frankfurters hell-bent on undermining Common Law and Common Sense, and that he must be resisted by fair means or foul. Silly sausage, but on reflection I quite agreed with him. Barchester will have no truck with Marie Stopes, unless she happens to be standing on the northbound carriageway of the Great West Road...

10 October 2013 at 21:23  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Gender abortion is not only outrageous, but does not fit into our culture. If these Asian families who have chosen to live in Britain, give birth to and rear their children here as part of our country's population then gender abortion should not be allowed as it will cause an unbalance like China has now. Certain cities have to hold special dating events to draw in women as there is a shortage.

All the more reason to have the availability of proper counselling. Asian women with a girl in the womb who want an abortion should have to undergo counselling where their motives for wanting to abort, health, family and background can be ascertained and a picture of her lifestyle and support network gleaned. Also her past medical records can be looked at to see if there is history of mental illness. Her options can be discussed.

10 October 2013 at 22:32  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

I see where you going with this, Marie, but intervention will be expensive and easily bypassed. The groups going for female abortion are heading into a classic Anthro 101 problem: Shortage of females leads to aggressive, competitive males and increase in violence, misogyny, increase in formalized male homosexual relationships and decline in group 's population. Female infanticide, which this kind of selective abortion is, is a crude form of temporarily creating a male warrior class when in competition for land or resources and of achieving population control in depleted, limited environments. See Ancient Sparta, the Yanomamo, Trobriand Islanders, China, India, the Muslim world, etc. It's an inherently stupid method in the long term, as it becomes a runaway monster which eventually destroys the subject culture by functionally disrupting its society. Might as well make some popcorn and stretch your feet out.

11 October 2013 at 00:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11 October 2013 at 00:23  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Mrs Proudie, I may be a simple trucker, but I'm starting to think you're making double entendres and getting away with it. To (mis)quote Craig Fergusson, you don't just like double entendres, you love them, you stroke them, you milk them and spank them when they're naughty.

11 October 2013 at 00:28  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Not a surprise at all, Danjo, this question has come up already and been debated, at least in the US and Canada. Of course, it presumes that homosexuality is a genetic or congenital condition, rather than a cultural or psychological phenomenon.

11 October 2013 at 00:42  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

No Avi, we can't just sit back and let it all happen, we can and must do something to get it under control.

I must say Mrs Proudie's comentary on Barchester life is delightful.

11 October 2013 at 01:15  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

You'll see, Marie, that the issue will be dealt with in the same half-arsed way as in Canada; a push to not reveal the sex of a foetus, which will lead to private, unofficial ultrasound services and to a proliferation of astrologers, dowsers and other quacks. Come to think of it, not a bad business, "predicting" the sex of a baby, with a money back guarantee. Charge enough and be assured that in the long run you'll get to keep around 50%. But seriously, my point is, that we are a long ways from even imposing the promised controls and limits on abortion, much less banning it, and the gender selection controversy is not going to affect the the abortion situation much in the long term.

Indeed, Mrs Proudie is long overdue for a recognition of her contribution here.

11 October 2013 at 02:48  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

The ironic impact of aborting children to avoid a homosexual outcome is that it won't affect the prevalence of homosexuality in the population. The very act of aborting children for such a reason will tend to undermine the rationale for the abortion. And yet adults will still pursue it because parents don't want homosexual children. Tolerance in the abstract does not imply tolerance in the particular. So the campaign to find some natural basis for homosexuality would produce a collateral and pointless slaughter of innocents. Foolish people who believe a foolish self-serving assertion, and kill their own children as a result.


11 October 2013 at 03:55  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Avi: Not a surprise at all, Danjo, this question has come up already and been debated, at least in the US and Canada."

It was sarcasm.

11 October 2013 at 06:41  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Thirty years ago, Carl, when I fell in love with cultural anthropology and veered off in my courseload for my major, not a shred, nor a scintilla of evidence was to be found for homosexuality in molecular genetics. Fast forward to the now and...there's nary a genotype nor a phenotype for a "gay gene" to be spied...and it ain't due to lack of trying. Then, as now, the only statistically sound predictions of where gay behaviour (in both males and females, which kills any hormonal hypothesis) will appear prominently is squarely social-environmental; through confinement in same-sex environments, such as prisons, or where artificial reductions of one of the sexes (almost always women) occur, such as in cultures which practice female infanticide.

So, this begs the question of what quackery the morons out there will avail themselves when seeking abortion of a presumably gay foetus. But the supremely absurd irony is that since infanticide is prohibited, it'll be abortion, sex-selective (and probably "gayness"selective as well) abortion which will be rrsponsible for an "inexplicable" and bewildering spike in homosexual patterns of behaviour among some of the ethnic groups' precious male children!

11 October 2013 at 07:27  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Danjo: "It was a sarcasm."

I'm glad; thought you were having s senior moment.

11 October 2013 at 07:30  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Of course, few potential parents would choose to have offspring with a disability which changes the course of both the parents and the offspring's life for the worse. Something similar might he said for something as trivial as physical ugliness or a difficult personality too when it is all in the abstract. In fact, we get into the realms of the film Gattaca when we follow this train of thought for a while. One might even end up looking at character predisposition too. I have long suspected that religious belief may be linked to certain types of personality such that some are more prone than others to that sort of thing. Religion is usually an affliction one catches in childhood and carries into adulthood to pass on, leprosy-like, to children in close and prolonged priximity who may be inclined to it. That probably makes it all the more depressing for parents who have avoided the contagon to find their offspring have nonetheless caught it later down the line due to a combination of genetics and environment. If potential parents are as shallow as made out then perhaps the adverse social impacts and changes in parental aspirations could also be avoided as the human genome is better understood. Etc.

11 October 2013 at 08:20  
Blogger Roy said...

@ DanJO

When I asked about the implications of a possible genetic influence (just an influence, not necessarily a cause) on homosexuality, I wasn't getting at you or at gays in general.

I was simply asking what strong defenders of a woman's "right to choose" would make of abortion in such circumstances.

11 October 2013 at 08:27  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Avi, isn't the English language a delight?

11 October 2013 at 08:27  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Jousting aside, it seems to me that in practical terms things change over the pregnancy term. Abortions in the first trimester are almost all about the pregnant woman and her circumstances. In the second trimester, they're a combination of things including personal circumstances, social concerns including utilitarian ones, and a growing recognition of the status of the foetus, and in the third trimester, they're mostly about the foetus itself. This follows the gradualist approach regarding the ethics of abortion we seem to operating under now.

11 October 2013 at 08:37  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

This cynically calculated ruling puts beyond doubt what I and others have known for years, that the 1967 Abortion Act delivered, as was intended, abortion on request. Can that priestess of Moloch Ann Furedi offer a SINGLE example of a woman approaching her 'charity' who was found NOT to have grounds for abortion. Even one? If not, then the 'safeguards' are thinner than air.

Ands so shall it be with 'voluntary' euthanasia.

One good thing that might come out of this might be the skewering of the hypocrisy and lies of those who pretend that there is a great soul searching every time the dehumanised product of casual unprotected sex is sucked to bits and sent up the chimney.

The left are more concerned about the right of newts and badgers.

There is an interesting connection, however inflammatory is it to suggest it, between mass immigration, abortion on request and the growing call for euthanasia. If (when) the latter is introduced, doubtless it will be argued that it will be for hard cases and only done after much deliberation and with many safeguards.

Yeah. MFHA.

We have imported millions of foreigners to do the jobs that our aborted children would have done if they had lived. And they have brought Islam with them. And they believe in having large families, which our welfare system generously assists them to produce. We have become the authors of our own demographic doom.

Is there the tiniest hint of poetic justice in the cries of the abandoned elderly of Roy Jenkins and David Steels' generation? Will the generation that brought in abortion on request, as they find the continuing care they need their declining years comes to be seen as unaffordable by today's struggling youth, find themselves subject to the same tender mercies they showed their offspring? Their children (if any) are too busy and too few to support them.

The God who entered this world as a foetus is not mocked, and He takes a dim view of sacrificing to Moloch. What goes around comes around, as ye sow, so shall ye reap.

11 October 2013 at 09:16  
Blogger Albert said...


Religion is usually an affliction one catches

The difficulty for this is that the evidence suggests religious people are happier and healthier than non-religious people. So surely, it is irreligion that is an affliction: it correlates with unhappiness, unhealthiness, immorality, irrationality and violence on an industrial scale.

This is not really an argument worth having is it?

11 October 2013 at 09:27  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

DanJo (11 October 2013 08:20) – substitute the word 'homosexual' for 'religion' and 'religious' in your usual tiresome rant and you get this:

'I have long suspected that homosexuality may be linked to certain types of personality such that some are more prone than others to that sort of thing. Homosexuality is usually an affliction one catches in childhood and carries into adulthood to pass on, leprosy-like, to children in close and prolonged priximity who may be inclined to it. That probably makes it all the more depressing for parents who have avoided the contagon to find their offspring have nonetheless caught it later down the line due to a combination of genetics and environment.'

Bollocks isn't it.

Rambling Steve (11 October 2013 09:16) – brilliantly summarised. I do suspect that the current slaughter house of the unborn is not what many of the 1967 parliamentarians intended, but it is what has happened none the less.

11 October 2013 at 09:49  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Steve:"This cynically calculated ruling puts beyond doubt what I and others have known for years, that the 1967 Abortion Act delivered, as was intended, abortion on request."

Do you really think that? I'd have thought the Act needs to be seen in the context of the time. As far as I know, there was still considerable social shame in many circles about having a child out of wedlock. I can imagine that someone in that position may well have been in considerable anguish about their likely future to the point that they well have felt moved to seek illegal and dangerous means to avoid continuing the pregnancy. That shame has all but gone now which is probably why the mental health defence in the Act seems a little strange and superficial now.

11 October 2013 at 10:01  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Ars: DanJo (11 October 2013 08:20) – substitute the word 'homosexual' for 'religion' and 'religious' in your usual tiresome rant and you get this:"

Lol. That whoosh above your head as you read it was the actual point in what I wrote. Oh well.

11 October 2013 at 10:08  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Or at least one of them.

11 October 2013 at 10:09  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Danjo, I think Steve has got it right. The various limitations and restrictions imposed were a concession to the scruples of those who were insisting that abortion should never be anything more than a last resort. The concessions had to be made: they were the price of getting the bill through Parliament. But the underlying idea of the pro-choicers (though they weren't called that yet) was that any woman who wanted an abortion was entitled to it.

11 October 2013 at 10:12  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

Yes, DanJ0, you were being ironic, or sarcastic, or witty.

Still cobblers though.

11 October 2013 at 10:27  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Ars: "Yes, DanJ0, you were being ironic, or sarcastic, or witty. Still cobblers though."

No, I was making a number of points in context. One might think that with a culture of parables and sermons, it might have made the trip. But hey.

11 October 2013 at 10:30  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

'A culture of parables and sermons'?

Where do you live, first century Palestine.

But hey, whatever, whoosh, LoL...

11 October 2013 at 10:36  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Brian: "But the underlying idea of the pro-choicers (though they weren't called that yet) was that any woman who wanted an abortion was entitled to it."

I'm going on the recollections of people like David Steel.

11 October 2013 at 10:37  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Ars: "Where do you live, first century Palestine. But hey, whatever, whoosh, LoL..."

No. But I'm writing on a Christian-oriented forum and what I write is being commented on by Christians, you berk.

11 October 2013 at 10:39  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...


Not sure I can handle the white heat of your intellect any longer, spare me...

11 October 2013 at 10:41  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Ars, simply stop reading my comments then. You won't misunderstand them, leading to a waste of time for both of us, and you won't find them "tiresome" either; a win-win for both of us I'm sure.

11 October 2013 at 10:52  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

Sorry old mate, but if you air yourself on a public blog you have no business telling anyone not to read and comment on your utterances.

And it's not that I don't understand you (you are not that bright) it's just that I think most of what you post is nonsense and self-centered.

How about leaving it at that?

11 October 2013 at 11:05  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Back to the abortion debate at the time, the result was some sort of paternalism. I may be wrong but the debate was pretty polarised between those who presented an image of women suffering all sorts of social difficulties and the prevalence of illegal abortions, and those who presented women as being selfish and irrational in not taking responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Making doctors sign off abortion requests was a curious thing given that the issues are and were usually social ones. It seems to me, looking back, that it was an inappropriate thing to do as it was often outside the medical domain, but I suppose doctors were seen as part of the establishment who "knew best", and the family doctor was likely to know some of the family history, and if not the doctor then who other than the pregnant woman herself?

11 October 2013 at 11:05  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Ars: "Sorry old mate, but if you air yourself on a public blog you have no business telling anyone not to read and comment on your utterances."

You find them tiresome as you said yourself. You clearly didn't get what I was doing back there either. You have asked me to "spare you" my intellect youself, directly contrary to what you have just written. I'm actually saving you from yourself because I think you need it. No, no need to thank me.

11 October 2013 at 11:11  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

I got to you didn't I...

Didn't think it would be that easy.

Moving on.

11 October 2013 at 11:18  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Danjo, certainly no one could be better informed about it than David Steel. He was the sponsor of the private member’s bill. It would be interesting to learn what he has to say about the negotiations that led up to two decisions:

1. Why the legislation was introduced as a private member’s bill rather than as a straightforward government bill

2.Why Steel, rather than anyone else, ended up being the sponsor.

Is there anywhere on the net where I could find plain answers to these questions?

I see that in the last few minutes His Grace has posted a follow-up. Neil Parish, the Conservative MP for Tiverton & Honiton, has had the temerity to shine a light on the cultural anthropology aspect of the question.

11 October 2013 at 11:26  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Ars, you could try contributing something to the article topic and related things, as I having been doing all along. That might help you recover some of your lost pride too.

11 October 2013 at 11:27  
Blogger Ivan said...

Appleseed, hear, hear! I saw a study some years ago that claimed the UK was short of five million workers and there was no recourse except to get them through immigration. The geniuses who wrote it were perhaps unaware of the irony that these workers could have been found from the seven million citizens aborted in the womb since 1967.

11 October 2013 at 11:33  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

Uncle Brian,

In the first link, below, Steel comments on why he proposed the Bill. The other two provide some further commentary.

11 October 2013 at 11:37  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Brian: "Is there anywhere on the net where I could find plain answers to these questions?"

You could write and ask him, I suppose. Alternatively, Google is your friend. For example:

11 October 2013 at 11:43  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Ars, thank you. I hope to get back to both of you later, after I've had time to read your three pieces.

11 October 2013 at 11:46  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

And thank you too, Danjo.

11 October 2013 at 11:47  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Mrs Proudie: Dear Avi, isn't the English language a delight?

Aye, Lady Barchester, thought so as a wee lad in Prague when I lined up to see "A Hard Day's Night" at least twenty times and in the process cobbled together my own "English"-sounding language to floor my mates with. Um, lest there be any cross-Atlantic idiomatic confusions leading to assumptions about my hormonal maturity at the tender age of eight or so, to "floor" means, in Toronto's pedestrian jargon, nothing more than "to astound."

11 October 2013 at 12:37  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Fascinating hypothesis on the contagion-like nature of religion, Danjo. Can't see how you would define your terms and apply them cross-culturally..."religion" being a strained , overly generalized conceptual construct. And of course, the fledgling hypothesis commits you to the unfounded assumption that human psychology and cultures can ever achieve a non-religious state. All evidence so far points to transferrance of one belief system cluster to another. Frustrating, we big-brained apes are, are we not?

11 October 2013 at 13:03  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Homosexuality isn't a disability. It's a behavior. Good luck trying to connect observed behavior to genes. We haven't the first clue how to do it. Religion is also not a disability. It's a belief system. Are we now to try to connect beliefs to genes as well? We might as well appeal to Avi's dousing rods mentioned above. Perhaps in a Materialist world where everything ultimately reduces to a crude from of biological determinism. Man as carbon chain and nothing more. What a way to live.


11 October 2013 at 13:22  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Dowsing is are so yesterday, Carl. There's phrenology, Mesmerism, Lysenkoism, copper bracelets, telluric currents.....

11 October 2013 at 13:30  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


There's phrenology, Mesmerism, Lysenkoism, copper bracelets, telluric currents.....

Crystals, energy vortices, Evolution ...

[scitters away and hides]


11 October 2013 at 14:12  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Homosexuality is a disability in Iran. At least if one takes on board a social model of disability. In fact, I'd quite understand that a pregnant woman might want to abort the pregnancy out of benevolence if she could predict the homosexuality of her potential offspring. In the UK, it's a completely different matter. Change the social environment and the disability problem goes away. Well, except for religious extremists and the like who counter-intuitively assert that homosexuality is a choice simply to maintain their own quirky religious beliefs.

11 October 2013 at 14:33  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Avi: "Fascinating hypothesis on the contagion-like nature of religion, Danjo."

Don't overthink it for something to say. It was just a rhetorical device.

11 October 2013 at 14:35  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Carl, in the last decade or so this lack of DNA evidence and apparent manifestation of homosexual traits and behaviours in families and among twins have fired up hypothes... speculations, really... towards some sort of hormonal signalling assumed to be somehow affecting (without an observable trace) the DNA at the foetal stage. It's mommy's fault again. To proceed in this search for late genetic triggers, they must casually wave away culture and psychology from the menu of models, matter-of-factly relying on anecdotal "evidence" and politically loaded and highly subjective "studies." What such half-arsed speculation will inevitably lead to is crank commercial "therapies" and selective abortions based on crude "markers" like relative androgen content. Another way to bring back the pink triangle.

11 October 2013 at 14:42  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

I know, Danjo, every time you float a position which flops, it's either a sarcasm or a "rhetorical device." Silly me, to always misunderstand your superior wit.

11 October 2013 at 14:47  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Oh fgs.

11 October 2013 at 14:51  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Danjo: "...except for religious extremists and the like who counter-intuitively assert that homosexuality is a choice simply to maintain their own quirky religious beliefs."

Garden variety straw man fallacy, Danjo. Rather beneath you. Behaviour is not necessarily matter of choice...culture and rearing playing substantial roles... although under some circumstance one can choose to modify behaviour, assuming one is not prevented from attempting to.

11 October 2013 at 14:54  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Avi, you're assuming I'm just going on what's been written in this thread. Hence, not a straw man. Try again.

11 October 2013 at 15:00  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

I'm assuming that you might actually mean what you say and that you're not floating off, channeling unseen threads in the akashic dimensions of the blogosphere, Danjo. My bad again, obviously.

11 October 2013 at 15:05  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Do you really think that my flat "What a surprise." as homosexuality entered yet another thread through the usual suspects? Perhaps it's a cultural difference but even in a text medium where tone can be misconstrued I can't imagine a Brit would or could take that any other way than a wry or sarcastic comment.

11 October 2013 at 15:06  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! Dear Avi, and you managed to acquire a Scottish inflexion or two along the way...or is that a by-product of scotch, cigars and the bawdy houses of Greenock? I once attended an ecumenical gathering in Prague some years ago, organised by Sister Mary Lesbia of the Community of the Holy Handbag of Antioch, Silverbridge. Lovely city, strange nun. And dear, dear DanJ0, if homosexuality is a disability in Iran then it is doubly sad that disabled people are strung up on cranes in the market place. I weep for the unborn, the aborted and the different, and will pray for them too.

11 October 2013 at 15:07  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Avi: "My bad again, obviously."

You're the guy who was bewildered by the revealing of Peter D as Dodo, I recall. You have form for not knowing what goes under just a smidgeon under the surface of a forum. So yes.

11 October 2013 at 15:09  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

'In my house there are many mansions' sayeth the Lord. I understand that Vince Cable is looking into this...

11 October 2013 at 15:10  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Erratum: "Do you really think that my flat "What a surprise." as homosexuality entered yet another thread through the usual suspects [was actual surprise]?"

11 October 2013 at 15:13  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Perhaps the gulf states are onto something here:

[I still can't tell if this if a joke or not]

I don't know why they'd bother with whatever medical tests they think are appropriate. Surely it would be much easier to simply deny visas to the most handsome and fabulously well-dressed men? They'd have pretty good coverage straight off.

11 October 2013 at 15:19  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Avi, that's a wry comment by the way. No need for you to research for statistics or deconstruct the hypothesis.

11 October 2013 at 15:20  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Ah, yes, well, my insbility to spot Dodo in one of his incarnations. Clear evidence of my lack of intellectual fitness. Perhaps my condition is genetic? It in which case you better tolerate it, accommodate it and even celebrate it before they legislate it. From straw men to red herrings... you have still at least four fallacies to go before you declare yourself bored with winning.

11 October 2013 at 16:04  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

My wife is a daughter of an Edinburgh Anderson Clanswoman, Mrs Proudie. A miracle I survived the Viking temper. That and my not-too-shabby Address to the (home made, kosher) Haggis on Robbie Burns' Night. And then again, effects of Highland single malts on cognitive and linguistic functions have uet to be properly investigated. All hints to my occasional Scottishisms, perhaps.

11 October 2013 at 16:17  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Avi: "Ah, yes, well, my insbility to spot Dodo in one of his incarnations. Clear evidence of my lack of intellectual fitness."

No, as I said, evidence that you don't always realise what is actually going on in some forum interactions.

"From straw men to red herrings... you have still at least four fallacies to go before you declare yourself bored with winning."

And you'll be mentioning the gas ovens shortly, I expect.

So, the sarcasm thing. Did you really think I was expressing surprise back there?

11 October 2013 at 16:22  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

Face it Avi - it's you and me wearing the dunces hats, destroyed as we have been by the towering inferno that is the wit and wisdom of DanJo.

No sarcasm or irony intended...

11 October 2013 at 16:22  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Lordy, you're like sheep at times.

11 October 2013 at 16:29  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Thanks, Ars. Apparently I dont get sarcasm or irony anyway.

11 October 2013 at 16:32  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

Like the man says, we are but sheep.

11 October 2013 at 16:35  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Indeed, dear Ars. Did you know one of Handel's aria's is entitled 'Oh wee like sheep'? Absolutely impossible when wearing a crinoline, I do declare.

11 October 2013 at 17:38  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Good Heavens, Mrs Proudie! Impossible and shockingly improper if said crinoline is of linen fabric, leading one to violate the biblical linsey-woolsey mix prohibition.

11 October 2013 at 18:09  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

One notes he who refuses to be ignored, AND who doesn’t travel on a gay ticket so he tells us, has been around and left with his tail in the air...

11 October 2013 at 20:13  
Blogger Martin said...


The report was the one by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges entitled ‘INDUCED ABORTION AND MENTAL HEALTH: A systematic review of the mental health outcomes of induced abortion, including their prevalence and associated factors'.

It has been reviewed by, among others, Peter Saunders CEO of Christian Medical Fellowship on his blog.

11 October 2013 at 22:15  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Danjo asked

'Steve:"This cynically calculated ruling puts beyond doubt what I and others have known for years, that the 1967 Abortion Act delivered, as was intended, abortion on request."

Do you really think that?'

I don't think it, I know it.

When I was involved in anti abortion campaigning in the 1970s and 80s, I came face to face with the pro choice people and their arguments, which were primarily emotive, based on hard cases, but above all based on selfishness. Abortion rights derive from the belief in sexual autonomy and a rejection of the idea of a just God in whose image we are made. That rejection is absolute, if at times it is expedient to soften it for the audience of the moment.

At an anti abortion rally in Hyde Park in the mid 70s I heard a Labour MP on the podium. He said 'I voted for the 1967 Abortion act, I did not vote for 200,000 abortions a year.' The abortionists had a very good propaganda operation, they still do today.

As an atheist and sexual libertarian (please correct me if I am mistaken in this assessment) I would expect you to favour abortion on request on grounds such as those you have stated. Quite logical from your viewpoint. After all, we're just lumps of impure carbon on what A E Housman called 'a long fool's errand to the grave', experiencing the temporary delusion of consciousness in the interval between the big bang and the heat death of the universe, aren't we? May as well have as much fun as we can while we can, and little inconveniences like unplanned babies can just be vacuumed away as if they were a boil.

Of course, if there is a Creator to whom we are accountable and in Whose image we are made, its all very different.

I wonder if in 10 years we will hear an MP at a rally saying 'I voted for the 2017 Dying with Dignity Act, I did not vote for 200,000 old, disabled and mentally ill people a year being put down.'

Kind regards, I'm off to sell some apples at the Netley Autumn and Pumpkin Fayre and then Winchester Farmer's market tomorrow so won't be able to reply to any responses.

PS like many other anti abortion campaigners, I gave up in despair after the failure of the Alton bill, which left us with the most liberal abortion law in Europe. In the vote that gave that result, Margaret Thatcher stood next to Dennis Skinner in the voting line, apparently sharing a joke.

I remember Matthew Parris (who was of course her Parliamentary assistant for a time) was asked on a gay TV show 'Out on Tuesday' what Thatcher thought of 'the moral right' (cue doom laden voice). He said 'She doesn't like them, but she recognises their electoral importance.' Enough said.

12 October 2013 at 09:20  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Steve: "Abortion rights derive from the belief in sexual autonomy and a rejection of the idea of a just God in whose image we are made."

I think that's true, though incomplete. There's at least the ethics around the status of the foetus to include too, though I recognise the god thing covers one view of that.

"As an atheist and sexual libertarian (please correct me if I am mistaken in this assessment) I would expect you to favour abortion on request on grounds such as those you have stated."

Libertarian, yes. Libertine, no. I find that I'm pretty much with David Steel as described in one of those links above.

I don't think gender-selection is a good thing myself, and I think 18 weeks is rather late to be deciding whether a baby will be convenient.

"After all, we're just lumps of impure carbon on what A E Housman called 'a long fool's errand to the grave', experiencing the temporary delusion of consciousness in the interval between the big bang and the heat death of the universe, aren't we?"

No, we have personalities and subjective experiences, and I find our environment spectacularly beautiful. It's a recurring thing for some religious people, in particular those with a cold, hard, Calvinist-like view of life, to try to cast the experiences of those with a non-religious life in bleak terms. I reject that as self-satisfying and self-justifying guff.

"May as well have as much fun as we can while we can, and little inconveniences like unplanned babies can just be vacuumed away as if they were a boil."

As I said, I'm not a Libertine, or an advocate of such a lifestyle.

"Of course, if there is a Creator to whom we are accountable and in Whose image we are made, its all very different."

Well, yes. We proceed ethically from our assumptions, and that is quite an assumption it has to be said. For me, it's just a deus ex machine device in the historical narrative of our existence, writ large. Of course, I recognise that it suits others to have such a device to give their lives an over-arching structure where none may exist, and that they truly and honestly believe it after a while. I can see the outrage regarding abortion as evidence of that belief in comments when the topic comes up, and most of the time I can ignore the begging-the-question fallacies regarding the so-called murder of infants. Clearly it's a significant problem when a situation like abortion which requires an ethical response pulls in people who cannot agree on the very principles from which the arguments build.

12 October 2013 at 10:39  
Blogger Albert said...

Thank you Martin. It seems to me that what we need is a test-case. Many women have abortions, which they later regret, and suffer mental illness from. Presumably, all they need to prove was that it was never more harmful, mentally to them to have the abortion, and the killer can be prosecuted for an unlawful killing.

12 October 2013 at 10:48  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Steve: "I wonder if in 10 years we will hear an MP at a rally saying 'I voted for the 2017 Dying with Dignity Act, I did not vote for 200,000 old, disabled and mentally ill people a year being put down.'

I certainly hope not, expecially as I support the principle of assisted suicide myself. I reckon I would want that option if I ended up in Tony Nicklinson's situation.

12 October 2013 at 10:53  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

The problem with nature-nurture debates, well one of them, and ironically for this thread is that they generally ignore the 9 months that the child spends in the womb, when nature and nurture are, as never so much again, greatly intertwined, like a Venn diagram with a large intersect. Even afterwards decisions made- e.g. with the London taxi drivers who learn "the knowledge" affect nature for their brains undergo noticeable changes in one area; there is noticeable traffic between nature and nurture. You can, in a way, decide your own obsessions, and if anyone should come back with the idea that our body moves before the decision has been consciously made this was shown to be based on fallacious argument and understanding some years ago, and the whole area has moved on.

12 October 2013 at 14:00  
Blogger DanJ0 said...


12 October 2013 at 14:46  
Blogger Martin said...


I think, as I said, they realised that if the prosecutions went ahead most of the abortion clinics would be shut down.

14 October 2013 at 12:13  

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