Saturday, January 18, 2020

If I shout loud enough, I can't hear you

Given how far back they have fallen, the current Labour party leadership contest may be the most pointless exercise in democracy since the last Russian election. (I hope it isn't, Boris Johnson is as slippery as an eel thats been soaped, oiled and taken a PhD in slipperiness.) It's also proving to be yet another illustration of how the British left does dog whistle politics. Tolerance and inclusivity yay, but as Tim Farron discovered, woe betide you if your personal views diverge from the current progressive orthodoxy.

Rebecca Long-Bailey is now discovering the same thing, for having the independence of mind to question the law which currently allows terminating a pregnancy at 38 weeks (or ending the life of an unborn baby - we don't have a way of describing this that isn't already morally loaded) for reasons of serious disability. The pushback includes a campaign (successful) to get every leadership candidate signed up to a pledge to deregulate abortion still further, which categorises attempts to present alternative views as misogyny and hate crime.

Maybe I'm a conservative dinosaur, but I'd be deeply uncomfortable with any political context which treated the ending of human life, at whatever stage, as a settled issue. If we're going to wave around phrases like 'right to choose', lets at least look deeply into what we mean by them. If the right to choose is a fundamental principle, rather than just a slogan, then it can bear investigation and robust debate. Indeed, investigation and robust debate might succeed in carrying more people with it, and creating more of a consensus, than using it to shut debate down.

1 comment:

  1. In total there were 205,295 abortions in England and Wales in 2018 (2019 figures not available yet). Abortions after 24 weeks are rare, 289 (or 0.1% of the total). Not all of them will be Ground E abortions, there are a very small number of Ground F (to save the life of the mother) and Ground G (prevention of grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the mother), these are likely to be post 20 weeks but there were only 28 such abortions.

    According to the BMA, the guidelines for Ground E abortions are for cases where the fetus is likely to die in utero, during the delivery process or shortly afterwards. They believe that it would be inhumane to force a woman to carry such a pregnancy to term when it is known that the fetus will not survive. It is also to be noted that abortions under Ground E are 12 times more likely where the mother is over 35 than under 20.

    I understand wishing that there was no such thing as abortions. But assuming your God exists, your God has already decided that these babies will die. As humans all we can do is make the passing as humane and painless as possible. I'm still going to vote for RLB, but she's wrong on this one.