Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Abortion - lets have the debate

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O Connor was quite right in suggesting that abortion is a legitimate topic for debate in the next election. It is grotesque that we allow healthy babies to be aborted at 24 weeks when they could survive if born prematurely.

We should also be told what came of the enquiry into the British Pregnancy Advisory Service. Back in September they were caught by an undercover journalist advising women on how to get abortions at 25 weeks.

The BPAS continue to recieve large amounts of public money every year.


Blogger Claire Smalley said...

Abortions have been going on for hundreds of years and will continue to happen no matter what. Surly you should exsept that to have it legalised insures the safty of women affected to have them operated my trained doctors rather then butchers.

Surely all an abortion debate boils down to is one side saying it's murder and the other aboout women's rights. Neither side will agree with each other and no one will really change their views. And just as much focus should be played on people letting out on how to get an illegal abortion as some pro-life campaigners who torment vunerable pregnant women seeking advice.

Why is this relevant to the General election?

4:10 AM  
Blogger David Davies AM said...

Firstly I don’t like the idea of abortion and I can see the practical problems of a complete ban. However the current limit of 24 weeks is unjustifiable when babies of 22 weeks can be born prematurely and survive.

Surely a reduction to 20 weeks whilst further studies are undertaken would be reasonable.

I do not accept this is about women's rights. Women don't have the right to kill their babies after birth so why should they have that right before birth.

A baby doesn't undergo some miraculous physical change from inert being to human being on the short journey along the birth canal so why should his/her rights not be respected in the womb?

As for the "it has gone on for hundreds of years so we mustn't criminalise those who do it" I really cannot accept this at all.

Amnesty International is currently running a campaign to point out that many women continue to be the victims of domestic violence. No doubt this has also been the case for hundreds of years but that doesn't stop us from passing laws to try and prevent it.

I do agree with you that pro life campaigners should not target the vulnerable women who seek abortions. They should keep their sights on the politicians who make the laws and organisations which offer advice on how to get around those laws.

In answer to your last question I ask another question - why is any issue relevant to a General Election? Surely the public, including religious leaders have the right to raise any issues they choose with those who make the laws.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Claire Smalley said...

How many abortions happen after 12 weeks? if memory serves it's only a few percent and most of thoose are done for drastic reasons (normally medical).

Most women who have abortions do not enter into it light heartenly, and surely you using language like calling a foetus a baby is implying that women who had abortions are murderers when surely they are making a difficult decision about what to do for the rest of thier life

maybe you should read what happened to women who wanted an abortion before it was legalised before making comments. Surely you saying your ethnical view which is not the same as everyone's and trying to impose it without understanding the impact

And as for your last comments politics and religion should not mix. Surely imposing your relegious views upon people are just as wrong as the right right relious extremists.

3:44 PM  
Blogger AnthroPax said...

Are you a Monmouthshire person Claire? just pondering as you're posting

9:11 AM  
Blogger David Davies AM said...

Let me take each of your paragraphs in turn:

Firstly around 13% of the 187000 abortions carried out each year take place after 13 weeks according to a pro abortion website. http://www.abortionrights.org.uk

13% of 187,000 is a lot. However the implication of your point is that you believe it is a good thing that most abortions take place before 13 weeks. You do not argue that it is irrelevant how late in the pregnancy the abortion takes place so presumably, at some level, you also have some concerns about the process.

To take your second and third paragraphs, I accept that women do not generally go into this light heartedly although I do not agree that it is being over emotive to refer to a foetus as a "baby."

A foetus which leaves the birth canal prematurely, at say 22 weeks, is a baby which doctors will try to, and often succeed in saving.

Why is it not a baby if it remains inside the womb?

Asking me to read about what happened to women who underwent illegal abortions is definitely being emotive. I could just as easily suggest you look at a new born baby and think what it would be like to make it undergo the procedure of "foeticide" which is used in late terminations.

Finally this is not a case of imposing my religious views on anyone. My own Church has actually been shamefully quiet on this matter, in marked contrast to the comments from the Roman Catholic Church and Jewish and Muslims faiths.

I also support Amnesty International's campaign to prevent domestic violence against women. I do not see this as "imposing my religious beliefs on wife beaters" nor do I worry about "criminalising those who are only doing something which has gone on for hundreds of years" to slightly change some of your arguments. It is a simple matter of right and wrong.

4:07 PM  
Blogger Claire Smalley said...

You said in an earlier post that you don't have a probleams with religion but just with certain groups who "pretend" to represent them. How is this any different?

And how many of abortions happen after 22 weeks (when it can survive outside the womb)? According to the same web site less then 1% and again most of them for medical reasons so we are talking about very small numbers indead

So why are the conservative focusing on a procedure that rarely happens instead of issues like education, tax, etc which will effect more people and are imporant in a General election

I'm not from Monmouthshire I came accross this blog by accident and annoying tories is a pertitually favourate hobby of mine.

4:55 PM  
Blogger AnthroPax said...

Why doesn't David highlight his blog in The Beacon (Monmouth local paper)? And if we are to bring faith in, how can a Christian support the pulling out from the 1951 European Refugee Canvention? Or indeed be a Tory?

12:30 AM  
Blogger Claire Smalley said...

I believe we enjoy the same hobby and I think Mr Davies is trying to take the high ground neaver mind

12:54 AM  
Blogger David Davies AM said...

I think in the earlier post, in response to a comment from somebody else (anthropax?) I stated that I had no problem with minorities only with some of the groups who claim to represent them. It was a separate argument.

I cannot put my finger on the statistics but I think slightly over 1% of abortions take place after 22 weeks – 1.7% rings a bell but I stand to be corrected. Let us work on your figure of 1% and for the sake of argument assume that half of those take place because of a threat to the mothers life.

That still means 935 abortions take place needlessly each year at a time when the baby/ foetus could survive if born prematurely. In my view that is horrifying.

The Conservative Party are not focusing on this at all, Michael Howard was asked his view to which he gave a straight answer – as did Tony Blair.

I am sorry to disapoint you but you are not annoying me at all. Unlike supporters of New Labour I do not expect everyone to agree with me on everything and I am delighted to take part in debate.

To Anthropax I would point out that my website, from which the blog is accessed, is advertised every week in the Beacon. Your other point deviates completely from this thread so I think I will deal with that in a separate blog.

1:43 AM  
Blogger AnthroPax said...

Why not simply place the address of your blog in your advert (great photo by the way), allowing your devoted public to see your personal musings. It would also highlight the whole idea of blogs, and a few more may crop up in the Monmouth area. A good thing surely?

8:49 AM  
Blogger RubberRing said...

David Davies, if you can't tell the difference between a baby inside the womb and one outside it, you can't tell the difference between a woman and an incubator. And that's hardly a great position from which to talk about human rights.

10:54 AM  
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