The Guardian reports that all UK flour is to be fortified with folic acid. The measure is intended to reduce the risk of unborn children developing disabilities like spina bifida, or other conditions that can be fatal to the child. The newspaper cites a study that estimated 2,000 children would have been spared a disability between 1998 and 2015 if the government had mandated folic fortification of flour.
It is heartening to see the health and well-being of unborn children given the recognition that it deserves. The policy, which is reportedly to be introduced within weeks, is backed by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and the Royal College of Midwives, among others.
Yet, it is also the British Pregnancy Advisory Service who are leading a concerted campaign called “We Trust Women” which, along with many other consequences we think will happen, has the explicit intention of removing all legal limits to abortion, allowing abortion up to birth for any reason.
In other words, abortion on demand.
Common ground: The UK wants positive alternatives to abortion
At Life, we provide practical support to thousands of women every year who are considering abortion because they feel they have no other choice. Women like:
- Katie, who was thrown out of her house by her partner when she became pregnant. She had nowhere to go and no one to turn to … and she thought abortion was her only option
- Hayley, a sex worker and a drug addict … who was also pregnant with twins
- “J”, who was being sick 20 times a day as a result of her pregnancy, and reluctantly considering abortion because she felt no one cared …
Thanks to recent polling, we know that the idea of abortion on demand up to birth for any reason is an extreme view held by a tiny minority of the UK population. We know that 70 percent of women want to see the abortion time limit lowered. And we know that 84 percent of women want to see greater support for women in difficult pregnancies – support such as what we provide.
Can they not see?
We also believe that we have common ground with the UK population that organisations should be consistent in their positions.
This campaign to allow abortion up to birth – a procedure that ends the lives of unborn children – is led by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, and supported by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives – the exact same organisations supporting mandatory folic fortification, which is intended to improve the lives of unborn children.
On the one hand, the We Trust Women campaign say that society should allow women to make decisions about their own pregnancies – free of government intervention through laws – by which they mean that women should be free to have abortions up to birth.
But the organisations leading the We Trust Women campaign also believe that governments should intervene in women’s pregnancies by mandating folic fortification in a bid to reduce disabilities in unborn children.
Lesley Regan, current President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, compared the unborn child to a “bunion” in a national newspaper, but her organisation backs mandatory folic fortification to improve the health of so-called “bunions”.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service, leading the We Trust Women campaign, welcome the news that unborn children will be spared disability by mandatory folic fortification. Yet they and the entire abortion industry terminate more than 3,000 unborn children with disabilities every year – disabilities like Down Syndrome, cleft lip, or club foot. We thought that the UK left this attitude to disability behind already. And disabled people themselves consider this to be a lethal form of discrimination.
The reason for the confusion
The ideology driving the We Trust Women campaign – the ideology which causes these contradictory positions – is a radical notion of women’s autonomy and of what it means to be ‘free’.
They seem to believe that:
- A pregnant woman has a total right to do whatever she wants to her unborn child – including ending their life in the womb
- The government has no right to establish any legal protection whatsoever for the unborn child
- They believe that any decisions made by pregnant women are good if they are ‘chosen’, and they offer only one choice, which is abortion
But these beliefs stand counter to what a lot of people already know and believe, that:
- A pregnant woman, even if we agreed that women should be able access abortion, does not have a total right to do whatever she wants to her unborn child. There are limits
- Government legal sanctions on abortion protect women against medical malpractice
- It’s compassionate to care for both the woman and the unborn child, and we do this by offering positive alternatives to abortion
There is a better way. The Life way. We provide positive alternatives to abortion. Whether you agree that abortion is a good thing or not, we are sure you can agree that women should receive practical help so that they are not forced by circumstances into having an abortion when those circumstances could have been easily addressed. We are sure you can agree that abortion is a tragedy, while the We Trust Women campaign actively celebrates abortion by removing all limits on the procedure up to birth. We are sure you can agree that abortion should not be used as just another form of birth control, unlike Ann Furedi, the We Trust Women campaign director. We are sure you can agree that abortion on demand up to birth is not a step forwards for the country.
We are sure you can agree that all human life should be equal before the law. And that’s the principle that we are living out every day.
Discussion question: Where do you see common ground on abortion? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!