According to ComRes polls 72% of women want abortion governed by law (see here) and only 1% want the time limit raised, whilst 59% want it to be lowered to 16 weeks or below (see here). Despite that, some MPs (backed by BPAS and MSI, the main providers and financial beneficiaries of abortion in the UK) want to remove abortion from the oversight of the law, and ultimately remove all restrictions on it.
Despite, did I say? Or is it because people believe abortion needs to be more tightly regulated? Is this actually an attempt to use the law to try to change public opinion: to make abortion more respectable? Their use of the slogan #trustwomen seems bizarre, given that they are campaigning against what the majority of women want. They are also using the label ‘de-criminalisation’ to sanitise their campaign. Yet one thing is quite clear: this is not about reducing the number of women – or doctors – who face criminal proceedings arising from the abortion laws: the number is tiny.
The reality is that they want to remove abortion from legal oversight: then there would be no awkward statistics available, pointing out the numbers of unborn children terminated for having a disability. There would be no possibility of tracking the growth of sex-selective abortions (which heavily target girls, of course). BPAS and MSI would be able to set their own rules with the help of complicit friends in senior positions in the Royal Colleges (notice how many of them have backed the ‘de-criminilisation’campaign without consulting their membership).
The sheer nerve of the proposal is extraordinary, given the role of abortion in helping the notorious grooming gangs to continue their abuse: many minors were taken for abortions, no questions were asked, and they were returned to their abusers, as the serious case reviews have made clear. Add to that, the appalling record MSI in particular has: paying incentives to staff to persuade women to have abortions; being suspended for poor practice by the regulatory authority – no wonder they want to be free from scrutiny!
So don’t be taken in by the rhetoric of the campaign: what BPAS and MSI want is the freedom to offer abortion on demand, for any reason, with no oversight and no reporting requirements. And our job in the short term is to ensure that they don’t get what they want. That is why Life is focusing on its Stop Abortion On Demand campaign, about which you will hear a lot more.