Saturday, 28 February 2009

Abortion: there's no alternative according to British Government

In the British Government's dictionary "options" appears to mean "the complete lack of any other alternatives on offer" when it comes to abortion.

My thanks to Pauline Gateley for drawing my attention to a National Health Service webpage entitled: "Abortion: know your options" (complete with the perfectly-crafted image of the caring doctor pictured above). The sub-heading is "If you're pregnant and considering an abortion, here are some facts you need to know".

To "consider", according to my on-line dictionary, means "to think carefully about", whereas the Government's dictionary appears to define "considering" as "planning on" in the context of abortion. Judge for yourself:

The NHS webpage begins: "How do I get an abortion?". Then, with no reference whatsoever to counselling, never mind the possible alternatives to abortion, the government replies "Either your GP or a community contraceptive clinic can refer you for an abortion that’s free on the NHS ... Or if you’re a teenager, there are teenage drop-in clinics and Connexions centres that can put you in touch with the right services." It goes on to recommend the FPA, Brook Advisory Centres, the British Pregnancy Advisory Centres, and Marie Stopes - which have a record of making misleading, euphemistic or blatantly dishonest statements about what abortion involves or of denying the right of pro-life doctors to refuse to refer women to another doctor who will help them to get an abortion.

Under another headline "What are my options?" the government webpage continues: "It largely depends on how far into the pregnancy you are. A doctor can talk you through the different methods available" - Again, there's not the slightest reference to the option of keeping the baby. "Options" here means the different methods available for killing the baby.

The possibility that a mother-to-be might encounter a doctor who considers she has no grounds for abortion is, for the government, simply an obstacle to be overcome in favour of an abortion. The webpage reads: "A doctor may have moral objections to abortion, but if that’s the case they should refer you to another doctor who can help."

And just in case children are worried that their "option" for abortion might be hindered by a concerned parent, the Government says: " ... all information is kept confidential and nobody else will know about it, not even your partner or parents. You can also ask the hospital or clinic not to inform your GP. And if you’re under 16, your doctor doesn’t have to mention it to your parents".

At the very bottom of the webpage we read: "Can I get any counselling before or afterwards?" Note that the government's response takes it for granted that the only option being considered is abortion:

"Most abortion services offer counselling if you feel you need help with any worries or feelings you're having. It's normal to experience a range of emotions after an abortion, such as relief, sadness, happiness or feelings of loss. Each woman is unique. Ask your GP or family planning doctor, or ask the doctor at the hospital or clinic, to find out what support is available in your area."

As Pauline Gateley said to me - it's a disgrace. Why not write to your MP about it? Let me know what your MP says. The Government is pushing worried mothers-to-be, including young teenage girls, on to the abortion conveyor belt. Abortion is a tragedy in which a woman loses her child in a procedure which puts her health, both physical and mental, at risk. But any facts about abortion which might point in the direction of keeping the baby are being denied to women and young girls on an NHS abortion webpage insultingly headlined: " ... here are some facts you need to know".

For a paper on the effects of abortion, prepared by Southern Cross Bioethics Institute for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, , write to me at