Friday 11 July 2008

Frank Dobson's astonishing attitude to women and mothers-to-be

Mr Frank Dobson, a former Labour health secretary, made a revealing observation this week when expressing his support for pro-abortion amendments to the government's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. He said: "These amendments would make it easier for not very well informed women to have an abortion."

I asked Margaret Cuthill, a post-abortion counsellor of 20 years' experience, to comment on this and she writes: "The proposed amendments are tantamount to abandoning emotionally vulnerable women at a point of crisis in their lives.

"One amendment would allow the first pill in a chemical abortion to be administered in a doctor's surgery and the woman would then take the other pill at home. This is fraught with danger. The mother would be faced with going through a painful labour and with the possibility of an incomplete abortion. This could require surgery or heavy loss of blood, and could even lead to death. Ms Manon Jones, aged 18, from Caernarfon died after a doctor did not recognise the seriousness of the haemorrhage that the abortion drug had caused.

"Many chemical abortions are performed on girls and women aged under 26, often with their first pregnancy. Such young women will have no idea of what to expect and are not fully informed of the physical risks associated with this procedure. Others are faced with the psychological impact of giving birth to a small but perfectly formed baby.

"I recently had a call from a woman who had used drugs to kill her unborn child and then to cause a miscarriage. She had kept her 14-week baby's tiny body in her fridge for weeks after the abortion. She could not bear to part with it. She had been alone in her hospital room when the baby came away. She was devastated and still is. This lady is just one example of how psychologically damaging this type of abortion experience can be.

"This amendment to the bill presents a dark picture of back street abortion by another name. A woman in a crisis pregnancy, on her own, faces the trauma of the death of her child by her hand. Women deserve better than abortion as the answer to her crisis pregnancy.

"Mr Dobson says: 'These amendments would make it easier for not very well informed women to have an abortion.' Is he suggesting that we keep these women in ignorance? In his own ignorance, he has no idea of the effects of abortion. I would suggest that his concern is definitely not for the woman or her child but for a political agenda that lets down women in a crisis. Politicians like him seem to have no interest in finding out about the plight of women or their families. They seem just to go along with the abortion industry fundamentalists. Their propaganda is that abortion is good for women when, in fact, quite the reverse is true. I know this from the experience of my counselling work."