Wednesday 6 August 2008

BPAS is first winner of John Smeaton, SPUC director blog's George Orwell Prize

It was George Orwell who said: “Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” I cannot help feeling that this statement accurately describes the tactics used by the abortion lobby to promote their ideology among the general public. Over the forthcoming weeks, I will be awarding regular George Orwell Prizes to abortion promoters and/or providers who make the most misleading, euphemistic or blatantly dishonest statements.

There is no better place to begin than with the ugly reality of the abortion procedure itself. For a movement that claims to believe in a woman’s right to choose, the abortion lobby shows a distinct unwillingness to allow women to make an informed choice about abortion. I looked at materials put out by the Brook Advisory Service, BPAS, Marie Stopes, FPA and IPAS to see whether any of them had the courage and honesty to describe what actually happens during an abortion.

There are certain misleading words that are common to virtually all abortion providers when describing abortion, such as speaking of "the pregnancy" instead of unborn child, foetus, baby or embryo. For example, Marie Stopes claims that “gentle suction is used to remove the pregnancy from the uterus” when describing surgical abortion, FPA talks about “taking pills to expel the pregnancy” and BPAS, when describing a late term dilation and evacuation, states: “Forceps are used to remove the pregnancy.”

It takes very little knowledge of obstetrics and gynaecology to notice that the word "pregnancy" refers to (in the words of the Oxford English Dictionary) "the condition or period of being pregnant", not the unborn child whose life is ended in the womb by abortion. However, abortion providers do not seem to feel that women have a right to know this.

The other way abortion providers get around the inconvenient truth of abortion is to describe the unborn child as a mere "product", i.e. abortion removes "the products of conception" or to speak of the unborn child as though he or she were simply filling up space in the womb that it has no business to occupy. So we have BPAS describing manual vacuum aspiration in the following terms: “The uterus is emptied using a gentle manual or electric vacuum.” Emptied of what?

The runner-up for the George Orwell Prize this week is IPAS, the international abortion promoter, which uses virtually every euphemism possible in its literature; ‘uterine-evacuation procedures’ , ‘contents of the uterus', ‘products of conception’ etc. However, the overall winner is BPAS, which promises women who undergo a late abortion: “All tissue from abortion procedures is disposed of in a sensitive way. However, if you have specific wishes about the disposal of your fetal tissue, please discuss this with a member of staff before the procedure.”

When describing medical abortion between nine and 23 weeks, BPAS informs women: “The doctor will put a needle into the uterus and inject medicine to stop the fetal heart.” [ibid.] Medicine does not deliberately stop a beating heart. Maybe the word they were looking for is poison.

“Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."