Nadine explains, a bit

May 19th, 2008 § 0 comments

Extracts from an interview in the Guardian with Nadine Dorries MP that help to show her attitudes and the way she has approached this whole abortion debate:

When I ask what result she is expecting, she forcefully replies: “a win. Well over 200 MPs are supporting it.” Most significantly, David Cameron is among them.

Because Dave is such an expert on all things feotus.

“almost all doctors performing late abortions in the UK, in British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) clinics, are from overseas”

Really? I do not know how to check this, but I seriously doubt it. Or is it like with a lot of industries and the immigrant is only good for the shitty cleaning up jobs. And what significance does it have anyway? What are you implying?

Many of her main points hinge on viability; so, for example, she mentions baldly that there have been “high-profile cases of babies surviving well below 24 weeks”, which is true, but a) is arguing on the basis of highly unusual cases (a recent report found that of those born at 23 weeks, fewer than 10% left hospital and many were severely impaired), and b) isn’t the point of this debate.

Exactly, Kira [Cochrane, the interviewer]. Just search Unitys’ Ministry of Truth for several posts on this.

I ask Dorries why she thinks that the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the Royal College of Nursing and the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee support the current limit, and she immediately unleashes a rant about the way in which the BMA reached their decision, saying that doctors weren’t given a proper chance to vote for a reduction. I call the BMA, whose spokesperson reads out the motion from their annual conference in 2005: “this meeting holds that the upper limit for legal abortion should be reduced in the light of new evidence of foetal developments and advances in neonatal care”. That motion was roundly rejected.

‘Nuff said.

she emphasises to me that she is neither pro-choice nor anti-abortion, yet my suspicions are raised when she refers to a late-term abortion that she recently observed as “murder” and refers to abortion in general as “taking a life” (when I challenge her on this she says that she meant “taking a potential life, a life, or a potential life”). As our conversation continues I begin to find her position more and more disturbing. Does she really support abortion up to 13 weeks, or nine weeks, whichever it is? Or does she see abortion as morally abhorrent – “taking a life” – under any circumstances? I’m none the wiser.

Neither are we.

comments such as this, from Dorries’ campaign, that “babies are now undergoing surgery in the womb under 24 weeks”. That sounds great, I’m very glad about it – it is also completely irrelevant.

If they are undergoing surgery, then they are a) fit enough to withstand the surgery and b) not going to be aborted. Lovely misdirection there.

Dorries tells me that she has spoken to about 200 women who have had abortions (as a side note, she says that every single one “felt that she was coerced by somebody into her abortion, whether it was a partner, a parent, a teacher”, which is unlike the experience of anyone I’ve ever known), and so I am surprised by her reply when I ask how many women she has spoken to who have had late-term abortions. “I haven’t spoken to that many,” she says, “apart from on radio chat shows, that kind of thing”.

So, partners, parent and teachers. That’s pretty much covers everyone, wouldn’t you say? Are we all part of the ‘Abortion Industry’? Is it a commission based pay scheme?
Back to you Kira.

It’s a shame she didn’t talk to more women who have had late-term abortions – if you had tabled an amendment which could significantly change the course of someone’s life, wouldn’t you seek out the stories of those it would affect?

Many of those who have late-term abortions are the most vulnerable: teenagers who didn’t realise that they were pregnant until five months’ gestation; women with learning disabilities; those using methadone in drug rehabilitation programmes, which puts a halt to your periods. Women like the one I read of recently, whose partner started beating her up when she became pregnant, and who feared she would never be able to escape him if she had his baby. (In more than 30% of domestic violence cases, the abuse started during pregnancy.) Women who have suffered a severely traumatic episode – the death of a partner, or a child, for instance – who fear that the stress might affect foetal development. The BPAS has just published a 28-day audit of late-term abortion requests, to be distributed to MPs. The stories include that of a woman with two small daughters from a previous marriage, who had an unplanned pregnancy with her current partner, which he urged her to continue. She then found out that he was abusing her daughters

When I ask Dorries why she thinks women have late-term abortions, she boils it down to “procrastination … when someone goes past a 12-week barrier and they’re still thinking about whether they’re going to or not, there seems to be an element of procrastination that comes into that.

This next bit is a corker…

“Everyone looks on terminations as this life-liberating thing that women go through,” she says. I ask who has described abortion specifically as “life-liberating” to her, and she says “Oh God, well, a lot of the pro-choicers who I argue with do. They say, ‘Get your hands out of my uterus, women have fought for this liberation for years’.”

Well, it is ‘life-liberating’ if you’re one of the women in a situation mentioned above. But I would propose that ‘life-liberating’ is a wrong phrase for it. I would’ve thought it is meant not in a way that £2 million is liberating, but more like the the liberation that follows the words “Not Guilty”.
And seeing as Nadine has brought in feminism…

“I don’t even know what feminism is, to be honest with you. You know; what is it now? We’re in a post-feminist age: what has been achieved for women now? We’re still not on equal pay, in many areas of life.” But we’re much further towards equal pay than we’ve ever been. “Possibly, possibly,” she says, clearly unconvinced. “Would we have been anyway though, now that we have so many more women getting into senior positions?”

Fucking great, ain’t she?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What's this?

You are currently reading Nadine explains, a bit at Sim-O.