As expected, the most recent Report on abortion statistics from the British Department of Health has provoked comments from a number of high profile abortion providers. Their reaction is predictable and does nothing for women or their babies.
While pro-life campaigners in Britain have reason to welcome the news that the overall abortion rate in England and Wales has fallen to its lowest level for 16 years, this trend has been overlooked by groups like the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), which supports abortion without restriction.
Instead of welcoming the fall in numbers, the BPAS chose instead to highlight the fact that the number of women aged between 25 and 29 having abortions has risen slightly in the last 10 years. This, they contend, can be attributed to a “career girl” effect. Women between 25 and 29 are focussing on their careers, or so the BPAS claims, and for this reason the idea of motherhood doesn’t appeal. Using language that is designed to further avoid discussing what actually takes place during an abortion, the BPAS comments refer to the fact that women in this age bracket have abortions so that they can “postpone motherhood until they feel in the position to become a parent.”
The Chief Executive of BPAS, Ann Furedi, also talked about repeat abortions noting that in her opinion “there is no right or wrong number of abortions, simply that any woman who needs an abortion is able to obtain one.”
It’s important to put these comments in the wider context of the abortion debate. The BPAS supports making abortion available for the full 9 months of pregnancy. Its campaign completely ignores the humanity of the unborn child, who can have his or her life ended for any reason – and these latest comments would suggest that the BPAS considers focussing on a career to be sufficient grounds for an abortion. The fact that the BPAS refuses to accept that there is something wrong with the concept of women undergoing two, three or even four abortions is very worrying.
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There is scant regard too, for the many women who undergo abortion and suffer emotional trauma in the aftermath. As with most abortion providers, we do not hear concern from the BPAS for those women suffering from negative post-abortion symptoms.
Women who are in real pain and regret are not actively encouraged to tell their story. Why don’t they believe in encouraging women to speak freely about the impact abortion has had on them afterwards?
From the Irish perspective, we have good reason to be concerned at the careless attitude shown by the BPAS when it comes to women’s health. Following the passing of the Irish Government’s disgraceful abortion law last year, the BPAS ran an advertisement for its services in the Irish Times newspaper. At that time, the BPAS described abortion as “healthcare” and this false claim is contained in every statement that it issues on abortion. It is misleading in the extreme to describe abortion as healthcare. Healthcare aims to save lives, not end them.
In its latest comments, the BPAS once again says that we should “stop politicising abortion and accept that it is a standard part of women’s healthcare.”
This ignores the basic biological fact that a human life is ended in every abortion, and it has no standing whatsoever in a country like Ireland. Before abortion was introduced to Ireland, it ranked as a world leader in protecting the lives of pregnant women and had a better maternal safety record than Britain where abortion is legal on request.
It is a sad indictment of society that groups like the BPAS feel free to comment on abortion statistics in a way which tries to increase the availability of abortion, rather than work towards bringing those figures down and restoring the respect which is due to every human being.