Abortion: A Civilized Society Does Not Demand the Right to Kill Its Most Vulnerable Citizens

Opinion   |   Jean Stephenson   |   Sep 13, 2016   |   7:17PM   |   Washington, DC

Ann Furedi; CEO of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas) has once again been given space by an abortion supporting media to push for the legalisation of abortion in Ireland.  Ms Furedi continues to promote abortion as a ‘women’s rights’ issue with total disregard to an, even more, basic right:

The right to life, for without this right, there is no basis for any other right, including ‘women’s rights’.  She also conveniently overlooks
the fact that the other side of the ‘rights coin’ is ‘responsibility’ – You can’t demand rights without being prepared to accept the consequences that
are an often overlooked, inconvenient part of ‘rights’.  In the case of the so-called ‘right to abortion’, there is a conflict between rights
and the responsibility not to harm another person while exercising ‘her rights’; in this case, her own pre-born child.

Surely the fundamental role of any government is to make laws that protect the innocent and the most vulnerable members of society?  That is why abortion is illegal in Ireland and why we seek the return of protection of pre-born children in the UK.

Ms Furedi does not deny that a human life is killed in an abortion; she simply subjectively decides to deny the pre-born equal value to born people.
Historically, this is how past injustices have been accepted: make a subjective argument that some humans are less equal or less valuable than other

“We couldn’t allow abortion if we accepted that foetal life had the same degree of value as born human life, and I don’t believe that it does … We can accept that the embryo is a living thing in the fact that it has a beating heart, that it has its own genetic system within it. It’s clearly human in the sense that it’s not a gerbil, and we can recognise that it is human life. The point is not when does human life begin, but when does it actually start to matter”*

So, some thoughts on Ann Furedi’s latest regurgitation of her opinions on abortion as a right’s issue.  The article link is here.

In her first paragraph, Ms Furedi suggests that a civilised society would not make it illegal for a woman to have her unborn child aborted
(killed) as this is against her bodily autonomy.  May I suggest to her that a society that legalises killing its youngest, most vulnerable children
is not a civilised society?

In the paragraphs that follow, she continues to bewail the fact that there are still silly restrictions in England that make it harder for a woman to have
an abortion.  With close to 200,000 abortions annually in England and Wales, I would venture to say that the 1967 Abortion Act is very liberally
interpreted as it is.  The thinking at the time was to make abortion ‘safe, legal and rare’.  Circa 200,000 abortions a year is not by any
stretch of the imagination ‘rare’ and the figures from the Department of Health show an increase of repeat abortions, which, for 2015, were 38%. As
for ‘safe’, well never for the baby, and the fact that there are always risks to a woman’s physical and mental health, are significantly downplayed.

As noted above in a statement made at the ‘Battle for Ideas debate’, Ms Furedi opines:

“The point is not when does human life begin, but when does it actually begin to matter”. 

We see from her blog in the Huffington Post. If a woman is seeking an abortion, the human life she carries does not have any value at all, the child is
completely missing in this piece, it is all about huffing and puffing over how hard it is for women to abort their ‘pregnancies’.

Note to Ms Furedi: To be pregnant is to be ‘with child’.  Yes, I know you prefer the term fetus for the developing baby, but fetus is simply the Latin
word meaning ‘(human) offspring’, or ‘little one’. They are not the euphemisms women tell us they are fobbed off with, like ‘blobs of tissue’, just
a bunch of cells’, or ‘uterine contents’…

Ms Furedi next shares her belief that Irish women’s bodily autonomy should not be bound by Irish law; a law that gives equal value and protection to women and their babies.

Now Ms Furedi wants to be an accessory to Irish women breaking their country’s law by setting up a ‘help line’ to offer advice to women who order abortion pills online.

Lastly, Ms Furedi says:

“It’s a travesty of justice and a moral abhorrence to impose pregnancy on a woman against her will.”

What a truly ridiculous thing to say! No one is imposing pregnancy on a woman who is already pregnant. How can you impose pregnancy on a pregnant woman?

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That does not even make sense. Of course what she really means is that it is a travesty and moral abhorrence not to legally allow and facilitate a
woman to have her unborn child killed. If he or she is ‘not wanted’, well, as she says “The point is not when does human life begin, but when does it actually start to matter”. That, in fact, is the travesty of justice: that Ann Furedi does not assign any rights at all to the child while in utero; his or her most basic human right; the right to life and not to be killed is dismissed as ‘life that does not matter’.

One last thought: the title of Ms Furedi’s blog in the Huffington Post:

‘Governments Can’t Stop Abortion – We Can Help Make It Safe’

Really?  With that argument, we may as well throw out laws that criminalise robbery, GBH, rape, speeding, tax evasion, as, despite the fact that
governments attempt to stop such activities with laws, they still happen.  Should the government just make it safer for people who choose
to do these things?

*Ann Furedi, “Abortion: A Civilised Debate,” Battle of Ideas festival (London, England, 2008), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLJK88QObrI,
retrieved 12 November 2015