The BBC last night broadcast its widely trailed programme Abortion on Trial. Presenter Anne Robinson had spoken before the broadcast of how having an abortion in the sixties had caused “a terrible black doom” to come over her, which had led some to believe that the programme would be a serious attempt to examine the impact of the Abortion Act and the consequences of abortion for women.
However, the programme has been condemned as being little more than propaganda for the abortion industry and a open push for the decriminalisation agenda. Reviews of the programme have pointed out that there was no impartial consideration of the subject: The Daily Telegraph said: “Ultimately, abortion wasn’t really ‘on trial’ here at all; this lot were far too immersed in their own experiences to be considered impartial judges or jurors.”
The programme chose a group of post-abortive women together with one man, whose partner had aborted his child against his will. Despite the programme being billed as balanced, only two of the nine participants described themselves as pro-life. The guests invited to talk to the group included Lord David Steel, who brought in the 1976 Act, and Diane Munday, one of main activists behind it, but no pro-life campaigners. Despite the programme being aired on the publicly funded BBC, it ended with an explicit appeal by Anne Robinson to change the law with regards to home abortions.
Dr Anthony McCarthy, SPUC’s Education and Communications director, commented on the programme, saying: “Group members were continually patronised by Robinson who then pressed the group to achieve a false ‘consensus’ on decriminalised abortion, home abortions and effectively abortion on demand. In other words the entire agenda of the abortion industry promoted through the mouths of badly-informed grieving post-abortive women. No footage of the developing unborn child was shown or any serious medical description given of what abortion involves as a procedure. In other words, no relevant information was given to group members.
“Empathy for women is not only compatible with absolute opposition to abortion but strongly linked to it. Sadly Anne Robinson, instead of showing true empathy for her guests, manufactured a ‘consensus’ and toasted it with champagne. It appears, though, that the women were not given the counselling some of them wanted and needed.”
The truth about abortion
Despite its obvious bias, at times it was impossible for the true nature of abortion to be hidden. Several of the women described the horrific physical pain of a medical abortion, and having to see the dead baby. One participant said: “I wish someone had told me I would see the product of the pregnancy”, while another described passing the baby in the shower. The issues of gender selective abortion, the rights of the father, and abortion for disabilities such as Down’s syndrome were also raised.
Anne Robinson also stated that decriminalisation would mean abortion without time limits, which is usually denied by the abortion lobby. The polling the BBC commissioned for the programme found that more of the public (39%) favour keeping abortion within the criminal law than those advocating decriminalisation (34%) but this was not mentioned in the programme.
Manipulating vulnerable women
Margaret Cuthill, who founded the Abortion Recovery Care and Helpline said: “Vulnerable women in an unplanned pregnancy are being seriously manipulated by the abortion industry in the UK. This programme was not about looking at how abortion has damaged women or the real failings within the 1967 Act, it was a blatant attack to remove what protections are on law at the moment.
“As an abortion recovery counsellor of many years what I saw in those sharing their experience was the unresolved emotional pain that had taken them to justifying the death of their children by denial. This includes Anne Robinson, who stated she had not looked at her pain. Tell the full story stop lying to mothers that their children are disposable!”
If you would like to complain to the BBC about this programme, you can phone on 03700 100 222* or 03700 100 212* (textphone) *24 hours, charged as 01/02 geographic numbers Or you can post to BBC Complaints, PO Box 1922, Darlington, DL3 0UR.
If you or anyone you know is suffering after an abortion call the Abortion Recovery Care and Helpline on 0845 603 8501.