Mildly encouraged by the bill going forward in parliament next year – although I expect that we’ll see more belligerent statements from church leaders and the anti-abortion crew before then (who I refuse to call pro-life because, let’s face it, life seems to be the least of their concerns).
The idea that women will no longer need two doctors to sign off on abortions is very welcome and should have the knock-on effect that more women will manage to fall under the 12 week mark. Similarly that some of these early terminations could be finished in the woman’s own home, thus easing the burden on hospitals and making the whole thing less traumatic for the individual.
However, not so encouraged by Rowan Williams’ rant against women who have abortions, all of whom apparently see the whole thing as part of everyday contraceptive plans. Yeah, you know what Rowan? Noticed that myself. My friends and I *always* talk about how our contraceptive plans consist solely of abortions. In fact, we spend so much time having them, we barely have time to conceive.
These comments always seem so patronising because they assume that women are stupid. The abortion rate has gone up, not because more women are exercising their right to decide what happens to their own body and taking action earlier and earlier in the process, but because we all can’t work out how to use condoms, oral contraceptives and so forth. The fact that the NHS is getting better at informing women of their choices means nothing.
Rather than penalising women who want to get abortions and representing them as misinformed, why not campaign to increase education on contraception in schools? A friend of mine who has just started university rang me up to ask how one went about getting the contraceptive pill and how much it cost. Thank goodness she had someone to ask! Can you imagine how many young women out there just don’t know and are too embarrassed to bring it up? Then again, according to the church we really can’t do that, because that would be promoting sex.
So, let’s just hate women and blame them for being uninformed and refuse to tell them anything useful. That sounds rational. Well done!