It seems there are a lot of bored people in London at the moment. High unemployment rates, low disposable incomes and an overwhelming desire to use religion to oppress women has led to a campaign called 40 Days for Life.
The basic premise of the campaign is to bully, intimidate and guilt vulnerable women in the hope of preventing them from having abortions. Or “pray for life” as the campaign tactic is more positively called by the group.
40 Days for Life isn’t a new thing, in fact it has been held annually in the United States since 2007. What a shocker that this would have started in the United States. It’s no wonder such groups are able to grow in a country with such a strong religious right. Thank goodness we live in the UK, right? Our laws are governed by public opinion, ethics and... oh hold on, the church do seem to get involved a bit don’t they?
The Abortion Act was introduced in 1967, so why is abortion suddenly getting so much attention? You may have seen in the news earlier this year that Diane Abbott MP resigned from a cross party group set up to tackle the issue of abortion counselling. Ms Abbott said the group was a front, and that she was in no doubt that the Government was looking to outlaw abortion. In fact there have been various news stories that have raised alarm bells for pro-choice organisations.
With abortion back on the political agenda, the crazies have come to make themselves heard. Armed with images of aborted fetuses (shocking only because they resemble us, and not because it is an indication of sentience, consciousness or the ability to feel pain), misinformation and shock tactics (did you know that a third of women go on to suffer cancer as a direct result of an abortion? No, me neither) these campaigners are lobbying parliament to outlaw abortion, and they’re targeting vulnerable women in the hope of dissuading them from having abortions.
There have been protests outside clinics in London, Manchester, Brighton and Birmingham. In the US, 40 Days for Life have proudly announced that they have so far saved 274 babies. So, 274 women felt so intimidated by the tactics used by this group, that they did not enter the clinic. This is incredibly disturbing. The law states that women should be fully informed about all their options, so it is safe to assume women have considered the situation in full before attending the clinic that day. They certainly don’t need to be met at the clinic gates by a gaggle of judgemental assholes hiding behind religion as a way to force their agenda upon the world.
Most people support a woman’s right to choose, and this has been proven repeatedly by various polls. Most people believe that abortion should be legal, and that women should have access to abortion services should they wish to end their pregnancy.
Nobody, despite what 40 Days for Life will tell you, is pro-abortion. You can be pro-choice, but not pro-abortion. Unfortunately the anti-choice lobby are getting a lot of press at the moment - because we all love a good news story about the extremists, the bizarre and the downright crazy.
It’s important to make your voice heard too. Break the silence around abortion by adding your support to The Pro-choice Majority. It’s not a donation, and they won’t ever contact you (unless you ask them to), it’s just a way for them to show the Government, and society, that the majority of people support a woman’s right to choose.