Tuesday, July 17, 2018

"Better abortion laws" - but for whom?

Last Saturday I heard Noelle McCarthy, filling in for Kim Hill on her Saturday morning radio show, interview the American abortion careerist Dr Patricia Lohr, who runs Britain’s Pregnancy Advisory Service. (Actually, judging by the interview, that’s a misnomer: if they were honest, they would call it the Abortion Advisory Service, or perhaps the Pregnancy Termination Service).

It was less an interview than an empathising session, since McCarthy and Lohr were clearly of one mind, whether welcoming the “inspirational” result of the recent Irish referendum on abortion or lamenting the obstacles women wanting an abortion are still said to face because …. well, actually, because society views the termination of a life, even in the womb, as a pretty serious matter, although anyone hoping this “interview” might explore some of the profound moral questions around abortion would have been sorely disappointed.  McCarthy and Lohr gave the impression the only moral right in play here is women’s right to have a pregnancy terminated without delay and preferably with no questions asked. I’m surprised no one has proposed drive-in abortion clinics; 10 minutes, no waiting. Perhaps they have.

What struck me most while listening to McCarthy and Lohr is that in a 28-minute discussion about abortion, they somehow managed to avoid a single reference to the word “baby” or even “foetus”. The abortion debate has evidently been so totally captured by feminist ideology, and so successfully framed as solely an issue of women’s rights, that the unborn baby is not only not at the centre of the procedure, but has been erased from the picture altogether. How convenient. Excluding the baby from the conversation neatly gets around messy questions about the morality of extinguishing a human life.

The closest Lohr got to mentioning babies was when she spoke of women “passing the pregnancy” (I think she meant "getting rid of the baby") at home. This is another euphemism that neatly dehumanises the foetus - anything to avoid acknowledging the awkward truth and ease the conscience of those carrying out the procedure.

If you check out the Radio New Zealand website, you’ll see the interview is headlined “Better abortion laws”. But better for whom? Certainly not the unborn child.


Ricardo said...

I can't bring myself to chant in triumph or exult in some great leap forward in human progress when the truth is that around 12,000 New Zealand life stories are never written every year; stories of life and love (heterosexual, homosexual, platonic and all the rest), triumph and failure, adventure and ennui, happiness and grief. All lost before they could even be written.

My unmarried and apparently carefree mother put me out for adoption shortly after I was born. I have since lived a full and rich life with loving parents. I am grateful the abortion laws in the 1950s protected me and let me live. If they had not, my story would not exist, nor that of my children and my grandchildren.


Hilary Taylor said...

Yes, I heard it. The moment I wanted McCarthy to 'explore' was the comment about late-term terminations...as if this was of no particular matter EXCEPT for the more complicated clinical issues that arise. Hmm. Loathe euphemism...abortion on-demand is what they seek. Just say it.

Roger Armstrong said...

Im not sure how this advanced human society we belong to became so careless with human life. I guess it helps to look at what you are taking out as a polyp rather than a nascent human being.