Apparently the beginning of the end for morality in the west. An advert for a clinic which provides family planning services including abortion which will be aired for the first time on Channel Four today. I've done about four radio and TV interviews on this one. One was a frankly terrifying one for Russia Today where they balanced me on the railings of a boat on the Thames and then randomly announced I would be arguing with a guy from the BNP...
Last night however was more rage-inducing than that. I agreed to go on BBC Five Live's Stephen Nolan show (which I do a lot). My opponent Bernie Smith from Precious Life just ranted about the sanctity of life, about the (false) idea that abortion leads to neverending mental health problems and all the rest.
It all got a bit shouty and then right at then end some really suspicious guy rang in and insisted that he worked for the Samaritans and was forever inundated with calls from women regretting their abortion after realising the "truth" about the sanctity of life. I asked him how often he had calls from women in crisis pregnancy worried about what to do next and he had no answer, he just ignored the question and carried on shouting about the sanctity of life.
Of course this is the trouble with talk radio, it's all very well when people ring in with their opinions but when people ring in claiming to have had a very specific experience (unsurprisingly one that backs up their extreme opinion) it takes a very very well-informed presenter and production team to make a judgement call on whether that's adding to the debate or twisting it.
Stephen Nolan and his team decided the way to deal with it was to - well - let me deal with it... You can listen to the whole thing by clicking here and choosing "listen now", and my part starts about 1h10 minutes in. I advise not taking a big mouthful of coffee though just before Bernie Smith starts talking or you may damage your monitor!