Thursday, March 17, 2005

Remember, women don't really have brains!

So Michael Howard (a Jewish dude) thinks the UK should lower the limit for abortions from 24 to 20 weeks. Some Catholic dudes agree with him. There is an article in the Independent called Abortion: The Facts. It talks about viability (the age from which a foetus can survive outside the womb) and about consciousness and the ability or otherwise of a foetus to feel pain. It doesn't mention the pain felt by the woman involved.

If people have religious reasons for not having abortions then that's fine. Those people shouldn't have abortions. Others have religious reasons for not eating pork or going to church every week. Bringing these things in as law seems a bit much. We can hardly jail all those who covet their neighbours wife can we? Poor Jeffrey Archer(!) would never get out of prison.

Secondly catholicism is a minor UK religion. It has six million UK adherents. There are another 36 million other Christians, 9 million stated Atheists, 1.6million Muslims and 390,000 Jedi Knights.

I don't like to see a load of over-bearing men passing laws about what women can and can't do to their bodies. I'd like to see some input into the debate from women who have had abortions (although due to the shame associated with abortion and the risk of death-threats from the inappropriately-named "pro-life" movement this is pretty unlikely). And I'd like to see real options given to women facing that decision. Quality benefit packages for single mothers, full-time specialist care available for disabled children, creche and child-care facilities, confidential advice available to women of any age concerned about pregnancy and free contraceptives widely available. The fact is that even small steps in any of those directions would do a lot more to cut abortion rates than the law change Mr Howard is proposing.

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