Sunday, January 01, 2012

Conscience Choice

Interesting blog post from Labour MP Kerry McCarthy about parliamentary votes that are generally unwhipped on the grounds that they constitute "votes of consciousness". I have added a comment which may make it through moderation but just in case here are my thoughts:

If MPs deferred to the wishes of their voters on abortion - after all they are supposed to represent the views of their constitutents - all MPs would vote pro-choice. Personally I see abortion as a human rights matter (ditto gay rights, trans rights, etc) so I think it should be whipped by any party that considers themselves compassionate and just. One in 8 pregnancies worldwide ends in illegal abortion, at a cost of thousands of women’s lives, so it's a big human rights issue too.

I also really don’t understand the idea that anti-choicers are voting based on their religion. No-one I have ever met believes that if I arrive at the pearly gates and say “I don’t believe in God, but I didn’t have an abortion because it was illegal”, they are going to let me in.


Bojangels said...

Seeing as this the topmost story, I just want to us it to say "Bravo". I just discovered your material earlier today, and I am nearly mesmerized in a silly lovesick sort of way. I'm not really burdened with concrete political opinions myself, but I love reading them! You got a fan.

Alex said...

I think that gets at the fundamental divide. What I think you're saying is it's all about the women and the religion argument is about preventing women committing sin by having an abortion - but from their point of view it's about the unborn as well and the issue isn't so much the sin but the murder that creates the sin. The general awkwardness from pro-lifers on if women who have abortions should be jailed is interesting there.

But yeah, it's a bit of a cop-out. I don't see anyone not whipping on votes for military action and consciences should really come into play there - and in the thousand other life and death affecting decisions parliament makes.

Cruella said...

I'm not sure I totally get your point Alex. But I've published anyway. Perhaps others can make sense of it.