As I’ve written before, BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service), is a publicly funded charity, deriving around £30million every single year from you, dear taxpayer.
According the government’s website, ‘charities cannot have a political purpose or undertake political activity which is not relevant to the charity’s charitable purposes. Charities cannot be used as a vehicle for the expression of the personal or party political views of any individual trustee or staff member’.
The stated aim of BPAS is to ‘support reproductive choice by advocating and providing high quality, affordable services to prevent or end unwanted pregnancy with contraception or by abortion’.
Regardless of whether or not one agrees with that aim, it ought to have little to with whom Theresa May, or indeed any political leader, chooses to promote in a cabinet reshuffle. And BPAS ought to have absolutely no business expressing its disappointment, as it did on Twitter, that Mrs May has chosen to to appoint the Lewes MP, nurse Maria Caulfield, as the Conservatives’ vice-chair for women.
Not only is commenting on this appointment outside its remit, BPAS is also disingenuous when it claims that Maria Caulfield supports the criminalisation of women who have abortions. She does no such thing.
In common with more than 72 per cent of women in a ComRes Poll carried out last year, Maria Caulfield argued against the Bill which seeks to ‘decriminalise’ abortion in the UK. The phrase ‘decriminalisation’ is of course massively emotive and misleading, not least because women can already have an abortion in the UK with no questions asked up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.
What decriminalisation seeks to do is to extend the current limit, allowing abortion until at least 28 weeks, or birth, for any reason whatsoever, a position which is at odds with the majority of women in the UK. In the ComRes poll, 72 per cent of women said that they wanted a legal framework to remain in place for abortion in the UK and 59 per cent of women said that they would like to see the legal limit reduced to 16 weeks. Only 2 per cent of women agreed with the BPAS campaign to raise the legal limit, demonstrating that theirs is the ‘extremist’ position.
Under the current law women are not prosecuted for having an abortion and nobody, least of all Maria Caulfield, is suggesting they should be. The Bill that she voted against would have removed all legal protections against forced abortions. It is profoundly anti-woman.
Decriminalisation is a carefully chosen term, designed to evoke images of desperate women in terrible situations being thrown into jail for having an abortion. No woman has ever been criminalised, as is often claimed, for buying abortifacients online. The only two prosecutions which have occurred have been in the circumstances where women have procured abortion pills extremely late in pregnancy and behaved in a callous fashion, killing and then dumping the bodies of their viable late-term babies. In one of these cases, the woman was given a suspended sentence as she already had a child. Wherever you stand on abortion, there is simply no excuse for killing a perfectly viable unborn child on the grounds that you do not want to care for it. Disrespecting the body compounds the crime.
The proposed change in the law is all about abortion on demand for any reason, including if the baby happens to be the wrong sex, which predominantly affects unborn girls. It’s about removing the conscience rights of doctors, midwifes, nurses and any other ancillary staff who are currently allowed to refuse to participate in abortion. It’s about forcing abortion to be on the syllabus for all obstetric and gynaecology students. It’s about removing vital medical safeguards for people wanting to take abortifacients at home and it’s about including the aggressive promotion of abortion rights ‘education’ in schools.
Getting rid of the legal framework means removing penalties for aborting your baby because she’s a girl, it means allowing abortion for any kind of disability or illness, no matter how mild or treatable, and abortion into the latter stages of pregnancy. Heck, you could even abort your baby if you didn’t like its eye colour. Decriminalisation also means removing the protection the criminal law affords pregnant women against men who coerce abortion, or backstreet abortionists. How progressive.
Far from being on the extreme fringe, Maria Caulfield represents the majority of the British public, who routinely reject abortion on demand in every single poll, including one conducted by the BBC, which despite asking leading questions found that most people agreed with Jacob Rees-Mogg and that more women than men do not want decriminalisation. Maria Caulfield is not proposing that women’s access to abortion or contraception should be removed. She has opposed attempts by BPAS to widen abortion provision.
While infuriating, the hysterical response from BPAS was at least predictable. Far more questionable and indeed unprofessional was that of the political editor of the BBC, Laura Kuenssberg, who jumped on their bandwagon. Kuenssberg not only uncritically retweeted the BPAS response to Caulfield’s appointment but also endorsed it, making out that Caulfield’s appointment was some kind of ‘glitch’ which would be rectified.
Talk about letting the mask of impartiality slip. Why on earth would Caulfield’s appointment be a ‘glitch’? Because, er, BPAS had just said so. And of course they have absolutely no financial interest whatsoever in opening up the market and demand for abortion even further, have they? Is Kuenssberg really suggesting that those who hold pro-life views should be disqualified from political office?
Just as BPAS needs to be reprimanded for this unacceptable political interference, so too does the publicly funded Laura Kuenssberg who made no attempt to tweet any of the counter-arguments to BPAS by any of the pro-life organisations, who are also relevant parties.
The selection of this ‘story’ by the BBC on their website, demonstrates how media bias works. Lobby group opposes appointment of person who is not sympathetic to their agenda. Big deal.
What is disappointing is how people are tricked by the likes of Kuenssberg and others in the media into believing that the view of these beyond-the-pale ideologues is somehow the consensus. It isn’t. All you need to do to confirm this is to look a day-old baby with Down’s syndrome in the eye and ask yourself whether you would be comfortable with him or her being killed 24 hours earlier. If you would, by all means join in the attacks on Maria Caulfield.