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HomeNewsCaroline Farrow: Spin and euphemism power the abortion trade

Caroline Farrow: Spin and euphemism power the abortion trade


BPAS, the UK’s largest abortion provider, has been recruiting for the following role, as per this ad:

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service – the UK’s leading charitable provider of abortion services – is looking for a Public Affairs & Advocacy Manager to help shape the work of its External Affairs Department. The department is responsible for BPAS’ s press and public policy work, including campaigns such as We Trust Women to decriminalise abortion across the UK, and Back Off, calling on the Government to move anti-abortion extremists away from clinic doors and protect women’s access to services. We work to inform public discussion on a range of issues – from the changing age of motherhood to why emergency contraception belongs on our pharmacy shelves – and we push for women’s access to evidence-based information, not scare-mongering on all matters relating to reproductive and sexual health.

It’s a wonderful practical demonstration of how an organisation employs newspeak in order to facilitate deception and manipulation in order to obscure the thoroughly unpleasant nature of their trade.

First, BPAS describes itself as the ‘leading charitable provider of abortion services’. Forgive me for pointing out the blinking obvious, but there’s absolutely nothing charitable about terminating the lives of unborn children, especially not if you’re the baby involved, and neither does BPAS offer any of their abortion ‘services’ for free. If you pitch up at BPAS wanting an abortion, they’ll either charge you the full rate as a private client, or charge the NHS on your behalf.

There are no reductions offered for women in straightened circumstances who may not be eligible for NHS treatment on their price list. BPAS makes clear that their charitable status is simply about how they are regarded by the taxman, because any surplus is paid back into the organisation and salaries. According to their accounts between 2015 and 2016, the salary of the BPAS boss, Ms Furedi,  went up ten thousand  pounds from between £140,000 – 150,000 to between £150,000 – 160,000.

Second, the word ‘service’, which implies the action of helping or doing work for someone. It all sounds very kind, gentle and providing something for which there is a need. In this case, the supposed needs of women to be able to get rid of their unborn child as swiftly as possible, no questions asked.

Then, when you look at the meat of the job role, it’s basically all about heading up a department of propaganda which seeks to convince the general public that abortion is an unqualified good about which nobody should ever express any doubts.

While complaining about the so-called ‘extremists’ (i.e. those people who believe that abortion is morally repugnant because it ends a human life) who hold clinic vigils, and incidentally there has yet to be a single arrest or request for any of them to move on, because they are not committing any public order offence, BPAS omit that their ‘We Trust Women’ campaign is about as extremist as you can get. It advocates for abortion on demand right up until the moment of birth for any reason whatsoever. That’s right, a woman who is heavily pregnant with a fully formed viable baby who would survive were they to be born, can decide that she wants an abortion and should be allowed to have one no questions asked, simply because she is a woman. Ask any mother, midwife, or indeed any reasonable individual how they would feel about women being allowed to abort late-term pregnancies for social reasons and they would recoil in horror.

It’s certainly not an opinion that the great British public hold: a 2012 Angus Reid poll discovered that only two per cent  of women wanted the abortion time limit of 24 weeks to be extended and 59 per cent of women wanted a reduction in time limits. Why don’t BPAS trust women when it comes to this inconvenient piece of data? Perhaps this is why they need a Public Affairs and Advocacy manager in order to increase the number of women they can get on board with their own extremist position.

“We work to inform public discussion” is all about attempting to persuade the public at large that women ought to be able to have children only when they feel ‘ready’, an emotionally loaded concept, which is so entirely subjective that it’s impossible to define with any clarity and omits the objective humanity of the unborn. Moreover, it’s a ideology that can only lead to heartbreak, encouraging younger women to abort children with the idea that there is always time for them to have another, and downplaying the significant decline in fertility experienced by women once they hit their forties. Women being able to have children whenever they want, might fit with the feminist utopia, but back here down on Planet Earth, it’s far from achievable a tragic fact, to which many women who have embarked on physically and emotionally gruelling IVF cycles, will attest.

Together with views about the morning-after pill and anything else connected to female fertility, BPAS is not looking to ‘inform’ discussion, but to dominate and will use emotive and factually incorrect terms like ‘scaremongering’ in order to dismiss any point of view which is contrary to theirs, especially ones that might urge caution.

For all the polemic written about the so-called wealth of the pro-life organisations, you don’t see them running glossy campaigns and employing Public Affairs managers to ‘inform public debate’. They are too busy spending every spare penny they have at grassroots level, actually putting food on the table and clothes on the backs of women who feel that abortion is their only financial choice. You might also find them picking up and tending to women who are vomiting on the street after being prematurely kicked out of the abortion clinic following their procedure.

But even if a pro-life organisation were to run an advert like this, do you think, dear reader, that they would be allowed to advertise it on the National Health recruitment  portal website? For this is precisely where the advert was to be found up until a few days ago, after the date for applications expired.

Our supposedly impartial taxpayer-funded National Health Service, which already gives BPAS the majority of its £29 million per annum for providing abortions, is also giving BPAS a piece of free government advertising with a potentially huge client base, in order that they can recruit an experienced propaganda peddler (presumably one with a strong stomach, you’d need it in that trade) to tell us what we should all think about abortion and therefore drive even more business its way.

Would a pro-life charity be allowed to advertise for someone who wanted to inform public debate as to the potential health risks faced by women who undergo abortion? Or who wanted to campaign for increased protection for medical professionals who wished to exercise their conscience rights when it comes to abortion? What about someone who wished to point out the physical risks involved in promiscuity or IVF, inform the public as to the health implications of hormonal contraceptive use, all of which have a widely researched and peer-reviewed evidence base?

I think we all know the answer to that. Which begs the question why are BPAS being given preferential treatment and free advertising by an already financially-pressed NHS, especially when their aim is to make yet more money out of the taxpayer by increasing demand for abortion. Something somewhere smells distinctly rotten. What kind of mugs fund their own indoctrination?

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Caroline Farrow
Caroline Farrow
Columnist for the Catholic Universe

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