Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Twitter Vs Strawman / Dorries

It is rare that I find myself in agreement with the majority of Twitterettes and Twitterinos, so was not unsurprised that I found myself on the wrong side of the herd view, what did surprise me was the ratio.

In a very unscientific analysis of the hashtag, I found only one other poster that agreed with me.

The subject of course is Nadine #Dorries and her proposed amendments in reference to abortion.

Now I understand that many people dislike Dorries so even taking this into account, (That people will say the sky is pink if she says it is blue) I am surprised by the opposition on a couple of parts of what she says.

Opinion One, that any organisation that benefits financially from a particular outcome, should not be classed as independent, when it comes to whether that outcome is taken or not.

That is common sense, isn’t it?

Someone tried comparing it to the RSPCA somehow, saying that ‘Stopes’ having a vested interest in abortion is the same as the RSPCA having a vested interest in cruelty.

That is a bit of a strange comparison on a couple of fronts. 

Firstly, the RSPCA would make more money by NOT treating animals; just sending them away, would be easier than operating etc.

Secondly, it is suggesting that the choice between abortion or not abortion is similar in context to animal suffering or non-suffering.

There is an automatic assumption that the only people allowed to give advice will be religious fundamentalists though Ms Dorries has said “This won’t be offered by any religion-affiliated groups, but by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy”1

So unless the BACP have suddenly become religious zealots, I am a bit unsure what the cause of this ‘Straw-man’ nonsense is.

As an atheist and anti-theist I have no enthusiasm for practical decisions to be made in relation to mythological belief, but this is not the only alternative so it is misleading for it to be framed in such an either/or way.

Her second opinion which has upset people, but has been less (a little less) vilified is her opinion that the upper timescale limit of 6 lunar months should be reduced to 5. i.e. 24 weeks to 20.

This apparently makes her ‘evil’.

When I asked why this would be the case I am often ignored.

Her is my research on the subject, and please keep in mind I have no axe to grind, I am pro-choice, I have no moral objection to the idea of pregnancy termination.

According to meta-analysis cited by, up to 70% of pre-mature births at 24 weeks can survive; published articles in medical journals put this figure more conservatively at 39%-50%.

These figures alone are quit worrying, now consider that these are where pre-mature birth is caused for a whole range of different reasons, a lot of them to do with the health of the mother and/or baby which would increase the chance of mortality, and you can imagine the levels of survival from babies about to be aborted at a much higher level.

I am all for personal freedoms, I am a libertarian and consider personal liberty paramount but with one very big exception. The acts of a person should never take away someone else’s freedom or life and it is quite evident that life is indeed being taken away in some of these late term pregnancies.

Again, I feel I need to stress that I am NOT an anti-abortionist, but for me what happens to fetuses is abortion, what happens to babies is murder and when something is alive in its own right, it is a baby not a fetus.

Let the vitriol attacks begin