Commentary by Hilary White

April 2, 2008 ( – In 2006, there were 193,700 abortions in Britain, most committed for “social reasons” unrelated to the mother’s health. This, however, is “not a problem” according to the current chairman of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), Britain’s busiest abortionist organisation.

  Ann Furedi responded to the fuss in Parliament and the media in the last weeks of March over the rates of abortion and repeat abortions in Britain, saying that women simply have better things to do with their time than be mothers and that legal abortion has been a boon to that new orientation.

  In a column in the hard-left online magazine Spiked titled, “Why rising abortion rates are not a problem”, Ann Furedi wrote, “Why is there a continuing high rate of abortion? In my view it is quite simple: there are a lot of people out there having sex who don’t want to have children.”

  A Conservative MP revealed in March that one third of women in Britain asking for abortions have already had at least one child killed in the womb. Mark Pritchard, MP for The Wrekin in Shropshire, told Parliament that abortion in Britain has reached “industrial” levels, with at least 1300 women in his figures having had as many as five abortions.

  Furedi continues, “I would argue that we have a large cohort of people who either don’t want to have children or don’t want to have children at this particular time. As a society, we have a very high expectation of family planning and birth control.”

  Ironically, her assertion that the British simply do not want to procreate, matches almost verbatim one made by a Catholic priest and leading British pro-life advocate, Fr. Timothy Finigan who told that politicians’ dismay and puzzlement over the high rates of abortion and repeat abortion are misplaced: “People don’t want to have children. The bottom line is there’s an anti-life mentality where children are seen as a bad thing.”

  Furedi also unknowingly gives away another of the abortion lobby’s secrets, admitting tacitly that the pro-life analysis is correct: that the reason the government’s commitment to contraception has failed to bring down either rates of abortion or teenage pregnancy is simply that contraception frequently fails, and abortion is the obvious solution after the fact.

  She writes, “The idea that you would become a parent because a condom split is something that people don’t generally find very acceptable; and in this context, abortion is seen by many people as a responsible decision.”

  This, however, flies in the face of the officially maintained position that there is no relationship between increased levels of abortion and teen pregnancy, not to mention sexually transmitted diseases, and the massive societal project of introducing teenagers to condoms and pills. In response to the revelation by Mark Pritchard, the Labour government predictably responded that what was needed was more “information” and access to contraception.

  Furedi’s possibly unconscious admission that more contraception equals more abortion, makes nonsense of the government’s “targeted campaign to highlight contraceptive choices available to women” and its allocation of £26.8 million to “improve access to contraception”. It seems as if it is no longer only we pro-life “nutters” who have realised that more contraception is not going to reduce the abortion rate. The only difference is that more abortion for Furedi, just is “not a problem”.

  The number of abortions in Britain has risen steadily and reached almost 200,000 in 2006. BPAS carries out 80 per cent of the UK’s “late term” (post-20 week) abortions. In late 2004, the Daily Telegraph revealed that BPAS was referring women whose pregnancies were past the 24-week legal cut-off date for abortions a facility in Barcelona, Spain, which was itself operating outside federal laws by providing late-term “social” abortions.

  Ann Furedi has made abortion advocacy her life’s work and has held key positions in most of Britain’s abortion-providing and advocating organisations. Her career history also reflects the close association between abortion lobbyists and the world of embryo research and cloning.

  Before coming to BPAS, Furedi served as Director of Policy and Communications for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) that sets British policy on embryo research and cloning. She is married to Frank Furedi, a lecturer in sociology and the founder and former leader of the British Revolutionary Communist Party. 

  Furedi goes on, again likely unconsciously, to echo one of the Catholic Church’s assertions about the divisive nature of artificial contraception. She writes that people may be foregoing contraception, particularly by barrier methods, because it tends to interfere with the desired emotional intimacy of sexual relations. She writes, that the “non-use of contraception may be hooked into something else. It may be hooked into a desire for intimacy, a desire for closeness: in other words, it may be hooked into something that is not entirely dysfunctional.”

“Family planning doctors,” she says, “see sex in terms of risk. Good sex for family planning doctors is safe, planned, under control, negotiated, responsible. For other people, however, good sex is more to do with opportunity: it’s about being edgy, exciting, spontaneous, passionate, lost in the moment, carried away, romantic.” However, the Catholic Church sees the sexual act between married couples as one that, if controlled artificially in the modern way, negates any possibility of truthful intimacy.

  Furedi writes, “For many people, relationships really are a balance of risks against a desire to take things for granted, to be spontaneous.”

  The difference, however, that neither Furedi nor the government purveyors of condoms has had the courage to grasp, is that a child is not the punishment for such spontaneity, but the natural reward and fulfilment of married life.

  Read related coverage:

  Abortion as Birth Control – 1,300 UK Women Have Had at Least Five Abortions

  Canadian City Pulls Pro-Life Bus Shelter Ads Citing “Offensiveness”

  Link to transit shelter ad: