Widespread media focus on abortion opens door for pro-life gains in UK
LONDON, March 1, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A spate of high-profile media flurries on abortion may create room for pro-life advocates to push for more meaningful restrictions on abortion, the UK’s most prominent pro-life organization said today. But at the same time pro-lifers should beware rejoicing in government calls for a “public consultation” on abortion practices, according to Anthony Ozimic, communications manager for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.
“Sex-selective abortion is a symptom of government support for the abortion industry. If the government was genuinely interested in stopping abortion on demand, it would not be bankrolling the abortion industry through government contracts and in other ways,” Ozimic told LifeSiteNews.com.
Late last month, a sting operation by the Daily Telegraph found that several abortion facilities were performing illegal abortions for sex-selection. The Telegraph articles on the sting made a splash, with pro-abortion pundits warning fellow abortion advocates not to allow the news to be used against the status quo of nearly unlimited abortion access.
However, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley responded to the reports saying that sex-selective abortion is “morally repugnant.” He vowed to launch an inquiry and sent the evidence to police.
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Despite the Secretary’s protestations of shock, the revelations that sex-selective abortion in Britain is probably common came as no surprise to pro-life advocates who pointed out that it was merely the logical result of legalized abortion. Even pro-abortion voices said that the current law is wide open to abuse and that the legal restrictions are almost meaningless, with a situation of effective abortion on demand already existing.
LSN asked SPUC whether this spate of public interest in abortion could create a window of opportunity for the pro-life movement in Britain.
“The British public, like Britain’s public figures, is deeply confused about abortion. One often reads comments which simultaneously oppose and approve abortion,” Ozimic responded.
“Thankfully these recent high-profile news-stories provide a opportunity for pro-life spokespeople to rescue some people from that confusion. Politicians will sit up and take notice to the public reaction, transmitted both directly to politicians and indirectly via the mainstream media.”
Ozimic pointed out, “The extensive coverage by the mainstream media of the pro-life reaction to those news items is already complementing the public reaction.”
Nonetheless, the pro-life leader warned against too much enthusiasm, saying it is “often foolish for pro-lifers to describe a new event as a ‘turning point.’”
“In Britain there was much foolish talk of a ‘turning point’ and a ‘sea-change’ prior to moves in 2008 in Parliament to reduce the upper time-limit for most social abortions from 24 weeks. The moves were strongly defeated. It was a warning to pro-lifers to be beware of ethically-defective moves propelled by hype.”
Predicting the outcome of the most recent media flap over abortion, Ozimic affirmed that despite the public ambiguity on abortion, the situation is likely to continue to deteriorate before it improves.
“I think the rhetorical battle will intensify but the public policy situation will probably continue to worsen gradually.
“Despite some misleading indications, the Cameron government is strongly committed to abortion at home and abroad.”
“In England there will always be some restrictions, however ineffectual, as those restrictions help to salve uneasy consciences and provide a cover of respectability for abortion.”
Following the Daily Telegraph’s revelations, Health Secretary Lansley said that women needed to have “counseling” available to provide information on all possible options and said the government would be opening a “public consultation.”
Such suggestions have been made before, notably by MP Nadine Dorries, who said that the abortion industry itself could not be trusted to give disinterested counseling to women. Abortion lobbyists quashed all attempts to legislate in favor of such counselling on the grounds that “women must be trusted to make their own decisions.”
Ozimic said that he held little hope that any public consultation: “One should not be misled into believing that the government will forward proposals which will hamper the abortion industry.”
“Mr. Lansley – who is on record as supporting wider access to abortion – and the Department of Health are united with the abortion industry in denying that abortion is available virtually on demand in Britain.”