Surely Jeremy Hunt has got to go???

(1000 Posts)
stillorsparkling Sat 06-Oct-12 08:35:00

Apparently he supports reducing the legal cut off for abortion to 12 weeks.

He's the health secretary FFS!!!!!

Lovelygoldboots Sat 06-Oct-12 08:38:27

YANBU, it beggars belief that he has come out with this weeks into his role as health secretary.

Zara1984 Sat 06-Oct-12 08:39:47

Of course he has to bloody go! There's another active thread where ppl are raging about this, sorry can't link am on phone

ArthurShappey Sat 06-Oct-12 08:41:27

He's only just started. He would be the shortest serving health secretary ever.

I cannot begin to imagine what possessed David Cameron to give him this job. I'm a conservative voter and an NHS employee. It was a big, big mistake in my opinion.

Not only for his views on abortion, but also his views on homeopathy and also his dirty doings with the Murdochs show he has absolutely no discretion.

David Cameron is an idiot and between him and George Osbourne I'm beginning to lose loyalty to the conservative party.

wigglesrock Sat 06-Oct-12 08:42:44

I've just seen it too, but its just his own personal viewpoint, so lets not worry that David Cameron saw fit to appoint a Health Secretary whose competency for any job in government is dodgy never mind one who couldn't wait to spout his own viewpoint angry . The only saving grace is that Mr Hunt is as thick as champ at the best of times.

hackneyzoo Sat 06-Oct-12 08:44:00

He's awful. Did you hear him on the Today programme? He comes across as an ignorant and toady little man and it beggars belief that this man holds responsibility for the health of the nation!

RTchoke Sat 06-Oct-12 08:44:51

It's a tactic to make 20 weeks seem more palatable. 20 weeks is supported by much of the parliamentary Tory party so he is helping them out. Theresa May is on the Today prof right now advocating 20 weeks so together with Maria Miller we know of 3 Cabinet Members pushing for that. Hunt won't go. The limit will change to 20 weeks.

carabos Sat 06-Oct-12 08:46:04

His view on abortion was well known long before he was appointed Health Secretary. It's Cameron who needs to go. A fish rots from the head.

picnicbasketcase Sat 06-Oct-12 08:46:09

I find it deeply worrying that anyone has this view, especially a male MP in charge of health but hopefully everyone can see that these are his own extreme views and no laws would be passed on the basis of them. Some people don't get a positive result on a pg test until several weeks into the pregnancy.

MrsRajeshKoothrappali Sat 06-Oct-12 08:46:37

I may be WAY out of line and utterly sexist but surely a woman would be better suited to make descisions reguarding pregnancy/abortion.

I feel really uneasy when I hear him taking about it. Mainly because he talks crap but also because he's a bloke.

Is that odd? Does anyone get what I mean?

I felt the same when Tony Blair kept harping on about breast feeding - really think his wife or another female should be discussing that kind of thing.

I'm being strange aren't I? I can't even properly explain what I mean.

Lovelygoldboots Sat 06-Oct-12 08:48:02

RTchoke is right I feel, there has been rumblings about this for a long time. Hunt is just a sock puppet.

RTchoke Sat 06-Oct-12 08:48:38

Hackney - Hunt wasn't on Today. That was Daniel Kagynsky (sp?) MP a backbench Tory.

My bet is a Tory backbencher, not a member of the Government, will introduce a private members bill proposing to lower the limit. The Gov will maintain the line that they have no collective intention to lower the limit but they will allow a free vote. We know many of them will vote for 20 weeks and I suspect that will be the result of the free vote.

MisForMumNotMaid Sat 06-Oct-12 08:49:27

I was a bit shocked. It's not a small slip its complete ignorance.

lotsofcheese Sat 06-Oct-12 08:51:26

I think it's unlikely he will go, unfortunately. I have doubts about his competency as Health Secretary. As for his views on termination, they make me furious. 12 weeks is outrageous. Clearly a sweetener for the 20-week limit.

PoppadomPreach Sat 06-Oct-12 08:53:38

I agree.

I think however, he has some hold over the PM/those who hold the power as he has survived so much ineptness.

I utterly despair that such an arse can make so much progress in this government.

The positive side is however that if they continually to allow Jeremy to have high profile posts in government, they are effectively encouraging us to vote "anyone but Jeremy/Dave/George".

BartletForTeamGB Sat 06-Oct-12 08:58:08

"I may be WAY out of line and utterly sexist but surely a woman would be better suited to make descisions reguarding pregnancy/abortion.'

What makes a man any less competent to have opinions?!

"everyone can see that these are his own extreme views"

These 'extreme views' are held by a significant proportion of the population. They are not extreme!

I support this idea. Let's make the abortion laws more sensible.

Now we essentially have abortion on demand for social reasons but under the section that says that continuing the pregnancy is more dangerous for the mental or physical state of the mother. 91% of abortions are done before 12 weeks and almost all of them, at before 12 weeks, are done for social reasons.

So why don't the laws change that you are 'allowed' an abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks (giving up the pretence of it of it being for health reasons) and keep the current laws (however abhorrent I think they are) that an abortion is allowed up to term for fetal causes and (I agree with this bit) to save the life of the mother.

colleysmill Sat 06-Oct-12 08:58:46

I guess he is entitled, as we all are, to an opinion. It is not one I personally share with him.

My concern is how in such a position of power he ensures objectivity, which was questionable with the whole Murdoch kerfuffle. decisions should be made on fact and evidence, not because persons opinion.

colleysmill Sat 06-Oct-12 09:00:35

A small percentage of abortions at the 12 week mark will be for medical reasons. Very small I grant you but it does happen.

getmorenappies Sat 06-Oct-12 09:01:26

I may be WAY out of line and utterly sexist but surely a woman would be better suited to make descisions reguarding pregnancy/abortion.

I'm a man and I completely agree. But you've still got the Nadine Norris' to contend with.

Jeremy c/hunt should have gone after the Leveson inquirey. But hey he's the richest member of the cabinet and I guess that's what counts in the Tory gov.

The justification rolled out for 12 weeks is 'religeon' and they won't stop till terminations are banned all together.

AThingInYourLife Sat 06-Oct-12 09:07:47

"What makes a man any less competent to have opinions?!"

The fact that he will never have his own rights compromised to give rights to something physically dependent on him for its existence.

DelhiCalling Sat 06-Oct-12 09:08:13

I agree with Bartlet.

Yabu though, please appreciate that the current abortion law is abhorrent to many people, and if someone doesn't agree with your viewpoint it doesn't mean they should be sacked.

I have a friend who was born at 22+3. Unless there's a medical reason for it, I believe aborting after twelve weeks is abhorrent.

Zara1984 Sat 06-Oct-12 09:08:13

Sure Hunt has got Cameron's balls in a vice with all manner of dirt on him/the govt, otherwise he wouldn't have appointed him to another high profile position after the Murdoch/Leveson stuff?

Or is it as getmorenappies says - he's the richest, that's why his opinion counts for so much in the Tory party?

BartletForTeamGB Sat 06-Oct-12 09:09:25

"A small percentage of abortions at the 12 week mark will be for medical reasons. Very small I grant you but it does happen."

And termination for medical reasons is allowed up to TERM, not just to 24 weeks.

margerykemp Sat 06-Oct-12 09:13:58

David Cameron voted for it to be loWered to 20 weeks last time there was a vote, didn't he?

This really doesn't surprise me. There will be other Tory MPs who want to ban abortion altogether.

wigglesrock Sat 06-Oct-12 09:18:11

At the risk of repeating myself from the another thread I'm on.

I live in NI, if I chose to have an abortion I would most likely have to travel. Say I found out at 6/8 weekish, I need to arrange the abortion, accomodation, time off work, flights/ferries, a plausible excuse as to where I was going etc, never mind thinking about the actual decision. 12 weeks is not enough time.

I have seen friends on their own on fucking stinking ferries, having lied to their family, work, borrowed money from God knows who, afraid to go to GP after if they feel unwell etc. That's abhorrent.

DelhiCalling Sat 06-Oct-12 09:24:02

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stillorsparkling Sat 06-Oct-12 09:25:15

I would have less of a problem with the limit being lowered to 20 weeks IF and only IF we truly had the right to abortion on demand. I cannot believe that our current health sec would reduce limit to 12 weeks if it were up to him. I cannot agree that there is little to worry about just because they are his 'personal views' I find it very very concerning. This is how this shit starts , he simply has to go.

sue52 Sat 06-Oct-12 09:25:51

Abortion is such an important issue to women. It beggars belief that Cameron should have appointed someone who wants to cut the limit by half. I'm old enough to remember the time before the 1968 abortion act and I do not want to see our rights and all we campaigned for pushed back 50 years.

Zara1984 Sat 06-Oct-12 09:33:37

delhi it's nice that women have the choice to agree with you or agree with other posters, isn't it?

Wouldn't it be dreadful if, oh, I don't know, a minister (who had demonstrated himself to be shady and not one to be making moral condemnations based on his previous conduct) were to start the ball rolling so that many women no longer had a choice?

I love babies too, so does everyone else on this thread. FFS.

Zara1984 Sat 06-Oct-12 09:37:00

wigglesrock yes >> THIS. This is the situation armchair critics of abortion over 12 weeks do not think of.

Dawndonna Sat 06-Oct-12 09:39:36

I always thought that James Naughties 'freudian slip' was bang on.

getmorenappies Sat 06-Oct-12 09:39:54

Abortion is an emotive subject you know and contraception is freely available. I have never understood why it's seen as a woman's right to be able to kill her unborn child

It is an emotive subject, but i don't think it helps to refer to a fetus as an unborn child or a baby.

Dawndonna Sat 06-Oct-12 09:42:52

Delhi Most (not all) on these boards have children. Look at the name of the site.
The fact is that people like Hunt remove freedom of choice.

EasilyBored Sat 06-Oct-12 09:44:34

I love the argument that 'rape is different'.

So it's abhorant to murder innocent babies. Unless their father was a rapist. In that case, kill them. Sins of the father and all that.

If you're going to hold that kind of stupid opinion about abortion, at least try and be consistent.

Lowering it to 20 weeks is stupid, since most of the abortions after that point will be because of issues not discovered until 20 weeks...

TooMuchRain Sat 06-Oct-12 09:46:33

I may be WAY out of line and utterly sexist but surely a woman would be better suited to make descisions reguarding pregnancy/abortion.

I think it is sexist because I don't think gender has anything to do with the ability to make decisions like this - for me this is essentially a moral issue that is informed by medical research/reality.

scaevola Sat 06-Oct-12 09:47:59

He was stating personal view, not Government policy.

The Health Service is about much, much more than one procedure, so I don't see this one view as a competency indicator for the role any more than say supporting the death penalty as an indication of fitness for public office.

fuckityfuckfuckfuck Sat 06-Oct-12 09:49:17

Love babies but hate women eh Delhi? Why do people like you treat pregnancy as if it's nothing but a minor inconvenience? Adoption (nor abortion it should be said) just isn't that simple.

stillorsparkling Sat 06-Oct-12 09:51:58

Easily ; Abortion due to severe abnormalities is permitted to term . I was talking about abortion on demand , or in the UK "on demand" because of course it still isn't .

BartletForTeamGB Sat 06-Oct-12 09:57:29

"I love the argument that 'rape is different'. "

I quite agree. I don't think it is different. I think it is abhorrent to end the lives of babies, whether alive or unborn. I don't see a difference.

MrsHardigan Sat 06-Oct-12 10:00:00

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EasilyBored Sat 06-Oct-12 10:00:13

Oh yeah, I got that. I just think that the current laws are serving us just fine, and tbh a lot if this is just talk to try and bring more right wingers into their voting pool.

Stuff like this is a slippery slope, chip chip chipping away at women's rights. At thw minute it feels like, if we turn our backs for a second, we're going to lose the right to own property or vote FFS.

toomanydaisies Sat 06-Oct-12 10:02:34

It's his personal opinion. Which he's entitled to.

I've always been a bit confused about the horror that terminating a baby at 30+ weeks provokes but 20+ weeks is ok...

Don't agree with Hunt but I do think there's a lot of knee jerk reactions.

MrsHardigan Sat 06-Oct-12 10:02:37

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BartletForTeamGB Sat 06-Oct-12 10:10:30

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Tanith Sat 06-Oct-12 10:11:01

Look at his role in the last job he held. He was supposed to pave the way for a Rupert Murdoch take-over in broadcasting. Unfortunately, the Guardian et al piddled on those fireworks.

So why is he Health Secretary? The NHS is being gradually privatised by the back door. Jeremy Hunt is in place to let it happen and I can think of no man better suited for the job.

BartletForTeamGB Sat 06-Oct-12 10:11:45

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sashh Sat 06-Oct-12 10:13:08

I have a friend who was born at 22+3. Unless there's a medical reason for it, I believe aborting after twelve weeks is abhorrent.

I find it abhorrent to force a woman to continue a pregnancy she doesn't want.

Personally I would ban abortion other than for medical (and rape) grounds

And how would you determine rape? After a conviction? That could take up to a couple of years, or decades in some cases. If you just take someone's word for it then there will be a lot of rapes. That's how Roe vs Wade started.


I really feel for women in NI and the Republic. I took a friend to a clinic, all the coffee /tea /snacks are priced in £ and Euros. The 'package' includes a taxi from the nearest airport.

Abortion is not about babies, it is about a woman having a choice of what happens to her body. And it affects noot just women in this country but those the other side of the Irish sea. Until (if ever) abortion is legalised in Ireland or NI there will always be women making the journey wigglesrock has outlined.

Until the 1970s Swedish women travelled to Poland for abortions, Polish women now travel to Germany since the law was changed.

Abortion will always happen, we should be doing all we can to make it safe and legal and keep it that way. We should also be campaigning so that it is available and safe for all women world wide.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 06-Oct-12 10:14:47

Completely wrong. Especially when waiting times for referrals, scans, etc can be 2 or 3 weeks. Then more waiting time to get the proceedure booked in. So even if you first go to your GP at 8 weeks you might be struggling to get it done by 12 weeks.

whistlestopcafe Sat 06-Oct-12 10:21:22

I know of a few young teenage girls who didn't find out they were pregnant until 16 weeks. Erratic cycles, don't tend to put on as much weight are not so aware of their bodies etc. It would be cruel and wrong to insist that they continue with an unwanted pregnancy. Also some women will take a while to find the courage to discuss this with anyone, 12 weeks is just too early.

On the balance of it I think I am in favour of a 20-22 week cut off limit. Babies can survive from 22 weeks and it feels very wrong to terminate a pregnancy when the baby is capable of surviving outside the womb.

Netguru Sat 06-Oct-12 10:22:22

Three of the largest religions in the uk oppose abortion full stop.

Would you bar any one who had faith from holding office?

Issues such as abortion and capital punishment are free votes in the house of commons known as 'matters of conscience.'. If you deny the right of legislators to hold personal views you just end up with them hiding them. Jeremy Hunt is in a minority in the conservative party in supporting 12 weeks. There are probably more in ALL the main parties who oppose abortion completely though on religious grounds.

Politician lies - shock horror!
Politician tells truth - shock horror!

Personally I am very uneasy about abortion being seen as one extremely drastic form of contraception. No woman should be made to carry a child she does not wish to, but I do worry about the 'oh I can just get an abortion' attitude which is sadly still prevalent.

AngryBeaver Sat 06-Oct-12 10:24:12

A few years ago,I am may have agreed <naive>
Unfortunately, I have been enlightened. In July we had to say goodbye to our little girl at 18 weeks. She had Downs and other problems.
I may have been able todecide earlier, but whe I went for a CVS at 10 weeks, the placenta was posterior, so they couldn''t do the test without perforating my bowel.
This meant I had to wait several weeks until I could have an amnio. Then wait for the results.
Then I had to wait for word from the hospital. We are in NZ. Obviouly, smaller country, less people,less doctors.
i did everything I couod to move the appointment forward, I cried and screamed on the phone to secretaries, and midwives. 18 weeks was the earliest they could see me.
It was the most horrendous experience I have ever gone through.
If someone had said to me, you will ahve a baby with severe health abnormalities, that will be in and out of hospital and probably in pain, for the duration of their short lives, but ar 18 weeks,there's nothing we can do!
I'm not sure where I would have gone from there.
As if times like this aren't crippling enough.
Lucky him that he has never experienced anything other that "normal"

limitedperiodonly Sat 06-Oct-12 10:24:31

dehli I disagree with you on a number of points but for simplicity, I'm going to stick to this one: how do you propose to grant abortion on the grounds that the woman has been raped without there being a criminal conviction?

MsGee Sat 06-Oct-12 10:26:06

I had a TFMR at 12 weeks.

I do not distinguish between my right to make that decision or a woman in different circumstances.

People having terminations after 12 or 20 weeks are in a difficult enough situation - no matter what the circumstances. We need to focus on improving the system do that people don't have to wait weeks for abortions and so that women who do make that choice have the support they need.

Stupid comments such as "i love babies'" are quite frankly ridiculous. Have all the uninformed opinions you like but do not legislate over women's bodies, do not erode women's choices, because of them.

whistlestopcafe Sat 06-Oct-12 10:26:43

I'm sorry you had to through that AngryBeaver. sad

I think that terminations can be carried out at any time if there are any medical problems. I don't think anyone is proposing a change to this.

LongTimeLurking Sat 06-Oct-12 10:28:34

Jeremy Cunt Hunt never should have got the freaking job after all the sleaze that came out around him and the Murdochs.

I think 24 weeks is possibly too long, but 12 weeks is not long enough. I think previous posters are right, this is a tactic to soften people up to the idea of 20 weeks.

This type of decision really shouldn't be politicised, it should come down to the medical evidence and trying to do the best for women and of course the unborn baby.

MsGee Sat 06-Oct-12 10:29:15

AngryBeaver I am so sorry. Sorry that you faced such choices and sorry the system made it all the more difficult for you.

It is still very raw for you, please do not let the uninformed comments on these threads add to your pain. People find it easy to spout shit about things they have never experienced.

BartletForTeamGB Sat 06-Oct-12 10:30:22

"If someone had said to me, you will ahve a baby with severe health abnormalities, that will be in and out of hospital and probably in pain, for the duration of their short lives, but ar 18 weeks,there's nothing we can do!"

Terminations for medical reasons continue to be allowed up to TERM and this proposal does not change that.

BartletForTeamGB Sat 06-Oct-12 10:32:41

"Lucky him that he has never experienced anything other that "normal""

Just to make clear that it is not just people who have had 'normal' pregnancies who think this. I, and sadly a few friends, have all had babies whose conditions were incompatible with life and all of us declined termination chose to continue to carry on the pregnancies until our babies died.

Anyway, that isn't the issue at stake here.

BartletForTeamGB Sat 06-Oct-12 10:33:20

"People find it easy to spout shit about things they have never experienced."


I have experienced that. I continued the pregnancy and did not have a termination.

MsGee Sat 06-Oct-12 10:34:40

whistlestop you are right - I think that if you are pro-choice though you stand firm and stand together.

Although my termination was for medical reasons I do not want discussions to go down the road of acceptable and unacceptable abortions. I also think the way in which some people demonise abortions and women who have them affects us all.

EasilyBored Sat 06-Oct-12 10:38:04

But that was your choice. No one is goingto take that choice away from you. Surely you can understand that it would be barbaric to force a woman to go through that, if she didn't want to?

MsGee Sat 06-Oct-12 10:38:27

Bartlet then that was the right choice for you. It does not mean that it's the right choice for everyone. You cannot think legislation should change on the basis of a personal experience or feeling.

Evidence shows that women having abortions after 20 weeks are in incredibly difficult situations, even where there are no medical reasons. Women who need support. Women who need the option of choosing what is right for them.

Zara1984 Sat 06-Oct-12 10:40:12

You had the choice to make the decision that was right for you and your family bartlet - it doesn't mean the law should change to take away the choice for others who would've chosen differently in that situation.

5madthings Sat 06-Oct-12 10:42:19

What easily bored said earlier and athing imo if anything changes need to be made to make abortion easier to access.

The current abirtion laws are also disabilist, if you can have an abortion to term for disability then it shouls be to term for all.

'as early as possible, as late as necessary' from another thread on this subject. And it sums up my view.

Ponyofdoom Sat 06-Oct-12 11:16:46

Agree 100% wigglesrock. I think its disgusting that this man wants to put foetuses before women and I will be re thinking voting Tory due to this (and HS2). I have always voted Tory before now.

Toothiepeg Sat 06-Oct-12 11:18:25

I work for the NHS/ If Cunt Hunt come near my hospital I don't think I'll be able to restrain myself from asking him if he's committed to carrying his own pregnancies to term............

Toothiepeg Sat 06-Oct-12 11:21:33

BartletforTeamGB - I may be mistaken but I thought you were a GP? Please tell me I'm wrong.

Dawndonna Sat 06-Oct-12 11:29:28

All the emotive stuff flying around. At the end of the day, yet again, a man is trying to force his opinion on a woman.
Hunt should stand down and maybe a female health minister would be a better option, but then again, Maria Miller supports the 12 week option too.
Just somebody who supports the right of women to have freedom of choice would be good, but the fecking tories are in power so little chance of that,then.

Ponyofdoom Sat 06-Oct-12 11:30:39

Bartlet, so what happens if a woman forced to continue an unwanted pregnancy commits suicide, as would happen-then both lives have been lost, no one wins. Just because you could cope with an unwanted pregnancy doesnt mean others could. I would be genuinely suicidal.

hackmum Sat 06-Oct-12 11:37:45

AngryBeaver: I'm really sorry too that you had to go through such a terrible experience.

I wonder if people like Hunt understand why late abortions happen. A friend of mine discovered at her 20-week scan that her baby had Down's Syndrome with severe heart abnormalities and wouldn't live for more than a few hours after birth. (She had always said she wouldn't abort a baby with Down's, and for that reason hadn't taken the opportunity to have a nuchal fold scan earlier in pregnancy.) So she had to make the heartbreaking decision to take the doctors' advice and have a termination at 21 weeks.

I'm not quite sure what purpose would have been served by forcing her to carry the pregnancy to term.

babybythesea Sat 06-Oct-12 11:40:18

I know a couple of women who have had abortions.
I also know of women who have gone for them and been unable to go through with them.
Undoubtedly there are people who see them as a 'free and easy method of contraception'. But i don't think this is the majority of people.
I think many people who opt for this agonise over it. I know one person who only realised she was pregnanct at 11 weeks. She chose an abortion (although she was someone who went to the clinic and then couldn't go through with it). She'd have had a week to make a massive decision, which has impacted on the rest of her life, while her head was all over the place, and while trying to get appointments to see GP's etc.

Are these the same Tories who think people having babies they can't afford is disgraceful? Does anybody realise that no method of contraception is 100%? Put together, none of it is very coherant.

It's all very well to say it's just his personal opinion (rather than on medical fact etc). But if they do bring it to a vote, and he gets a free vote, then his personal opinion has a chance of becoming law. I did not vote for him - why should his 'personal opinion' dictate what I can do with my life?

flow4 Sat 06-Oct-12 11:41:28

I'm thinking of getting t-shirts printed: "DON'T BE A C*NT, JEREMY HUNT" grin

babybythesea Sat 06-Oct-12 11:53:14

According to what people have been saying, hackmum, your friend's situation wouldn't have changed (abortion for medical reason). I want to make it clear, I'm with you all the way - I also know someone who terminated based on the fact that her child was likely to live to two years old, but only in hospital, while unergoing numerous operations. As I understand it, that remains unchanged.
Which actually begs the question, who does this affect? Why is this an issue? How many terminations are undertaken before 12 weeks, and for what reasons, compared to after 12 weeks, and for what reasons?
I don't think you can have a sensible debate without knowing this.
Plus, would there be grounds then for restricting what constitutes reasonable medical grounds? I don't know how well defined this is. Would his personal beliefs then make him need to air his opinion on that as well?

missymoomoomee Sat 06-Oct-12 11:58:12

I had my little girl 5 years ago, I knew in pregnancy there wasn't something quite right but was told I was paranoid as my son had died 9 years before.

When she was born she couldn't move, couldn't breathe, her bones were all broken from the birth and she was in constant pain. They did all the tests they could, invasive, painful procedures, and they couldn't find an actual reason. When she was 2 weeks old we had to switch her life support off.

They think what she had was a very rare genetic illness, as we found out 5 months later, when I was 2 months pregnant. As it was so rare they couldn't test for it and any diagnosis would have to be done through scans, we got the all clear for that pregnancy at 30 weeks. Up until that point I had to face the possibility of having a very late abortion.

Despite loving my daughter with every fibre of my being I sincerely wish I had known when I was pregnant with her so I could have had an abortion and saved her the agonising pain she went through every minute of her short life.

Anyone that tells me abortion is wrong after a however many weeks can honestly go and fuck themselves, its not like people will get to 22 or 24 weeks and think 'do you know what I can't be assed with this anymore' and have an abortion, its a hard, agonising choice, and when people get to that point in a pregnancy there is obviously a very desperate reason for their choice.

Before I lost my little girl I always said I would never have an abortion, I would never have judged anyone else from doing so, but its something I seriously thought I would never consider. Those of you who are making judgements and ill informed comments on here should maybe think on as one day you may well be in the position of having to make that choice.

MaBaya Sat 06-Oct-12 11:58:24

Jeremy new C U next Tuesday!

What a twat.

FreudiansGoldSlipper Sat 06-Oct-12 12:07:52

missymoo i am so sorry for all that you and your family have been through

you are right no women just has a change of mind there can be many reasons whey a termination is needed later on in pregnancy and the situation they are in will be heartbreaking

Jereny Hunt should fuck off and shut up

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 12:12:35

Freudian: Jeremy Hunt should fuck off and shut up

Yes, that just about sums it up for me, too.

flow4 Sat 06-Oct-12 12:28:32

baby DoH figures show that 91% of abortions happen before 13 weeks. (Up from 87% in 2004).

This graph shows clearly (tho it's a bit out of date) that hardly any abortions happen late on. The 9% that happen between 13-24 weeks are either because women didn't discover they were pregnant until late, or because abortion is available in their health authority and they have to wait for an out-of-area referral, or for tragic reasons like those that missy describes above (so sorry to hear your story, missy sad )

There's no such thing as 'abortion on demand'. In my own health authority area, until relatively recently, there was not a single consultant who would perform one, and women had to travel to neighbouring cities/health authorities if they needed one.

ANY abortion has to satisfy the following conditions:
"Subject to the provisions of this section, a person shall not be guilty of an offence under the law relating to abortion when a pregnancy is terminated by a registered medical practitioner if two registered medical practitioners are of the opinion, formed in good faith -
(a) that the pregnancy has not exceeded its twenty-fourth week and that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or any existing children of her family; or
(b) that the termination of the pregnancy is necessary to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman; or
(c) that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the pregnant woman, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated
(d) that there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped."

We shouldn't forget that the original 1967 Abortion Act allowed abortion up to 28 weeks, and that was dropped to our current 24 week limit in 1990.

No-one has any abortion for fun. A woman having a late abortion has a heart-breaking decision to make and often a difficult medical process to go through.

Jeremy Hunt is clearly terrifyingly ignorant. Either he's a c*nt, or he's a puppet 'softening' us for another drop to 20 weeks - and in either case I think the country deserves a better Heath Secretary.

YouMayLogOut Sat 06-Oct-12 12:31:55

The law should not be changed. This is a medical decision which is between a woman and her doctors.

getmorenappies Sat 06-Oct-12 12:44:19

I'm sure the fact there's a Tory party conference nextweek has nothing to do with this I do actually

it plays to the Tory hard line

YouMayLogOut Sat 06-Oct-12 12:47:43

It's the sort of thing I would associate with the fundamentalist "religious right" in America. I thought our country was more sensible...

BartletForTeamGB Sat 06-Oct-12 13:06:46

I'm not a GP but I am a doctor. We are allowed to have opinions!

randomswitch Sat 06-Oct-12 13:08:59

It is amazing how misinformed some people can be. I recently had a discussion witha women who forthrightly and angrily declared that no abortion should be allowed after twelve weeks as EVERY woman knows she is pregnant by eight weeks at the most. She clearly had no idea that not every woman has a regular menstrual cycle, and that many women go many months without menstruating (not unusual for me to have one or two a year). hunt is probably as ignorant as this.

PetiteRaleuse Sat 06-Oct-12 13:11:56

The only plausible explanation for Hunt still having a place in Cabinet after the Murdoch fiasco is that he knows where the bodies are buried. He's a smug git who should never have kept his job let alone be promoted.

This government has no intention on doing what is right for women, or children, or anyone in any kind of need.

And of course a 12 week limit would be ridiculous. Even they wouldn't allow it to happen.

LonelyCloud Sat 06-Oct-12 13:13:11

I think 12 weeks is too early - yes, the majority of abortions happen before then - but if you don't realise you're pregnant right away, or have trouble finding a doctor who'll refer you, 12 weeks isn't all that long.

And that's before thinking about cases where abnormalities aren't picked up until the 20 week scan.

I also don't believe that any woman would take the decision to abort her pregnancy lightly.

BartletForTeamGB Sat 06-Oct-12 13:13:34

"But that was your choice. No one is goingto take that choice away from you. Surely you can understand that it would be barbaric to force a woman to go through that, if she didn't want to?"

There is no suggestion that the law is going to be changed in that regard. This appears to be a discussion of 'social abortion'.

bellabreeze Sat 06-Oct-12 13:14:24

To tell the truth, i was very glad to hear this, it is too late in my opinion, babies have been born and survived at that age and it's just too old. I don't think its only about the woman, it's about the unborn child aswell.. letting the baby grow for that long only to end its life is hardly fair

jellybeans Sat 06-Oct-12 13:15:42

It's very easy to have a view against abortion if you are a man, have not been raped, are not in extreme poverty, not a teenager who is pregnant, not found out at the 20 week scan your baby has no brain etc etc. I have been in some of these sad positions and made a different choice both times. Before being faced with it I also had no idea, was against certain things etc because I had had the luxury of never being faced with it until that time. I can tell you that what you think you may do and what you actually do may very well be different. So you have to trust that other women going through hell in horrible situations can choose what is best with all the facts about their specific situation not what some outsider who has never ever had to face such horror thinks they should do. Giving birth to a baby who won't live or is stillborn post 20 weeks is horrific. I have done it twice. Who would go through that unless there was a dire reason.

DilysPrice Sat 06-Oct-12 13:17:51

I think he's a twat, and I disagree with him on this, but I don't think that his views in abortion (which have been well known for some time) disqualify him from being health secretary - it's always been legislated on as a matter of inidividual conscience.

His views on homeopathy however...,

PeshwariNaan Sat 06-Oct-12 13:20:25

bellabreeze, babies have NOT been born and survived at 12 weeks...???

Nor have they at 20 weeks....?

24 weeks is viability, that seems like a sensible medical cutoff!!

CrikeyOHare Sat 06-Oct-12 13:21:05

He has to go - for having a different opinion to you??

MrsToddsShortcut Sat 06-Oct-12 13:21:16

Of course you are, and that's fine. but...

Let's say that a law is passed that prohibits abortion for anything other than medical reasons past 12 weeks. Do those of you that support this honestly believe that this will prevent abortions past 12 weeks?

Do you really believe that frightened and vulnerable girls and women who cannot cope with a pregnancy, some of them who will have no support, will manfully square their shoulders and decide to just soldier on?

If you believe that, then I'm afraid you are at best naive. Abortion will never go away, it will be driven back underground. The lives and health and well being of women and girls will be at risk through the re-emergence of underground and backstreet abortionists.

Nobody thinks abortion is a 'good' thing, but I believe it is a necessary thing for some women and girls. And it needs to be provided in a safe and regulated way. It is the duty of Government to make decisions that are in the best interests of it's electorate. And while it may well contradict your personal feelings, the 'best' thing for women and girls isn't to be driven back into the arms of unregulated and unsafe abortionists.

bellabreeze Sat 06-Oct-12 13:21:24

PeshwariNaan you obviously did not understand what I was trying to say. I was talking about the current cutoff point.

Anonymumous Sat 06-Oct-12 13:22:25

Blimey, what a lot of vitriol directed against someone just because he holds what I would have thought was a fairly uncontroversial viewpoint. It's not as if he wants to ban abortions altogether you know. hmm

I would LOVE to see the reaction on here if a politician suggested that a woman should have written permission from the father before she is allowed to abort his baby!!! grin grin grin

PeshwariNaan Sat 06-Oct-12 13:25:04

What MrsTodd said. Sensible.

YouMayLogOut Sat 06-Oct-12 13:26:26

Is Jeremy Hunt stepping forward to provide for all the unwanted children who would be born as a result of such a policy? No, thought not...

LonelyCloud Sat 06-Oct-12 13:26:33

Agree with MrsTodd about back-street abortionists returning.

jellybeans Sat 06-Oct-12 13:27:34

'Just to make clear that it is not just people who have had 'normal' pregnancies who think this. I, and sadly a few friends, have all had babies whose conditions were incompatible with life and all of us declined termination chose to continue to carry on the pregnancies until our babies died.'

But you chose to do that, it is a choice I am sure you were glad of. If you were forced to do the opposite you wouldn't have liked it. The vast majority of people with certain conditions do terminate (i think it is over 90% with Downs although of course this is people who have tested and know about it, some may refuse tests). In any case it is right that it is a choice. There are of course also cases where carrying on with the pregnancy could kill the mother. Eg in cases where there is massive amounts of fluid/hydrops in the baby; this can build up in the mother and cause a syndrome where it can kill the mother. In cases where the baby will die it is just a case of bringing the birth forward. Nature itself terminates many of these pregnancies.

SundaeGirl Sat 06-Oct-12 13:28:06

Before everyone decides that this is just more Tory twattishness...

There are many people on the centre-right who strongly believe in individual freedom as their central doctrine, as I do, and will be appalled by Jeremy Hunt. There's no way D Cameron will agree with him, either.

jellybeans Sat 06-Oct-12 13:29:52

I have never heard of a baby surviving at less than 22 weeks. I lost a baby myself through prem labour and was told they would do nothing till 23 weeks. Some countries it is 25 weeks before they will help. 24 weeks is the cut off where there is a real chance of survival but it is still tough and go. 20/21 weeks is impossible sadly.

bellabreeze Sat 06-Oct-12 13:31:48

It is rare jellybeans but it has happened which just proves it makes no sense to end a babies life at that age

hackmum Sat 06-Oct-12 13:31:52

It's interesting this has come out just after the Jimmy Savile revelations. It has given me an acute sense of women's vulnerability at the hands of men. I keep thinking about that poor girl who was raped at the age of 16 by Savile and her mum had to arrange an illegal abortion for her when she was 12 weeks pregnant. Imagine having to carry a pregnancy to term having been raped by that vile man. But I suppose it would keep people like Hunt happy.

WithoutCaution Sat 06-Oct-12 13:54:30

"So why don't the laws change that you are 'allowed' an abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks (giving up the pretence of it of it being for health reasons) and keep the current laws (however abhorrent I think they are) that an abortion is allowed up to term for fetal causes and (I agree with this bit) to save the life of the mother."

What happens with the women, like me, who didn't know they were pregnant until after they were 12 weeks? Do we suddenly have to keep a child that we may have never wanted if the child doesn't develop abnormalities or threatens our health? You do realise that women will go else where if they can't get an abortion here... The rights of the mother should trump any 'rights' of the fetus

EasilyBored Sat 06-Oct-12 14:05:28

Say you don't realise you are pregnant till your period is a couple of weeks late, so you're 6 weeks pregnant. You can get an appointment with your GO for a week or so, so you're nearly 8 weeks. They make the referral, but that takes 3 weeks. So you're over the limit already, and that is without taking a couple of weeks to really weigh up your options. 12 weeks is just not long enough.

OTTMummA Sat 06-Oct-12 14:11:33

It wasn't long ago i was reading this
No doubt this woman has MH problems, but i don't think the current laws serve all women equally,the woman in the article was very lucky she didn't do herself damage or kill herself as well.
Dispite feeling quite upset about the idea of terminating late in pregnancy i do thing that women should be able to have an abortion up to a day before the due date.
I didn't know i was pregnant with my first until i was nearly 23 weeks, even under the current laws, it would of been too late for me to request an abortion, i know that if i hadn't had the huge amount of support around me, i wouldn't of coped, and would of considered abortion, combined with my long term MH problems i can not say that i wouldn't of ended up trying to kill myself if i had felt desperate enough.

I also grew up partly in foster care, the system can't cope with the amount of children already in care,, also i can not fathom how much worse it would be to a childs emotional wellbeing to know that you were not wanted at all, and if you were born x amount of time before then you wouldn't be alive.

As someone else has said, abortions have and will always happen, we need to make sure women feel safe and secure that she will be able to have full body autonomy.

I have the right to decided to donate blood and organs
I have the right to decided wether i want to be resuscitated
I have the right to decided what goes in and out of my body
I have the right to refuse medical assistance
I should also have the right to decided if i want to end a pregnancy.

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 14:12:58

Just heard the news that the government has 'no plans to change abortion law'.

Hunt is such a prat.

pollyblue Sat 06-Oct-12 14:16:12

God help us if this comes to pass (I doubt it will, but.....) and the likes of backstreet abortionists reappear.

I agree that Jeremy Hunt is entitled to his personal views, of course I do. But he is employed in a position where those personal views could bring him into conflict with his professional role, which is surely to legislate from the head, not the heart?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Xenia Sat 06-Oct-12 14:29:36

It has always been a free view/vote issue in recent years for politicians.
12 weeks is very hard to understand. Either you think life begins at conception like Catholics in which case there is no difference between 1 week or 40 week gestation and even aborting a down's child at 2 weeks or even 42 weeks is killing, or you don't believe that. I don't know why Hunt thinks God has spoken to him to tell him life begins at 12 weeks.

He married in China rather late in life at around 40 to a Chinese lady and I think he had one child 2 years ago and a new baby this year.

This sort of comment does Cameron no good - he is already doing very badly with keeping women voters particularly because of the poor representation of women in positions of power in the cabinet.

Also given 90%+ of British parents abort children with down's and many find out after 12 weeks it is certainly going to make that a rather difficult issue. Does he want the NHS and social serviecs to be caring for large numbers of down's babies rejected by the 90% + of parents would might have aborted them under current law which allows abortion on disability grounds at any time up to birth?

totallynaive Sat 06-Oct-12 14:30:44

Haven't read the whole thread, but I'm wondering where the invisible libdems would stand on this. Can't remember them being particularly supportive of changes to the current law in the past. Are they going to tell Hunt to stick this up his a**e or just simper along with it just in case they get their much more important "mansion" tax?

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 14:33:39

Lib Dems are pro choice. They support women having autonomy over their own bodies.

Hunt's a fool.

OTTMummA Sat 06-Oct-12 14:33:47

I can not fathom why anyone, especially any woman would want to force another woman to go through with a pregnancy and birth she didn't want.

What do you think will happen? Do you think that she will eventually change her mind and imbrace motherhood with all its back breaking glory?
That after the baby is here that she will look into her baby's eyes well up with pride and thank her stars that there were other more reasonable wise people in the world who made this choice for her?

What about the child? do you think it will thank you for how it came to be?

There are so, so many valid reasons NOT to lower the time limit.

grovel Sat 06-Oct-12 14:35:51


Hunt was asked in an interview. When he last voted on the subject he voted for 12 weeks. He was just being consistent.

Keep calm and carry on.

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 14:36:57

It's worrying though that such an idiot is in charge of the health service. I may need to panic just a little.

quesadilla Sat 06-Oct-12 14:38:27

It is pretty astonishing. Its one thing holding this view, which is a personal opinion in good faith (which I happen to find abhorrent but that's by the by) but expressing it while in a position of being the person with control over the NHS is an astonishing lack of political savvy and responsibility And I thought Andrew Lansley was a walking nightmare.
I presume Cameron knew he was going to make this disclosure which, as several people have said, severely calls into question his judgement. Hunt made a complete car-crash of being culture secretary and within weeks of being health secretary has ratcheted up the levels of barbarity several degrees.Those of you who are emailing him, are you just doing it through his constituency email? Is there a petition anywhere one can sign?

carefulobserver Sat 06-Oct-12 14:43:38

EasilyBored: "Say you don't realise you are pregnant till your period is a couple of weeks late, so you're 6 weeks pregnant. You can get an appointment with your GO for a week or so, so you're nearly 8 weeks. They make the referral, but that takes 3 weeks. So you're over the limit already, and that is without taking a couple of weeks to really weigh up your options. 12 weeks is just not long enough."

I think that's probably the point - he's probably completely pro-life.

And concerning that legislation: if two registered medical practitioners are of the opinion, formed in good faith -
(a) that the pregnancy has not exceeded its twenty-fourth week and that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or any existing children of her family;

All pregnancies carried to term pose a greater risk to the mother's health than would a termination. That's why we really have so called abortion on demand. Doctor's are not disregarding the law, they are just aware that all pregnancies carry pretty huge risks to the mother's health and every woman should have the right to decide whether she wants to take on these health risks at this time in her life.

Liketochat1 Sat 06-Oct-12 14:44:50

Yabu. He's entitled to have an opinion on this. I think it's a discussion worth having. It would bring the UK more in line with most European countries. His view would be considered fairly normal there.ès).pdf.
Of course fetuses are unborn babies or children and can be referred to as such. It's ridiculous to say otherwise.
Of course the mother's well being is important but, in my opinion, her life is not worth more than any other born or unborn. I've always struggled to understand why children are the most protected in our society once out of the womb but inside it they are the most at risk.
I struggle to understand how I can be asked to give all my compassion to a woman with an unwanted pregnancy and none at all for the life that will be ended. Why so much to one life and none for the other?

peachespearsandapples Sat 06-Oct-12 14:49:02

I completely agree with you Liketochat and everything you say in your post.

I agree that the limit should be lower. That does not make me anti-women, not a feminist, or a conservative. I believe in human rights, and think very much that there are two lives involved in any decision about termination.

So much frothing about women's rights - no one seems to care about the unborn child who has no voice at all.

OTTMummA Sat 06-Oct-12 14:51:22

There are people in the world that object against abortion altogether Liketochat1, they believe if you are raped and concieve from that rape then you shouldn't have an abortion, you should carry that fetus to term, go through birth and be grateful that 'god' has blessed you with a child.

This opinion is no different IMO than the one jeremy hunt takes.

Would you be ok with being forced to carry and birth a child of rape?
Why should anyone tell you what should happen to your body?

OTTMummA Sat 06-Oct-12 14:52:56

Why would you want to have a baby born that isn't wanted?

missymoomoomee Sat 06-Oct-12 14:57:24

I would have had an abortion because I loved my child so much. I would have had an abortion to save her having painful procedures, to save all of her bones being broken, to save her brain being perfectly active yet her body not working at all, to save her from getting infections because of her breathing tubes, and to save her life support being switched off and watch her die in my arms.

I'm sure the vast majority of people who have late abortions are in similar postions.

So don't ever say that they don't care about their child.

Ponyofdoom Sat 06-Oct-12 15:04:20

peaches, it doesn't mean not caring about the 'unborn child' it means seeing that there is a hard choice between the 'unborn child' or the woman. So obviously you should prioritise the rights and health of the conscious adult woman.

YouMayLogOut Sat 06-Oct-12 15:06:28

missymoomoomee that's a very wise and thoughtful post - couldn't agree more.

LittleFrieda Sat 06-Oct-12 15:07:03

Grovel Quite.

Xenia Sat 06-Oct-12 15:07:48

OTT, surely it's not that hard to fathom? If you think life is formed at conceptions as lots of people do then to kill it is murder, as much murder as going into the street and shooting a mother and children. I don't support that view but I can fully understand it. It's a logical ethical view.

Liketochat1 Sat 06-Oct-12 15:10:02

Ottmumma- as it happens I wouldn't abort my child even if s/he was conceived as a result of rape. It's not their fault so I wouldn't 'punish' them. That's my personal view.
I also don't believe we can justify having an abortion law which affects thousands of unborn babies conceived during consensual sex because a very small proportion are conceived through rape.

LittleFrieda Sat 06-Oct-12 15:14:16

If a baby is potentially capable of independent life independent of the mother, then surely that should be the starting point for a time limit?

I favour 20 weeks as a time limit. I agree that a woman should not be hostage to a pregnancy, but I alo believe an unborn baby who has reached a gestation where he can survive outside the womb independently of the mother, should not be terminated at the will of the mother.

Xenia Sat 06-Oct-12 15:20:20

LF, that is not the view of many religions which instead is that life starts at conception when a soul enters the body.

20 weeks and 12 are both fairly arbitrary. It certainly however feels wrong to many that in one ward a hospital if fighting to save the life of a 25 week old and in another they are having to ensure they kill it before the late abortion.
On the other hand there are very very few late abortions in the UK so it's really not much of an issue except for those who think abortion is murder.

Ponyofdoom Sat 06-Oct-12 15:22:14

Maybe, Liketochat but that's not compassionate to force your views onto desperate, suicidal women who do not share them.

gordyslovesheep Sat 06-Oct-12 15:24:31

a baby of 20 weeks can NOT survive outside of the womb - a baby of 24/26 weeks can't - not without a hell of a lot of medical intervention and risk - it's madness to say they can - they don't without help

bellabreeze Sat 06-Oct-12 15:25:12

I think women should have the right to choose about their body.. but not about someone elses body i.e. the innocent unborn child.

bellabreeze Sat 06-Oct-12 15:27:05

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

OTTMummA Sat 06-Oct-12 15:28:19

Ok, what if your sister, or daughter couldn't go through with that?
Would you condem the women you love the most in your life to put their own life at risk to carry and bare a child, and then to raise it?
To have that view point is entirely your choice, and i respect you for it, however why can people who do not want to be forced to do the same as you not have their body respected.
I also see no difference in terminating a fetus of consensual sex that has occured through contraceptive faliure, and a fetus produced from rape, some people do though, however hypocritical it is.
The fact is, that abortion shouldn't have anything to do with how the pregnancy came to be, it should be entirely down to the womans choice of wether she wants to carry on with pregnancy or not.
I may also add, that a woman can die from complications in pregnancy and or childbirth, forcing a woman to carry a baby and birth it is putting her life and future health at risk.
If this was to happen, it would start the childrens homes of yester year again, more vunerable children, more unstable lives, more hurt and pain that could be avoided.

Dawndonna Sat 06-Oct-12 15:39:37

Manipulating an emotional response does not a sound argument make.
The whole point is: It should be a woman's right to choose and the law that we have had since 1990 has served us perfectly well.

LittleFrieda Sat 06-Oct-12 15:42:21

Gordys - Why does it matter if the neonate has medical assistance? The fact remains that they are capable of surviving, independently of the mother with medical assistance of course. A woman mostly can't terminate her pregnancy without medical assistance either.

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 15:46:53

On the subject of Jeremy Hunt, I agree with Quesadilla that his political judgement has been shown once again to be dire. Why weigh into this debate, create upset and worry, when the law won't change anyway?

He is a useless waste of space.

gordyslovesheep Sat 06-Oct-12 15:47:01

no they are SOMETIMES capable of surviving DEPENDENT of constant care and medical intervention that is not the same thing and it's a smoke screen to say it is

gordyslovesheep Sat 06-Oct-12 15:48:38

The thing is - if you disagree with termination at any stage, at 12 weeks+ or at 20 weeks + etc etc DON'T DO IT

but don't feel that gives you the right to control what other women need to legal do

flow4 Sat 06-Oct-12 16:02:14

Ha! David Cameron has now said he doesn't agree with Jeremy Hunt. The man is a liability.

EdgarAllanPond Sat 06-Oct-12 16:23:59

what Theresa May said this morning:

'We have no plans to change the abortion limit'

she said it about five times.

her personal opinion was different to this.
now, i think ministers should be allowed personal opinions that differ from the party line.

Jeremy Hunts view is just stupid, but it hasn't developed into any policy plan.

EdgarAllanPond Sat 06-Oct-12 16:32:12

I will add: 12 week limit?

what a fucking stupid opinion.

It's all distraction.
Somebody shoved Jeremy *unt into the limelight, "say something stupid"

This came out on the same day as news of cuts to Stroke, heart disease and Cancer specialists.

Don't be distracted

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 16:41:32

Bloody good call, there, Quincy. I guess the Sunday papers will be full of the abortion idiocacy, and not the horrendous health service cuts.

TeaAndHugs Sat 06-Oct-12 16:44:57

Is there an official channel that we can use to call for him to be sacked? Not only has he plucked this "12 weeks" figure out of the air on abortion, he's also spoken in the past about wanting to dismantle the NHS and supports homeopathy. Would calling for him to be sacked be an appropriate use of the gov e-petitions site?

Kalisi Sat 06-Oct-12 16:49:35

Gordyslovesheep- totally agree with you there. I don't agree with abortion at any stage of the pregnancy. This, however is irrelevant and I would vote for pro-choice every time. I'll take responsibility for my own choices and expect other women to do the same. It's a touchy thing for Jeremy Hunt to come out with but atleast he's being honest about his opinions I spose. I just hope noone takes him seriously!

jenny60 Sat 06-Oct-12 16:58:35

He's a complete fool in so many ways and reflects the general standard of this shoddy government. He is many things but he is not 'pro-life'. Like most others of his ilk, he is anti-choice.

flow4 Sat 06-Oct-12 17:05:00

DID IT, QUINCY?! shock Bloody hell, I try soooooo hard not to be diverted by these sleights of hand, and I've fallen for it! hmm sad angry

Of course Jeremy Hunt is entitled to hold an opinion. But as Health Secretary, he is not entitled to express it. And since he has the power to implement his preferences, and now has expressed his opinion, he needs to be removed from any position of influence on this issue.

Or it'll be the News International scandal all over again. hmm

Posterofapombear Sat 06-Oct-12 17:11:03

Comes to something when the health minister publicly expresses views that are slightly to the right of the catholic church. sad

LonelyCloud Sat 06-Oct-12 17:18:51

Posterofapombear - the Catholic Church views any abortion as gravely wrong, and even classes taking the morning after pill as abortion. They would be happy with nothing short of a complete ban.

bellabreeze Sat 06-Oct-12 17:23:32

The fact is that there are people who care about babies, even if they aren't their own and even if they're unborn. I don't see why it's all about the womens rights, what about the unborn child? They're innocent and don't deserve to be punished. Death can not be a good option, it is only making things worse, that shouldn't be the type of world we live in.. where an innocent life can just be disposed like that

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 17:33:07

The many hundreds of thousands of women in this country, and the millions of women in the world, who have had an abortion, and who are mothers, care about babies.

5madthings Sat 06-Oct-12 17:33:35

Why would we want to be in a world where women are forced to continue with a pregnancy they dont want and that risks damaging their physical and mental health?

at what point would you allow abortion to bella or are you totally pro-life and think there should be no abortion?

women have a right to autonomy over their bodies. making it illegal or lowering the limit will not stop abortion it will just mean that more women die or suffer injury through back street illegal abortions. or more babies are born and neglected as they were not wanted and the mother/parents cannot cope. there would simply be more babies/children in care. there are no the support networks in place for struggling parents as it is, without forcing women to continue with a pregnancy they dont want.

it is not up to us to judge who should and shouldnt have an abortion it is up to each women herself. i am so grateful never to ahve had to make that choice (tho i was pressured towards having an abortion when i got pregnant 19 whilst at uni, i didnt and now have a fabulous ds1 who is 13) i do not know what circumstances would make me think of terminating a pregnancy and am thankful that i havent had to make that decision. i would never judge someone else who is unfortunate enough to have to make that choice.

JugglingWithPossibilities Sat 06-Oct-12 17:33:42

I agree with some on page one that I'd rather be hearing policy proposals on abortion from a woman minister - we just need more women in politics and in ministerial posts. The Health Secretary and come to that the Education Secretary seem particularly appropriate (for want of a better word) posts to be filled by a woman, seeing how women pretty much keep health and education services going in this country !

YouMayLogOut Sat 06-Oct-12 17:38:22

I don't think it makes any difference whether it's a male or female politician. There are men who are totally pro-choice and women who are against all abortions, and vice versa. There are certainly some men whose views I'd sooner support on this issue than some women.

Either way, I think it's more suitable for each individual woman to have the right to make her own decision.

pollyblue Sat 06-Oct-12 17:41:06

bella I'm sure we'd all love a world where no woman ever has to consider abortion.

The vast majority who support the option of legal termination do so with sadness but consider it preferable to a return to the backstreet, illegal abortions that are part of our still recent history. Banning abortion or seriously restricting its time limit will no doubt see a return to this, because the circumstances that mean women seek abortion - poverty, domestic violence, mental health issues etc - will still be with us.

tanteclaire Sat 06-Oct-12 17:48:58

I'm a conservative voter and am frankly terrified by this man. After his cock up at Culture, I can't believe he got promoted, and now he is shooting his mouth off over this, which has just never been a UK electoral issue (unlike in the US).
Scary. I think he is a total f-wit.

MoonlightShadows Sat 06-Oct-12 17:56:05

Sorry haven't read all posts. I have had two abortions, both when I was a teenager. I feel incredibly uncomfortable and upset about what I did, it has caused me a lot of sadness and I don't think abortion is a 'good thing', but I do know women have them for a huge number of reasons and his views have made me feel really angry.

It's funny how people like him (republican views, anyone?) are so fucking 'pro life' yet don't give a shit for the child or family once the child is born, hmmm hmm

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 18:04:33

They are so 'pro life' they tend to support bringing back the death penalty.

DreamingofSummer Sat 06-Oct-12 18:06:06

They are so 'pro life' they tend to support bringing back the death penalty.

I am and I don't

Dawndonna Sat 06-Oct-12 18:09:43

David Steel, a Liberal MP wrote the original abortion act.

Maria Miller supports 12 weeks.

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 18:10:40

Those with Republican views, Dreaming, do tend to be anti-abortion, call it 'pro-life', and support the death penalty.

I accept gladly that you are not one of them.

badmumalert Sat 06-Oct-12 18:11:40

Apologies if I duplicate anything already said:

I have had an abortion (at about 11 weeks). It was a long time ago. I don't feel half as guilty about it as I am supposed to. That abortion gave me a life I wouldn't have had othewise.

I do think though that the current limit is too late - just my opinion to which I am entitled. In the same way I believe Mr Hunt is entitled to his own opinion. It would be very strange for him not to have an opinion. A professional can have personal opinion on something that relates to their work. Policy is not about a minister's opinion.

If the limit is to be reduced though, the NHS would have to provide scans during the week in which they are due to happen rather than the haphazard way that they are scheduled at the moment. Women can't make a decision if they only have a day or so before the abortion limit. This in itself may be what scuppers the chance of any reduction in the limit - the NHS would not be able to provide scans and other tests on time.

Dawndonna Sat 06-Oct-12 18:13:47

I'm sorry, but I don't think a minister should be publicly expressing his opinion on health related issues such as abortion. In the same way I would not expect a General Practioner to refuse to refer someone for an abortion if their personal opinions were in the same vein.

MoonlightShadows Sat 06-Oct-12 18:14:26

90% of women who have abortions have them in the first 12 weeks. The later abortions tend to be when the baby is severely disabled and unlikely to survive. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.


LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 18:17:30

Yes, Moonlight, the later abortions are nearly all where the woman either didn't know she was pregnant before, and/or the NHS has faffed about with referrals and appointments for weeks on end, or a serious problem has come to light.

Eliza22 Sat 06-Oct-12 19:07:55

I've had an abortion, when I was in my twenties. It was horrendous having to wait and being seen by two separate doctors and then the (anti-abortion) counsellor. It seemed to go on forever and I started to feel very much pregnant. I was 19 weeks when I eventually had it done. I do not regret it but, I wished at the time and since, that it could have been over before it started to "feel" like a baby. That's because it WAS a baby. I now have an 11 yr old and I still carry his twelve week scan with me everywhere. His tiny hands are clearly visible....his little chin, feet. That was 12 weeks.... He was a person.

No one undertakes the process without trauma. For me, I wish it could have happened at 6 weeks or 10, because by 12 weeks "it" was a person.

babybythesea Sat 06-Oct-12 19:10:04

He is entitled to his opinion, as are the rest of us.
The rest of us though are not potentially in a position to get the govt to look at adjusting the law.
And neither can the rest of us use our personal opinion to affect how a vote in parliament would go.
He can.
As such, he has far more power than we do.
And because of that, his personal opinion should remain that - personal. Not public.
I think the only solution for this man is a long walk and a very, very short pier.

babybythesea Sat 06-Oct-12 19:17:14

So sorry, Eliza. I think you are absolutely right - people talk glibly about people just going to get abortions - I know of no-one who has made that decision doing so lightly.
If they do want the limit to be at 12 weeks, they need the whole process to be much, much faster.
Perhaps, getting rid of some of the counselling required would be an answer.
Except that then you wouldn't be quite as sure that someone opting for it really believed it was best for them.... this surely isn't what we want?
And let's not forget that men play a role in this. If a woman is forced to carry a baby she doesn't want, Dad is unlikely to be sticking around either. He's just as much to blame but really and truly, will he ever live with the consequences in quite the same way?
Just heard someone on Radio 4 saying the type of person who is most likely to be affected are teenagers, who hide their pregnancy because they are too scared to tell anyone. I can't see anything good in forcing them to carry on a pregnancy they don't want.

Anonymumous Sat 06-Oct-12 19:21:42

Oh that's just daft. Why should he have to keep schtum about his personal views just because he's an MP? Surely it's better that the people who vote for him know what his real opinions are and can judge whether to elect him on that basis?

Personally I think if you're prepared to have sex with someone, you should be prepared for the fact that you might end up having a baby with them. It just seems inhumane to run around sleeping with anything that will have you and then dismiss the consequences just because you can. I guess that makes me a scumbag who should have been aborted before I could spread my insidious views... hmm

EasyToEatTiger Sat 06-Oct-12 19:41:11

So you think that people must be prepared to be run over when they cross the road? There are people who play in the traffic and most who don't. Accidents happen.

EasyToEatTiger Sat 06-Oct-12 19:43:48

It is also a fact that a great proportion of abortions are performed on women over 40 who already have children. It could be you.

Anonymumous Sat 06-Oct-12 19:50:05

Well, yes, if you cross the road without looking you probably should expect to be run over. What has that got to do with anything? confused

How is it possible to have sex 'accidentally' unless you are raped?

booki Sat 06-Oct-12 19:51:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Dawndonna Sat 06-Oct-12 19:56:17

This, as I keep saying is not about an emotionally manipulative response. That is not an argument, but a logical fallacy.
It is about choice. Choice for women. Nothing more, nothing less.

Anonymumous Sat 06-Oct-12 20:05:58

You'd still have the choice if you wanted it - you'd just be a bit more restricted with timings, that's all. I fail to see why that's such a terrible prospect that the very idea should merit the sacking of a government minister. THAT is over-emotional and manipulative.

thebody Sat 06-Oct-12 20:08:04

He's a complete and utter twat.

I expect pro life( strange arnt we all) would like to see the return of back street abortions and then this will be a good way if punishing those 'feckless sluts'who ' get themselves knocked up'

Very very scary and we must fight any reduction to the present time limit.

Can we not all imagine a terrified 15 year old going to some nightmare abortionist,, it doesn't bare thinking about.

Anonymumous Sat 06-Oct-12 20:16:00

Oh yes, won't someone PLEASE think of the children?! (Just the imaginary fifteen year old ones though, obviously...)

Dawndonna Sat 06-Oct-12 20:16:51

I have a friend who lost weight when she was pregnant. She'd been feeling a bit quesy and had lost half a stone. She went to the doctor who informed her that when she'd had the baby, in approximately six weeks, they'd deal with it.
She hadn't a clue. In her particular case, obviously at that point, there was no choice. Had she found out at 16 or 18 weeks, you would deem it fair to remove that choice.
That is unreasonable.
As failing to see why a government minister should be sacked, in this particular case because it's the second time he's fucked up big time. He is, as I stated earlier, entitled to a personal opinion, but as with a doctor, or a teacher he, in his professional capacity, should not be expressing it.

Anonymumous Sat 06-Oct-12 20:21:07

In other words you don't like him, and will jump at any opportunity to bash him. Yep, that sounds about right...

It's an MP's job to express their opinion. How else can they be expected to debate in Parliament if they are not allowed to hold or express an opinion?

EasyToEatTiger Sat 06-Oct-12 20:23:58

Think of the children? You make my blood boil. Really you do. Please go to the compost heap and stay there. I few cells does not compose a child. I would rather see more children who were wanted, and our prison and mental health services of less importance. Do you want to see the re-introduction of coathangers and gin, or is it just that you would rather not hear about it? One way or the other, death is involved, and why should women shoulder that responsibility? Yuck

gordyslovesheep Sat 06-Oct-12 20:25:48

actually as a MINISTER he should be reflecting government policy not his own jumped up ideas hth x

Anonymumous Sat 06-Oct-12 20:26:17

You are being ridiculous and you know it. Get a grip, woman.

gordyslovesheep Sat 06-Oct-12 20:28:16

are you talking to yourself ?

thebody Sat 06-Oct-12 20:28:34

Sr it's an MPs job to represent his constituents and support his party.

You are describing an independent MP, hunt is a member of a party.

EasyToEatTiger Sat 06-Oct-12 20:28:53

An advocate of the old style back street abortions. Oh good. Can't wait. I don't suppose you are one of those women whose contraception has failed. I despair.

Anonymumous Sat 06-Oct-12 20:29:10

Where do you think the Government would get its policies from if its Ministers weren't allowed to have any opinions on anything? Are they only allowed to borrow their opinions from Mumsnet? hmm

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 20:32:02

Party conferences and then the electorate, Anonymumous.

MummytoKatie Sat 06-Oct-12 20:32:52

I am pro life - at least I believe that life begins at the moment of conception.

I don't want abortion to be banned though. I just want no one to have one. I want contraception to be improved. I want the option of adoption to be seen as more socially acceptable.

Most of all currently about 10% of women do regret their abortions and suffer problems as a result of them afterwards. Often because they didn't really choose them - their partner or parent did and they were unable to stand up for what they wanted. I want a way of identifying those 10% and stopping them - or at least slowing it down so they can decide for themselves. I guess mandatory counselling before the procedure.

Ironically I want a lot more money put into abortion services so that waiting times will be cut because although I believe a six week old foetus is a life I do recognise a difference between a six week old one and a 23 week old one. (Not saying I am logical here.) this would also cover my counselling thought.

Finally - I am very uncomfortable with the 24 week limit just because babies do survive before that. Our local health authority resuscitates at 23 weeks. I remember being 23 weeks pregnant and finding it very confusing that I could have an abortion or I could go into labour, say "please save my baby" and they would spend loads of money trying. I guess 22 weeks is the limit of survival right now so it should be 22 weeks.

Finally I'm not a fan of Hunt but I would rather a minister gave his honest opinion (even if I didn't agree with it because although I don't want women having abortions if they are going to do it anyway I'd rather they didn't ie in the process) than some political rubbish that means nothing. I want to know what they really believe so I know whether to vote for them! If Nick Clegg had said "£9k fees works for me if it makes me deputy prime minister" I'd have voted differently.

EasyToEatTiger Sat 06-Oct-12 20:33:12

The Abortion Act was formed long before MN and it was because of the health risks and castastrophes that happened. So much death. So much loss. For what? Bubble ahead. I'm off before I get rude.

Anonymumous Sat 06-Oct-12 20:36:08

I can safely say that my contraception has never failed because I don't use any. If I don't want babies, I don't have sex. It's surprisingly simple really.

And I challenge you to find any mention anywhere of me advocating back street abortions. Can you please stop putting words into other people's mouths? Ta.

YouMayLogOut Sat 06-Oct-12 20:37:35

Have you adopted any children MummytoKatie? Whose responsibility do you think all those extra unwanted children are going to be? I hope that you and other pro-lifers are going to be first to volunteer.

MummytoKatie Sat 06-Oct-12 20:47:18

Ironically I spent half my afternoon today filling out a form as a referee for a friend's adoption application. She'd take on quite a few if she could. It is very hard to adopt.

I'm not saying there are perfect solutions. But if you are saying "what about those poor unwanted babies" I'm not sure it is better for them to be dead.

gordyslovesheep Sat 06-Oct-12 20:49:40

never to have lived ...not dead.

Anonymumous good for you - not a solution I would embrace though - I like sex too much but kids not so much smile

LonelyCloud Sat 06-Oct-12 20:51:59

MummytoKatie - Most hospitals won't even try to save a baby born at 22 weeks, because the baby's chances are so poor.

24 weeks is usually taken as the limit of viability, because, with very good neo-natal care, a baby born at 24 weeks has about a 50% chance of survival.

And babies born this early also have a very high chance of being disabled - there's studies that suggest about 50% of (surviving) children born before 26 weeks have severe or moderate disabilities, and only about 20% of these children have no disabilities. No idea whether you'd think this worthy of consideration, but it's worth pointing out that a baby born at 24 weeks and below has the odds stacked against it, even if it does survive.

honeyscot Sat 06-Oct-12 20:52:56

May me I am missing the point. Ofcourse abortion for medical issue should be an option but we have went down the road now of abortion on demand. It has not done society any good firstly men now trivialise abortion when it does not suit them or are getting cold feet, this never happened in commited relationships and marriages when abortion was not available.

When abortion was made legal it was made legal with the permission of two doctors until either medical grounds. Now it is gone some weird way. I was at school with someone who had five abortions, she now has one child and Im pretty sure if she had to go through the first pregancy there would not of been the other five unwanted pregnancies.

Late abortions due to inconvience I find a careless waste of life. Hunt should not be attacked we all have are own moral compass and should not be attacked on having an opinion which does not agree with others.

The argument is made that children will be left abused and uncared for if they have a 12 week abortion limit. I suspect it will just made people a bit more responsible and careful. I do not have an issue with medical terminations but not the trivial disrespect for human life.

I went through a pregnancy alone, Im self employed so went back to work after a week (part time). Having a child is not the end of the world, and my child has a right to be here. I do not have the right to play god with a life. This is where people with religion get guidence and more clarity.

Sorry hope I have no offended anyone but I feel upset by the demand to abort pregnancy so late on for inconvenience reasons.

thebody Sat 06-Oct-12 20:53:48

But women will always seek abortions and if they can't get them legally they will seek illegal ones. That's a proven fact as it happens world wide.

Please done let it return here.

And if you don't agree with abortion don't have one, simple, but butt out of others lives unless you willing to adopt these thousands of unwanted kids,

But of course you don't want to offer practical help do you?

Anonymumous Sat 06-Oct-12 21:01:26

OK, by that token... does that mean we can reintroduce the death penalty for those criminals whose victims would like to see them die, and anyone who doesn't approve of the death penalty should butt out? (Unless they are personally prepared to fund the costs of keeping said criminal in prison for life, obviously.)

honeyscot Sat 06-Oct-12 21:08:08

Abortions have affects on society and families. In most other European countries it is around 13 week e.g 11 weeks Italy, 14 week Germany. Why the need for late stage abortions other than medical? A 22 weeks you must feel like playing god, especially if it was purely because of inconvience?

Ponyofdoom Sat 06-Oct-12 21:08:45

That isn't a suitable comparison with the abortion debate Anon, because in your example the criminal could get to live with no harm done whereas with abortion, either the woman OR the foetus has to be harmed- you are just preferring to harm the woman.

Anonymumous Sat 06-Oct-12 21:12:42

Sorry, I'm not with you. Surely the point is that the woman who chooses to have the abortion (or not) is getting the choice and everyone else has to butt out; and in the other circumstance the victim chooses whether the criminal gets the death penalty (or not) and everyone else has to butt out.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 06-Oct-12 21:15:37

Anon, you only have sex when you want children? What do you do with all your spare time?

Don't think anyone has linked this on this thread yet: BPAS audit of reasons for abortion requests at 22 wks plus.

MummytoKatie Sat 06-Oct-12 21:19:04

gordy - the whole "never lived" vs "died" is a very personal debate that you and I could argue about for a year and never agree.

Lonely cloud - true - but some survive at 22 weeks. In time our medicine will get better so we will end up with an anomaly if we don't change the law.

honeyscot the law is still 2 doctors and medical grounds etc. But pregnancy is dangerous and abortion is less dangerous. So doctors can sign the form quite honestly.

Dawndonna Sat 06-Oct-12 21:20:50

This is not a pro or anti abortion debate. It's a pro choice debate. There is a difference.
As for not liking someone and jumping at the chance to bash him, another logical fallacy. You seem to have a liking for them, Anon, presuming that a real or perceived relationship, eg. me disliking him, is the cause of the other, eg. bashing him.
Similar to your strawman fallacy regarding the death penalty.
This is about choice. It's about being able as a woman to choose our own futures.

Anonymumous Sat 06-Oct-12 21:20:56

Blimey Doc, is sex all you can think of to do in your spare time?! You must either be very busy, very boring or very sore! grin

Ponyofdoom Sat 06-Oct-12 21:21:20

No Anon, because an abortion isn't always a choice. If I got pregnant my only options would be abortion or suicide.

LottieJenkins Sat 06-Oct-12 21:24:35

This sounds pitchy,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,hmm

Anonymumous Sat 06-Oct-12 21:24:49

Oh it's NOT about choice. NO-ONE is taking the choice away from you. You would just have to make your choice a bit sooner, that's all.

LottieJenkins Sat 06-Oct-12 21:25:34

sorry wrong topic blush

Anonymumous Sat 06-Oct-12 21:25:46

Pony, in which case - why risk pregnancy at all?

Ponyofdoom Sat 06-Oct-12 21:26:44

As people have already pointed out it is not always possible to do so and jump through the hoops within 12 weeks.

Ponyofdoom Sat 06-Oct-12 21:27:16

I wouldn't but could be raped.

Anonymumous Sat 06-Oct-12 21:29:27

Well if you were raped, presumably you would do a pregnancy test fairly soon afterwards and sort out your abortion within the next twelve weeks. So this proposal wouldn't affect you, would it?

Ponyofdoom Sat 06-Oct-12 21:31:35

It would if I kept having to deal with anti choice doctors and NHS delays.

YouMayLogOut Sat 06-Oct-12 21:33:40

If someone has no brain waves and consciousness at the end of their life then they're considered "brain dead". I'm of the view that the same applies at the start of life, i.e. you're not a living human being until you have brain waves. That just isn't the case with a fertilised egg until many weeks later.

TeaAndHugs Sat 06-Oct-12 21:35:19

Arranging an abortion within 12 weeks is usually but not always possible. For those of us with irregular cycles (mine is usually about 6 weeks long but is sometimes a lot more) it can take a while to realize you've missed a period. Some women actually have occasional bleeds during pregnancy that can look very much like periods (again, it's easier to make this mistake if your cycle is irregular). Not everyone knows they are pregnant with enough time left to get an appointment before the 12 week cut off.

As a question to anyone who supports a 12-week limit: what do you think that women who don't realize they are pregnant until too late will do? Just accept that they're going to be parents? Unlikely. Motherhood simply isn't an option for many women. The rich ones will go abroad to get later abortions done; the poor, I fear, will resort to buying drugs online, visiting a dodgy doctor operating outside the law, or doing whatever they can think of to try to cause a miscarriage. The reason that abortion was legalized in the first place was because so many people died in illegal abortions.

YouMayLogOut Sat 06-Oct-12 21:38:08

> some survive at 22 weeks. In time our medicine will get better so we will end up with an anomaly if we don't change the law.

It won't be an "anomaly", it will be the facility to do the right thing in each individual situation. By this stage of pregnancy there will be very serious reasons why abortion is the right thing to do in some cases.

Anonymumous Sat 06-Oct-12 21:39:14

OK... so we have to have a limit of 24 weeks because anti-abortion doctors and the NHS generally will conspire to ensure that no-one actually manages to get an abortion before the twelve week limit is up. Hmmm... not terribly likely really, is it? [Hmm] You are clutching at straws there, I think.

Besides, there's always the option of going private if you really, really can't bear the thought of relying on the NHS. (I'm sure your friends and family will chip in if the only viable alternative is suicide...)

Ponyofdoom Sat 06-Oct-12 21:41:20

Exactly Tea, but anti- choicers don't care about women with their faults and imperfections, they think they should suffer for their sins; anti choicers only care about foetuses.

Ponyofdoom Sat 06-Oct-12 21:43:00

I could afford to go private but others couldn't. Unlike you, I care about vulnerable women even ones who have made the 'terrible mistake' in your eyes of having sex.

flow4 Sat 06-Oct-12 21:43:20

Oh Doctrine, that link almost made me cry. How terribly poignant...

"Teenager had thought she was about 18 weeks pregnant. Has an arranged marriage in the Indian sub-continent in the summer with the expectation that she would be a virgin. She had told no one of situation previously because of her fear, embarrassment and shame. An abortion was not possible because she was over the current gestational limit. BPAS counselors arranged for her to have help to mediate with her family and potential emergency accommodation for her, should she need it".

And "Woman came to Britain as a refugee from East Asia with her husband who has now left her. She is living alone in hostel accommodation. This lady speaks no English and didn’t know where to get help. She feels unable to cope with a baby".

And "This mother has two young children. This pregnancy was unplanned but her current partner had persuaded her to continue. She then found out that he was abusing her children and reported him to the police"

... And on and on with a litany of small personal disasters and tragedies sad sad

Dawndonna Sat 06-Oct-12 21:43:24

Interestingly, every single pregnancy test I did with ds1 was negative. Right up until the day before I had him.
Oddly, until I had ds1, I had a period every August. Last two weeks in August. That was it.
I would have had an abortion in my forties had I become pregnant again. My reasons are not relevant to the discussion, however, I may not have known I was pregnant until well after the 12 week limit. So, choices are removed.

Ponyofdoom Sat 06-Oct-12 21:44:16

Anyway you are being illogical, if you are against abortion you should want it banned from conception.

JugglingWithPossibilities Sat 06-Oct-12 21:44:28

Anonymumous - I'm finding your comments a bit weird confused

Maud241 Sat 06-Oct-12 21:45:37

Poor sad Jeremy he believes the hype, while the wealthy may organise procedures whenever... for themselves. The minions must follow the orders of upper echelons- forget the fact its your body.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 06-Oct-12 21:46:24

Anonymumous those are pretty nasty things you have said to Pony.

flow4 Sat 06-Oct-12 21:47:08

I don't think anyone has yet mentioned the fact that lowering the legal limit for abortion is unlikely to actually reduce the number of abortions. Reputable studies estimate that the 1967 Abortion Act did not increase the number of abortions - just transferred them from the illegal to legal sector.

And prior to 1967, 50-80 women per year died while having abortions - a number that halved within a couple of years of legalisation and has continued to fall since. There is little doubt that lowering the limit as far as 12 weeks would lead to women's deaths.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 06-Oct-12 21:47:34

Exactly flow sad.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 06-Oct-12 21:48:36

Youmay that is a good analogy about brain waves, thank you.

YouMayLogOut Sat 06-Oct-12 21:49:30

"the NHS generally will conspire to ensure that no-one actually manages to get an abortion before the twelve week limit is up"

No-one said that, did they? But there are certainly NHS waiting times, even for abortions that should really be done immediately. And with the way the NHS is now, these waits are likely to get longer, aren't they?

ThreePly Sat 06-Oct-12 21:49:33

Bollox, ponyofdoom. Women with crisis pregnancies are told by the likes of BPAS that the only choice they have is abortion. Pro- life charities are the ones who help women in practical ways.

Abortion destroys babies and hurts women. There are numerous testimonies on the Internet from women who have suffered horribly after abortion.

As for the old canard that millions of women died from unsafe abortions -- bollox again. The statistics were hugely exaggerated to try to get the Abortion Act through. The fact is that women are still dying from abortions, legal ones. It's not a risk-free procedure.

Dawndonna Sat 06-Oct-12 21:55:39

People did die from illegal abortions. It is illegal to fiddle the NHS figures on legal abortion.
It's spelt Bollocks.
BPAS do advise courses of action other than abortion.
This is about choice. Jeremy Hunt would remove choice by narrowing a woman's window of opportunity. That is wrong.

flow4 Sat 06-Oct-12 21:56:21

Actually, Three hmm when I talked about maternal deaths, I was using the most conservative estimates I could find, from this Christian anti-abortion website.

gordyslovesheep Sat 06-Oct-12 21:58:23

BPSA offer advice about all options ...without needing to resort to blackmail and pictures of abortions to get results smile

Anonymumous Sat 06-Oct-12 22:01:11

It's not illogical at all. Personally I would not have an abortion, but I accept that other people may wish or need to have them. But I don't see why they should be made available at such a late stage for convenience alone. (Medical reasons are different.) And I certainly don't see why anyone should be villified for holding that view.

As for the argument that some women don't realise they are pregnant in the first twelve weeks... some women don't realise they are pregnant for the first six months either. If you are talking about logic, and you are in favour of abortion, surely you should be in favour of abortion right the way up to 40 weeks and be arguing for no time limit whatsoever?

What did I say to Pony that was nasty? confused

flow4 Sat 06-Oct-12 22:06:12

Anon, THERE ARE NO ABORTIONS 'FOR CONVENIENCE ONLY' IN THE UK, at any stage, let alone close to 24 weeks! Please look at the link Doctrine posted to see the reasons why these teens and women needed late abortions.

Anonymumous Sat 06-Oct-12 22:06:58

No, of course not... hmm

thebody Sat 06-Oct-12 22:07:25

Why would you want to be the person who forces their opinions on some one else's body??

Please don't say you are representing the foetus. You arnt, that's bullshit.

thebody Sat 06-Oct-12 22:09:11

Oh and anon, I don't vilify you for holding that view, that's your view and legitimate.

I would however object to YOUR personal view controlling my body.

There are some scary, awful views on this thread. I hate the thought of late abortions. I'd never have one. But I support and defend the right of other women to have one. I also believe the mothers' life to be more important thn that of someone who is not alive yet.

Sorry mother's life. Hadn't thought how that sentence would end when I was halfway through.

honeyscot Sat 06-Oct-12 22:14:08

Doctrine was really interesting about the reasons. Surely there is worse things in the world than having babies? Most of these were purely inconvience and should of been adopted in my opinion. I understand child birth has risks, but may be we should be more careful about getting pregnant in the first place. These ladies would of had to have spun a good tale remember, that is by no means meant disrespectfully but I know woman who lie about contraception and you look at their pill packet and there is weeks "forgotten" but in their eyes they are being careful.

Xenia Sat 06-Oct-12 22:14:14

People have strong held views on these issues. The bottom line remains that the UK (and US) and most civilsed countries will be retaining women's rights to abort and even this Government has stated there is no proposal to change English abortion law.

I can also understand why someone who thinks life begins at conception would want to control the life of everyone who is pregnant and the life within them but I don't agree with that. I cna understand why they muight want to just as I might support the abortion of down's babies at even a late stage (although most are earlier) which must be a really abhorrent view to hear if you have a gorgeous child with down's syndrome whom you love.

Even if we were to change English abortion law people would go abroad to have their abortions or buy stuff over the internet.

If you believe life begins at conception then of course you want to stop abortions just as much as you want to stop parents on mumsnet murdering their children - it's exactly the same ethnically if one holds that view which I don't. In fact I cannot see a moral difference between lawfully aborting a baby at 40 weeks with a disability and smothering it at birth - an ethical topic which was in the press last year.

Anonymumous Sat 06-Oct-12 22:19:30

TheBody, are you referring to me? confused I'm not representing anyone's foetus and I'm not "forcing my opinions" on someone else's body (whatever that means). I'm expressing my opinion, same as the rest of you. And defending my right to hold it. Sorry if you don't like that. hmm

YouMayLogOut Sat 06-Oct-12 22:21:13

> should of been adopted in my opinion

And who exactly do you think should have adopted them, honeyscot? There are already a lot of children waiting to be adopted. How many will you adopt?

dementedma Sat 06-Oct-12 22:23:42

Haven't read every post but to add my voice I think the current limit is far far too niece went into early lab our at 6 months and gave birth to the tiniest scrap of a baby. One year on,this potential abortion is thriving and much loved. Life is viable at 24 weeks. I agree with reducing the limit.

honeyscot Sat 06-Oct-12 22:24:50

YouMayLogOut Babies are easy to adopt it is when they become "damaged" children later on the problems arrise. The earlier you adopt them the greater success. Lots of children were adopted in the 1950s to very good upbringings. I can understand the reluctance to adopting 6,7,8 years olds where the biological parents have caused so much damage with their choatics lifestyles.

YouMayLogOut Sat 06-Oct-12 22:26:35

Presumably this was a healthy baby apart from being premature, dementedma?

That's a very different situation from why such late abortions would be carried out, for example they find a serious, painful and life-limiting anomaly at the 20-week scan.

YouMayLogOut Sat 06-Oct-12 22:29:39

Yes babies are easier to place for adoption, but still, who exactly do you expect to adopt them, if not yourself? Why should it be someone else's responsibility and not yours?

Some babies would be adopted, but in all likelihood there would still be many who were not.

YouMayLogOut Sat 06-Oct-12 22:29:58

(that was to honeyscot BTW)

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 06-Oct-12 22:31:14

Honeyscot those women in the survey were still within the legal limit - apart from those who were mistaken about gestation. Why would they exaggerate? And why is it so important to you to believe they have exaggerated?

honeyscot Sat 06-Oct-12 22:34:40

Well people travel far and wide to adopt babies into this country, Russia, India, South America. I would adopt (a baby). I have two friends (single parents) who have adopted from these countries. What so scary about babies anyway, if you can manage it should be an big problem.

YouMayLogOut Sat 06-Oct-12 22:35:44

> I would adopt (a baby)

So when are you going to do this?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 06-Oct-12 22:36:26

I agree with reducing the limit too. The current laws were made long before we thought it would be possible for a 24 weeker to survive. Things have changed and it's time for the law to be looked at again.

honeyscot Sat 06-Oct-12 22:36:44

sorry shouldnt be a problem!

WantsToBeFree Sat 06-Oct-12 22:36:49

I understand what you are trying to say and I agree with you to some extent. Men don't have uteri or breasts- they don't get pregnant, give birth, need abortions or breastfeed (lucky bastards!). Therefore, they shouldn't really be passing statements on how they think women should approach these wholly female experiences, and they certainly have no business to lay down the law when it comes to whether or not a woman should have the baby, how she should have it and then how she should feed it.
The exception to this rule are of course HCPs, but even then, I expect them to give friendly advice, not dictate terms.

YouMayLogOut Sat 06-Oct-12 22:38:47

Anyone have figures for the following? What proportion of men are pro-choice/anti-choice and how does this compare with the stats for women?

honeyscot Sat 06-Oct-12 22:39:17

YouMayLogOut Erm well there is virtually NO babies for adoption in the UK so hardly a demand. Possibly because all those adoption baby never got the chance.

WantsToBeFree Sat 06-Oct-12 22:41:03


That's a very strong statement to make. I pray you never have to go throught it, but I suggest that you reserve your views on how you would react to a pregnancy which was the result of a rape unless you have actually been through something so horrendous.

It's easy to sit here and say something like that hypothetically, but when you're in such an awful situation ( again, I hope you never are), you may feel very differently.

Even if you don't, it doesn't mean other women have to think like you. The laws cannot be made in accordance with only one set of beliefs.

TeaAndHugs Sat 06-Oct-12 22:41:44

"As for the argument that some women don't realise they are pregnant in the first twelve weeks... some women don't realise they are pregnant for the first six months either. If you are talking about logic, and you are in favour of abortion, surely you should be in favour of abortion right the way up to 40 weeks and be arguing for no time limit whatsoever?"

Personally, I would be in favor of removing the time limit and supporting women to make a responsible and informed decision, in consultation with a doctor.

I think the point is that the number of women who don't realize at 12 weeks is a lot greater than the number still not aware at 6 months. An example of what happens when a woman is denied an abortion due to being past the time limit is that of Sarah Catt, who was turned away from an abortion clinic at 30 weeks and went on to induce her own abortion at 39 weeks using drugs bought online. Fortunately, such cases are rare, but if there is a vast increase in the number of women being too late (as would happen if the limit were reduced to just 12 weeks), we would probably see more of them.

Finally, from around 30 weeks you have issues with fetal awareness and ability to feel pain that aren't present at 12 weeks, which makes abortion to term a thornier issue.

MummytoKatie Sat 06-Oct-12 22:44:59

Youmaylogout as I mentioned earlier I spent half of my afternoon writing a document to convince our local authority to let my friends adopt. I'm still not finished. It is still not good enoughh. Why? Because these are peop,e I care about who want to be parents more than anything else in their lives. They are letting social services investigate everything from their finances to their sex lives in order to try and convince them that they are good enough.

There are no babies to adopt. If you want to adopt then you have to be willing to take on an older child - often with serious issues. They are.

It's not a case of expecting them to take on responsibility. It is a case of them longing to take on that responsibility. Desperately.

flow4 Sat 06-Oct-12 22:59:15

MtoK, abortion isn't the reason there are no babies to adopt. In 2011, there were 1930 babies under 1 in care, and the average age of the 3300 children in care was one-and-a-half. Yet only 60 babies were adopted. This is because SS take the view that it is in babies' best interests to return to their birth mother if at all possible, or to another close family member as a second choice, and so they spend several years (on average 2 years and 8 months) trying to support the mother/family to be able to take the baby back. If the abortion time limit was dropped, there would probably be more babies in care, but there would not necessarily be more babies to adopt, because the policy of attempting to support mothers/families is not likely to change.

flow4 Sat 06-Oct-12 23:00:06

(Here's an article about it, if you're interested)

Sneezecakesmama Sat 06-Oct-12 23:07:04

I think the time limit should be lowered to 20-22 weeks. Though tbh time limits are arbitrary and meaningless, it's still a life no matter how many weeks, but it's also unacceptable to force a woman to carry a baby to term if they don't want the baby.

FWIW Seriously disabled babies can be terminated at any time up til the due date or if the mothers life is at risk, so please be clear it is often healthy foetuses being aborted at 24 weeks. It's a shite decision for any mother to make sad

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 23:14:28

It's not 'often', though.

MummytoKatie Sat 06-Oct-12 23:17:54

flow - is that true for mothers who have willingly given up their babies for adoption as well or is that just for babies taken away as the mother is seen as unfit?

There's a new policy coming in I think where prospective adopters are given babies as soon as they are taken into care and they then keep them either until they return to the biological parents or until the rights are terminated and they they the adopt them. It sounds wonderful for the babies but so so so hard for the prospective adopters.

Extrospektiv Sat 06-Oct-12 23:19:30


Anyone who thinks there should be an abortion litmus test to be the British Health Secretary is being absolutely OUTRAGEOUS, let alone unreasonable. This is not the US Supreme Court where the Senate sometimes question someone over abortion and if they don't give the "choice" answer refuse to confirm them. Be pro-choice, but DON'T complain when a moderate pro-choicer (still not fully pro-life, like I am!) voices his views about the injustice of killing the unborn being legal in the second trimester on the woman's personal whims.

flow4 Sat 06-Oct-12 23:26:06

The figures are for all children/babies in care in 2011, MtoK. And yes, I agree that new policy sounds extremely difficult for people wanting to adopt sad

flow4 Sat 06-Oct-12 23:33:09

You're missing the point I think, Extro. He's entitled to hold whatever view he wants, but it should be privately held, not expressed publicly. Government ministers need to implement government policy, whatever their views, and need to be careful not to imply that government policy will be shaped by their views. There would be a similar kerfuffle if a Home Secretary said "I think we should bring back the death penalty" or an Education Sec who said "I think home education is for cranks" or a Minister for Defence who said "War is a great way of controlling the population"... hmm

Extrospektiv Sat 06-Oct-12 23:38:34

No, this is a pro-abort led witchhunt. Very different. According to the standard version of cabinet collective responsibility he's doing nothing wrong. The reason people want him to resign- and that no-one serious has asked him to, only extreme pro aborts- is that they are just uncomfortable with the fact someone who respects human life more than they do is in power. Even then, he has little power without the backing of his party.

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 23:39:48

Indeed. The way democracy works in this country is that a party forms a policy, usually at a public party conference.

The party then goes to polls on those policies.

If it wins, those policies are worked up for implementation.

Individual cabinet members do not suddenly form policy after the event of an election, unless in a time of crisis.

Dawndonna Sat 06-Oct-12 23:42:59

An emotive argument Extro is not an argument. Try reading the quieter and more reasonable responses on this thread.
He is entitled to his opinion, however, he should not, in his position be publicly voicing it. Would you support a teacher voicing pro life(or otherwise) opinions in school? Would you support a doctor refusing an abortion to a woman because he/she was pro life?
If you are in a position of public authority, you toe the party line.

Extrospektiv Sat 06-Oct-12 23:47:38

Yes, I'd support a doctor refusing an abortion to a woman. It's their legal right, and I'd say it's their moral right, and that any government who forced people to offer abortions in order to be a doctor would be pure evil (hence Western countries who respect freedom of conscience have these things called conscience clauses.)

Yes, I'd support pro-life in school, I want my DDs in a school where they are taught pro-life (i.e. Catholic or Christian independent) NOT one where some teacher will let them confide all their sexual experiences and not tell me anything, and refer them to some clinic to get rid of my grandchild without my permission.

You do NOT have to toe the party line except on matters covered by Cabinet Collective Responsibility, a doctrine which has worked for a very long time for governing politicians in this country and the requirements of which are well known to Mr Hunt.

And the "YANBU" responses are so fucking unreasonable that I'm not going to bother reading them.

YouMayLogOut Sat 06-Oct-12 23:47:54

MummytoKatie yes the adoption process is hard, and yes some people are waiting to adopt. However, there really isn't a vast queue of people offering to adopt.

I'm sure we all know of people who have adopted. Knowing someone else who has adopted is not at all the same as being prepared to do so yourself.

If there were no legal abortions then either people would go to the back street option, or there would be a vast number of babies waiting for adoption and many would not find homes. Is that really a responsible thing to support? Not to mention the overpopulation issues we already have.

Anyone who supports a ban on adoptions should accept personal responsibility for the consequences and adopt some of the many children who will come into the world as a result. This means you, not just your friends.

flow4 Sat 06-Oct-12 23:48:40

shock grin to "pro-abort led witchhunt"!
I haven't heard much fuss at all. Frankly, I thought he should have gone over the News International scandal; but since I'm not a Tory, if they want to keep outspoken, unpopular, discredited liabilities on their front bench, that's fine by me...

Extrospektiv Sat 06-Oct-12 23:50:04

Exactly, there hasn't been much fuss because it's nothing to fuss about, but on this website there are a lot of YANBU-ers with hardcore pro-abortion views. They are the people I refer to as witch-hunting as there's no reason to hunt Hunt grin

Dawndonna Sat 06-Oct-12 23:51:30

Sorry Extro you have no argument. You are only supporting one side.
This is supposedly a discussion on choice and as stated earlier, manipulating an emotional response in place of a valid argument means you have no argument and therefore no place in this discussion.

Extrospektiv Sat 06-Oct-12 23:55:50

You're only supporting one side (pro-choice). So you have no argument. And pro-choicers use emotive arguments eg "how would you feel if you were raped", "think of the children who'll be abused if they are born into bad homes instead of being aborted", for fuck's sake I've even heard people bring Baby P and Victoria Climbie into it (evil- anyone who desecrates a dead child's name to support abortion, I have no other word for)

Nothing you have said is more valid than what I have said.

AngryBeaver Sat 06-Oct-12 23:58:23

I am not going to read the whole thread. I left a while ago because things are still raw for me. I just want to say a few things. My doctor came round to my house, wih a fruit basket and ice cream for my children.
She told me that my baby was gravely ill,and if I continued with the pregnancy, my little girl would spend her short life in hospital, undergoing painful and invasive procedures. She would be in pain. She asked that I thought not about me and was I was losing, but about Hope and what I would be sparing her.
Then she cuddled me while I was out of my mind with despair and grief.
Those that think this was an easy choice for a mother to make,well, I can't find the words...
I thank god I have such a compassionate, empathetic,non judgemental and caring doctor.
Btw, my best friend is also a Dr, and her advice was blunt "Don't put her through anymore"...
I know that my situation was different to many women who choose abortion because they don't want a baby. But, there are a million reasons why this might be so. A million. Who are we to say that any of them are wrong?

Having had a life changing experience, I am no longer so quick to jump in and judge people on their decisions and choices. A mile in their shoes...

LineRunner Sun 07-Oct-12 00:00:23

Hey, AngryBeaver. Thank you for your post.

Nuttyprofessor Sun 07-Oct-12 00:00:40

The answer is find out you are pregnant sooner. If you are sexually active Poas once a month. They don't cost much these days.

LineRunner Sun 07-Oct-12 00:07:32

And will Jeremy Hunt make sure that early abortions are actually freely available? FREE, early, effective, easily accessible, non-judgemental, non-time-wasting, and efficient?


fluffymummy108 Sun 07-Oct-12 00:11:47

Angrybeaver, my heart goes out to you, all of this must be really getting you down. As I understand it most late terminations have a really valid reason and I think that it is very rare for a woman to take abortion lightly. I think that if someone has not been in a situation where they have to make this decision it must be difficult for them to understand the heartbreak, I suggest they spend an hour inside your head x

flow4 Sun 07-Oct-12 00:13:51

Wow Nutty, that is a staggeringly insensitive, dismissive, offensive response to AngryBeaver's very personal story. Are you not aware that many foetal screening tests are not offered until 16+ weeks, and foetal abnormality scans are done at 19 weeks?

fluffymummy108 Sun 07-Oct-12 00:15:33

Well said Flow

Dawndonna Sun 07-Oct-12 00:17:27

Actually, I support choice. I think it's a woman's right to choose whether or not to use the abortion route. My argument is therefore valid.
I have no objection to both routes being taught in schools on the proviso that they are taught objectively, not emotionally, and that they that there are choices available.

honeyscot Sun 07-Oct-12 00:58:20

Angry beaver that is so tragic and my sympathies. I do not think it is these late terminations that people feel uncomfortable with. It's the ones where they are week 22 not sure and basically inconvenient. Yes perhaps there would be more babies for adoption and hopefully more people would have more fear of getting pregnant both men and women. I personally think there is too much pressure to have sex, especially young girls, it needs to end. The sexual revolution done women no favours.

Extrospektiv Sun 07-Oct-12 01:03:59

Too right honeyscot about women and the sexual revolution.

As a feminist, I'm against the double standard for men and women.

As a pro-family individual with traditional morals, I believe both men and women (but especially MEN- they're the ones responsible for getting women pregnant! and in a patriarchy they have more agency over their choices) should abstain from sex until marriage.

Supporting the "sexual revolution" is just supporting females being allowed to crawl into the gutter with males who can't control their sexual desires and are promiscuous. Those men are dishonourable. We need to shame promiscuous men for a change! and honour purity in both genders.

Equality should NOT be about women copying men's bad habits, but the other way round- men behaving the way they've always expected women to behave- caring, nurturing, polite, calm, sexually self-controlled, moderate drinkers (not mad drunks), protectors of children, affectionate, sensitive, etc.

As others have said on fwr, there's nothing wrong with femininity in itself. It's when it is considered to be a submissive and inferior counterpoint to a macho masculinity that misogyny comes into play.

perfectstorm Sun 07-Oct-12 01:12:19

Angrybeaver I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for being courageous enough to post about it, because if people like you don't, then the true horror of what he is saying gets lost.

It's very rare for anyone to abort that late. There are good reasons for it. I've seen a breakdown Marie Stopes or the BPAS (can't remember which) supplied to Parliament when Nadine Norries was seeking to get the limit cut. Cases such as Angrybeaver's were most common, but also there were a couple of children who had been in denial about their own pregnancies, and one case where a woman found her husband had been raping her daughters (his stepdaughters). She could not bear to bring his baby to term. It would destroy her.

There are people behind these soundbites. I simply don't believe anyone has a late termination lightly, and they are very, very rare.

TeaAndHugs Sun 07-Oct-12 01:59:10

perfectstorm, do you mean this report?

AngryBeaver Sun 07-Oct-12 02:32:50

nuttyprofessor I found out as was pregnant very early, actually. I was monitored and scanned regularly as I had lost my last baby at 14 weeks (and I thought that was the worst that could happen). At every scan we were waiting just to see the heartbeat, nothing else occured to us.
Nothing was picked up on these early scans.
It was only around 11.12 weeks when I had another scan they noticed something.
I then had to wait a week for them to arrange a CVS.
I travelled 3 hours to go to that, then when I got there my placenta was positioned in such a way it wa too dangerous for them to perform it.
I had to wait several more weeks for an amnio, then 3 days for the results.
All the time adds up and I was way past 12 weeks by this stage.
My baby was kicking and moving.
Then after the conversation with my dr, it took 2 WEEKS to arrange a termination. I live in NZ and there are just not the staff there are in the uk.
I was then told they may have a day for me but she would have to "check with the staff on rota,as they may not feel comfortable dealing with someone like you"
someone like me
Imagine how that felt.
I am a good person and a loving mother,I desperately wanted to keep my little girl, but I just couldn't.
I went through labour alone and stayed the night with Hope.
I left the hospital the next day,and had to leave my darling girl there in the morgue.
I just ask that people think before they are so dismissive and self fucking righteous.
If you are fortunate never to have had to deal with a life.death decision, then you have NO idea how you would react. Trust me.
This really happens to people. It is about as human as it gets.
It is all extremely distressing. ALL of it,not just the outcome.
I would think that the majority of women who abort go through a terrible time and are wracked with guilt.
If they are like me, they dream of dead babies and call themselves murderers.
I can hardly imagine that anyone would take it lightly.
We have to think of the majority and not punish them for the ill thought out choices of the few.

perfectstorm Sun 07-Oct-12 02:50:24

AngryBeaver I'm so sorry you were met with such a stupid, insensitive comment. It was brave of you to talk about what you went through.

Again, I'm so very sorry for your loss.

ihavenonameonhere Sun 07-Oct-12 04:20:26

Jeremy Hunt cant really win with this, he was asked his personal opinion and he gave it. He never said it was the governments position or even that he was going to campaign to get the law changed to 12 weeks but it was his personal and own thoughts that it should be 12 weeks.

I personally think 20 weeks is enough, thats 5 months. Sure there are exceptions and there always should be but I would like to see the law changed to 20 weeks.

AngryBeaver Sun 07-Oct-12 04:51:07

Thank you perfectstorm. I would just like people to imagine themselves in another reality before they comment.

Woozley Sun 07-Oct-12 05:20:41

I would consider supporting the limit being moved to 20 weeks, but a couple of things bother me:

Can women get access to abortion services quickly enough in today's NHS?

Is this a slippery slope to further cutting the limit, then making it completely illegal, or putting obstacles in women's way such as vaginal scans being obligatory - don't want us to go down the women-hating route of some US states.

Would cutting the limit even to 20 weeks actually make it harder to abort for medical reasons?

Zara1984 Sun 07-Oct-12 05:29:43

Anyone who thinks abortion, or abortion time limits, should be restricted is foolishly guilty of not thinking through the practical consequences of this. There WILL NOT BE LESS ABORTIONS. Women will simply start either (a) having unsafe abortions or (b) start travelling to mainland Europe to access abortions.

You just have to look across the Irish Sea to see evidence of this. In the Republic of Ireland, where abortion is simply not available, 12 WOMEN A DAY travel to the UK to access abortion services. Yes, EVERY SINGLE DAY. And those are just the ones that those keeping statistics know about. This illustrated video from the Irish Family Planning Association sums up the situation nicely.

You might also be interested in reading (this was published in Ireland's main newspaper) some harrowing accounts of women who have had to travel to the UK to obtain terminations for medical reasons. This is what happens when you restrict abortion, including 20 week + services, to women who need them. Read here and here.

Even though Ireland's Supreme Court ruled, 20 years ago, that abortion should be available where the life of the mother is at risk (FYI, this is a case where a young teenage girl was raped by a family member and became pregnant, who became suicidal - the State thought it would be in the "public interest" to seek an injunction to prevent her travelling to the UK for an abortion). The European Court of Human Rights has said more recently that Irish abortion restrictions breach European law and must be amended. There is currently an expert group preparing an report about

The UK does not want to step, in anyway, towards the frightening and misogynistic restrictions in place in the Republic of Ireland.

And on a fun final note, guess what? The Catholic Church is starting its lobbying campaign against abortion ahead of this export group producing it's report. You know, the same Catholic Church who systematically abused children, is still to this day covering up perpetrators, and hasn't paid the State and victims proper reparations for what it let happen. Definitely the kind of organisation best placed to air their views on the rights of children hmm

Although I was always pro-choice, living in Ireland has brought home to me the practical difficulties of restricting abortion and the hardship it imposes on women and their families. It brought them sharply into focus for the first time for my husband when we were having Downs/Edwards/Patau Syndrome screening earlier this year (I'm pregnant with our first right now). It really upset him to think, that if we chose to terminate the pregnancy for medical reasons, of how harrowing that journey to the UK would be for us. He is of the view now that he does not want to be living in Ireland when we have a second child, because of the risk (however small) that I would have to go through that experience and not be able to access proper health services in this area.

Sorry for the long post. I just thought it would be a useful, practical and up-to-date illustration to people of the practical consequences of restricting abortion services or time limits.

Zara1984 Sun 07-Oct-12 05:31:01

Sorry not sure how a sentence got deleted in my post there - a expert group is currently preparing its report on how Ireland should implement the European Court of Human Rights' ruling.

AngryBeaver Sun 07-Oct-12 06:12:10

Really good post zara.

Woozley Sun 07-Oct-12 06:18:13

Yes, great post Zara. The vast majority of abortions are done early on anyway, I believe. I find it incredible that it's illegal still in Ireland today. Modernising abortion law should have been one of the pre-conditions for joining the EU.

EasilyBored Sun 07-Oct-12 07:29:51

The practical result of restricting access to abortion would be not be a rise in the number of babies being put up for adoption. Aside from a probable rise in the number of illegal abortions (and all the problems they might cause), you will just get a lot more people having babies that they don't want, or can't afford. More children born into poverty, more children born into dysfunctional or violent relationships, more children born to teenage mums without a good support network. More children born to parents who resent them. Or neglect them.

Can you imagine a married woman, who is a home owner and financially comfortable, with existing children and a job...getting pregnant, then carrying the child to term and giving it up for adoption. Explaining to her whole family, her children, her employer, her friends, that she did not want another baby. And in 18 years when that baby gets in contact 'well, I gave you up because I didn't have access to an abortion'. Because she didn't want another baby. Honestly? Do you not think it is much more likely that, if she wasn't able to access an abortion, that she might just have the baby, and be miserable or sad or resentful? Maybe she'll be happy she had the baby. But it seems like an awfully big risk to the baby to force a woman into a situation she doesn't want.

The anti-abortion lobby are so focussed on the right on the 'innocent unborn babbbiiiieeees!1!!' that they seem to totally bypass all the other already existing people in the family.

Xenia Sun 07-Oct-12 07:56:58

Either you believe the soul is present at birth (or in Hunt terms appears in the body at 12 weeks) or you think "life" or our right to terminate right arises at 12 weeks or when a feotus might survive from 24 weeks or whatever even if it may well survive only with various problems - early born babies often have difficulties. In which case it does not matter if the baby were conceived by rape or immaculate conception - you would still think killing it from conception or from 12 weeks or whenever else you think it is a person is wrong.

If you don't share that view then the position is different. The UK and most of the West accepts in practice women have a right to choose and indeed the way the English rules work is that women have a right to abort on demand up to the current week limit and up to any time even 42 weeks if disabilities. I doubt that will change.

AngryBeaver Sun 07-Oct-12 08:24:16

Another great post easily.
Some of the situations you describe can be read about on Antenatal tests/choices talk board. The pain over there is palpable sad

Kalisi Sun 07-Oct-12 08:45:52

I'm sorry if this has already been said one hundred times already but surely people must realise that the women who use abortion as contraception and merely for reasons of convenience (far less than some would have us believe) usually do so as soon as they find out they are pregnant which is usually by by 12 weeks anyway. In which case the number of "irresponsible' abortions probably wouldn't change very much by changing the rules. The women that will be most effected by this will be the ones that are the most vulnerable or the poor saps facing the awful decision due to medical reasons or mitigating circumstances.

marriedinwhite Sun 07-Oct-12 08:47:55

We should be doing all we can to ensure our daughters know they have a choice. They have a choice not to get pregnant. They have a choice to say no. They have a choice to go on the pill, to use a condom, to ensure they have sex in a secure loving relationship, to use a diaphragm, to use the coil/mirena. In the 21st Century all those choices exist where until the middle of the last century they did not and at that time there was more justification for legal abortion than there is today. I have never understood why a woman would sleep with a man for the sake of, for a bit of fun on a one night stand. Sex should be accompanied by love and the security of knowing that if you do get pregnant because precautions fail then the man is very likely to stand by you.

Abortion should never, in my opinion, be used as an alternative to contraception and it certainly should not be available as easily and freely as it is without a good talking to and without some insistence that contraception is used in the future if it is to be offered free of charge again.

It has become too easy and too acceptable and too readily available. It is not about giving women choices it is about helping them to be irresponsible. Nobody who doesn't want to be pregnant need be pregnant nowadays. A little more thought about who a girl/woman sleeps with and why would serve women's rights a little more usefully.

I don't think it is reasonable to say that after making a string of bad choices a girl or a woman is then allowed to make a choice that destroys the life of a developing foetus and potential child and man or woman. That is not about making choices; that is about failing to make the right choices and having an easy let out clause.

And men are just as entitled as women to have a view about this matter - after all aren't 50% of aborted foetuses male? Do men have nothing to do with procreation?

Abortion - perhaps once where there is nothing likely to be wrong with the foetus and a woman has been careless - once up to 12-14 weeks accompanied by counselling and regular appointments in relation to the management of contraceptions. Once only free of charge in these circumstances - if it happens again it should not be offered free. Let's remember that a woman does not have to keep and care for and spend time with a baby; a baby can be given up for adoption and would be welcomed into the lives of many childless couples who have lived on the edge of heartbreak for years because in spite of trying ceaselessly they have been denied the gift of a child created so carelessly and destroyed at whim by the careless.

Up to 20-22 weeks - yes if tests indicate there are significant abnormalities, such as chromosomal illnesses and the family, with counselling, does not feel they would be able to cope with a severely disabled child.

Up to term - yes if there is a physical risk to the life of the mother.

Jeremy Hunt - yes I think it was a silly and ill thought out comment even if it is his personal opinion. But this is an important debate and one that needs to be far more balanced in the context of both morality, choice and resources and I don't think the NHS was established to provide free abortion, which is unnecessary surgery when it can be so easily prevented with a little sense and forethought applied to what should be a loving, caring act.

PosieParker Sun 07-Oct-12 09:00:12

He's an elected Member or Parliament, I would think that means he should keep his personal opinions to himself.

merrymouse Sun 07-Oct-12 09:01:33

I think the whole subject is a complete waste of time. Assuming there are enough MP's prepared to support a 20 week limit, what do they propose should happen if abnormalities are found at the 20 week scan? If there are circumstances where a termination would be allowed because of abnormality, would they be prepared to design legislation that describes this level of abnormality?

Is a party that is pro-life also pro single mother, or are they pro-adoption? Where does this leave ideology about benefit caps? I don't think any party has the political will to sort out these issues at this time.

Jeremy Hunt is just being random, but no more random than before the Times interview.

margerykemp Sun 07-Oct-12 09:03:31

Oh there is so much wrong with that last post I don't know where to start

margerykemp Sun 07-Oct-12 09:04:07

Referring to marriedinwhite

marriedinwhite Sun 07-Oct-12 09:11:12

Then be specific *margerykemp*. If you don't agree fine but give another argument. What exactly is wrong with a woman chosing when to have a child when there is reliable and effective contraception available. If women chose not to be reliable and take responsibility for their choices why should they be allowed to have an abortion on request? I didn't go to university; I wasn't clever enough; neither have I ever had a one night stand; neither have I had an unplanned pregnancy. It isn't rocket science to make the right choice just requires a little self control and basic good sense you know.

Pro choice should come far before conception - what is wrong with that.

Kalisi Sun 07-Oct-12 09:11:23

I must admit, some of the views on here remind me of the vegitarians who " only eat chicken and fish" Fair enough if you believe that every embryo is a human life and ending that life is murder then that is indeed your view and noone is likely to change that. But please don't sweeten that extreme view with "provisions" to make it more practical and acceptable such as a medical issue with the child/mother/conception through rape/abusive home life. If in those cases abortions should be allowed than it seems to me that the other women would be forced to give birth as some kind of punishment? Personally I don't believe in abortion which is why I would never have one and I also get cross with women (and men) who are irresponsible and have an unplanned/unwanted pregnancy but who the hell am I to put these rules in place that could essentially destroy their lives and put a huge strain on the society we live in. Sorry if this does not make a lot of sense but I guess what I'm trying to say is with subjects like this it is sometimes better to take a step back from the emotive side of it and realise that yes in an ideal world people who don't want babies shouldn't have sex, but it's not and they do and maybe " it serves them right" is not a good enough reason to have a baby?

margerykemp Sun 07-Oct-12 09:27:09

I can't copy and paste on my phone so can't address every point in one post -miw

But here's an anecdote of a case I know. A woman had multiple abortions- I don't know what stage at. She had been pro life in the past and became a teenage mum rather than having one. Then when her children were older she developed a medical condition which meant she couldn't use hormonal contraception. Her long term partner (father of dcs) refused to use condoms or have a vasectomy. She was scared that he'd leave her if she refused sex. She was financially dependent on him as had always been a sahm. She eventually did leave him and her and her dcs ended up on long term benefits in a council flat in a very deprived area where she was scared to let them out for fear of junkies.

What choices did she really have? Would you like to pay out of your own pocket if all those aborted foetuses had become dcs and ended up costing thousands in benefits? Should she have left sooner and 'voluntarily' broken up a family?

Women need the 'choice' of abortion precisely because they have so few choices in life.

MsOnatopp Sun 07-Oct-12 09:46:43

I don't agree with abortion unless it is for health reasons so I think YABU. I just can't understand thinking abortion is OK so IMO it is bizarre that you think someone should be sacked for trying to get the limit down. ATM it is far too high. You are killing a person at 24 weeks and I can't believe our society thinks that is OK.

MsOnatopp Sun 07-Oct-12 09:49:53

She 'chose' to have sex and she 'chose' to become dependant on a man. Very very few people 'have' to make these decisions nowadays margery

Dawndonna Sun 07-Oct-12 09:56:26

Oh do grow up MsOnatopp Women do not always have choices. Were you there? Do you know that she chose to have sex. Perhaps he was raping her regularly?

MsOnatopp Sun 07-Oct-12 09:56:29

The whole argument for abortion makes no sense ( as far as I can see). Of course a baby is reliant on the mother carrying, but so are small children. I honestly see it the same as saying 'My DS is reliant on me now. I want the choice. I'm gonna kill him' I understand some people don't agree with me and I accept that everyone is allowed their opinion but that is honestly what I hear when I hear 'abortion'.

Dawndonna Sun 07-Oct-12 10:00:16

Then substitute the word abortion for the word choice.

CecilyP Sun 07-Oct-12 10:02:32

The difference is that, if you can't care for a small child yourself, you can immediately pass them over to someone else.

AngryBeaver Sun 07-Oct-12 10:28:56

marriedinwhite Have you never heard of Getting Lost inThe Moment?? I am sorry, but when I was at University I met a guy (now my DH btw) and we got very drunk,and we went back to my room. Neither of us had any condoms, but we, Got Lost In The Moment. We took a risk,we got wrapped up in the passion! We were very lucky that I didn't fall pregnant.
My mum didn't really talk to me about emotions. She infered that sex was dirty and was suprised to learn that, after a year together, we had already had sex!
His family are strict Irish Catholics and sex is/was a taboo subject. We both knew the risks and both feared that. But we were young, away from home for the first time and yes, took that risk.
I can't believe you can't understand how that can happen!
Not everyone is so full of restraint !
Yes, we aim to teach our daughter's that they have a choice (I will certainly be doing that when my dd is old enough) but sometimes especially where drink is involved) they may not always make the right one.

and MsOnatopp thanks so much for the " You are killing a person at 24 weeks and I can't believe our society thinks that is OK. " comment. As if people who have to go through this don't have enough guilt, without being called a murderer

perfectstorm Sun 07-Oct-12 10:29:57

MrsOnatopp if you can provide a substitute womb a foetus can be transferred into, then your analogy works. If you can't, then your post is ridiculous.

thebody Sun 07-Oct-12 10:32:37

AngryBeaver, words can't express, so very very sorry for you chik and your darling much wanted daughter. You are a wonderful mother and a very brave lady.

Zara, excellent post.

bochead Sun 07-Oct-12 10:35:41

Disabled children aren't what prospective adoptees want, at least not the type of disability that shows up on the 20 week scan. Foster families are hard to find with advanced nursing skills.

The government is also hell bent on removing access to services for the disabled from the educational through to adult support and health care. Parental support for children with disabilities is a joke and getting worse due to austerity cuts. (Anyone remember the Rivern case Mumsnet ran a media campaign around?) The situation when they become adults with elderly parents is heartbreaking.

Harsh as it sounds the educational system is already creaking under the weight of the needs of the premature babies born without the severity of need that leads to a post 20 week abortion today. We all know about the attack on disability benefits - but it goes much farther than that.

If we are going to reduce abortion down to 12 weeks then we need to simultaneously provide real, practical, expensive support to the families and especially women, impacted by this societal choice, including the increased taxes this would require. To do otherwise is inhumane.

I support abortion partly because I think the pro-lifers often forget that life expectancy is now on average 77 years. That's 77 years of care needed by society. Pro-lifers also seem to be very anti single mother for some reason. Just as cute puppies and kittens are forgetten about once they are no longer cute, so strident pro-lifers seem to forget what happens to the child on leaving hospital.

However as a single parent raising a child with ASD, I've personal experience of how much compassion wider society has towards the vulnerable every time someone makes a nasty comment about my son at the supermarket. If you want to reduce the abortion limit then you have to be prepared to make real PERSONAL sacrifices of time and money to support those children as they grow up.

"I'm alright Jack" is not good enough when faced with a young incest victim, or a mother whose much wanted babe is going to suffer a very short life of pain despite lots of medical interventions. Yet this is the attitude of a lot of the pro-life, right wing brigade when confronted with the very real devastion some forms of disability cause. They tend to be the very same individuals who are offending by a drooling wheelchair adult taking tea in the same cafe as themselves and the type to complain about the disabled individual being allowed out in public.

Personally I'd find it hard to have an abortion for any reason other than to save my own life, or to prevent the unneccessary suffering of a baby that wouldn't live more than a few years anyway. Tutting at 13 year old Mums isn't what's needed. Those girls and their babies need expensive, time consuming interventions to have any kind of future. The Rochdale scandal should hopefully have shaken some out of their dangerously spiteful complacency.

Judging and legislating without balancing the long term futures of those born against the wishes of their parents is futile, cruel and spiteful. The Romanian example should be enough to teach us all that.

xkittyx Sun 07-Oct-12 10:41:14

No contraception is 100% reliable. It fails. And the option of just simply abstaining from sex is frankly ridiculous.
The thought of having to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term is monstrous.

thebody Sun 07-Oct-12 10:42:00

Bochead yes agree totally with your post.

MaryPoppinsBag Sun 07-Oct-12 10:45:39


Why does your post of 8.47, refer to only women 'our daughters' needing to be told about contraception, women as the ones who have choices to make, and as ones who make 'a string of bad choices'
Where are the men in this? The men who are getting 'irresponsible' women pregnant.

You then go on to say men have a right to a say in the abortion issue. angry

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 10:52:50

I don't get the abortion time.

It's either you agree with abortions or you don't. I am prochoice and i would like to see more resources so women can access abortion alot easier.

Dawndonna Sun 07-Oct-12 10:53:30

Good post, Bochead

margerykemp Sun 07-Oct-12 10:55:12

msoneatop- she was 16 and he was very much older when they got together- huge power imbalance from the start- peer pressure to have sex at that age is huge, she didnt have qualifications so had no job prospects so had to become financially dependent on him

if there had been free childcare for all then I dont think anything that happened later wopuld have but pro lifers never argue for that

flow4 Sun 07-Oct-12 11:00:20

Oh married, like margery I don't quite know where to start! I'll try here: "Nobody who doesn't want to be pregnant need be pregnant nowadays". Utter nonsense.

Just as one example, my DS2 was conceived while I was on the pill. I had been using it reliably, I had not missed any, and I had not been sick nor had diarrhoea. Apparently an estimated 1 in 100 pill users get pregnant that way. Apparently after a woman has had a pregnancy (in my case, DS1) and her body 'knows how to be pregnant', the tri-phasic pills are often not strong enough and fail more often, and my GP should have prescribed a different form of birth control, but didn't. I had been with my then-partner for just 4 months. He was (and is) a nice-enough man, but I was just discovering he was not husband material. I absolutely did not want to be pregnant, but the only way I could have prevented it would have been by not having sex... Which is a reliable form of contraception but not a realistic one.

BTW my own particular story has a happy ending, and DS2 is now 12 and a joy; but other women are not so lucky. You can't curtail abortion on the grounds that "nobody who doesn't want to be pregnant needs to be" and you can't legislate based on what is essentially wishful thinking.

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 11:02:01

how was this women jailed

(Mr Justice Cooke said she had robbed the baby of the life it was about to have and said the seriousness of the crime lay between manslaughter and murder.) How could this be said in a court of law

bochead Sun 07-Oct-12 11:16:49

Marriedinwhite - I hope with attitudes like that you aren't raising sons.

It needs to become an "unwise choice" for men not to do all they can to support their offspring. The blame for a child's existence cannot rest soley on the woman in an age when all children are taught the basic mechanics of sex and reproduction before they leave primary school via the national curriculum.

The political will to make the CSA an efficient & effective organisation just isn't there. Until it is and is seen to be working, and wholly supported by the *vast majority*of men from all walks of life & it becomes a big badge of shame to be labelled a non-payer, then I think the market for some causes of abortion will continue to exist amongst those woman at risk of poverty.

Support for those already born just needs to be vastly improved on so many levels before the words of the strident anti-abortionists can begin to be taken seriously by those who care about the humane treatment of societies most vulnerable.

The maternal and child death statistics from back street abortions before the current laws were implemented make for grim reading. They also remind us that truly desperate women will continue to abort, whatever the legalities, just not in circumstances that are safe, hygenic or humane.

LittleBearPad Sun 07-Oct-12 11:29:54

Margery why couldn't the woman you know have used a diaphragm, copper coil or other form of non hormonal contraception? Couldn't she had had her tubes tied?

That her partner refused to wear a condom in those circumstances suggests there were other problems in the relationship anyway and to subject her to multiple abortions her partner must have been a keeper. hmm

There is no suggestion that abortion for medical causes, serious fetal abnormality etc will change. In fact at present there is no suggestion there will be any change at all at the moment. However given changes in medical science it is possibl that the limit should reduce from 24 weeks although not in my view to 12 weeks.

EasilyBored Sun 07-Oct-12 11:31:36

I always feel like the idea that having a baby is some kind of punishment for having sex, is idiotic, as it's also a punishment for the baby.

It's not just feckless young teenagers who have unwanted pregnancies married. I'm quite confident that my husband would stand by me if I were to become pregnant, and we would be by no means destitute. But none of that gets round the fact that I don't want another baby at the minute. For a variety of reasons I need to take the pill, and we are very responsible and use a barrier method too. But things still happen. I think the number of 'accidental' pregnancies I read about is much higher than statistics would suggest possible, but that's not an abortion issue. But married people have unwanted pregnancies too.

jellybeans Sun 07-Oct-12 11:32:27

bochead excellent post.

lanternfestival Sun 07-Oct-12 11:35:08

When I was pregnant with my 2nd child abroad the doctors told me the baby had a severe disability at 23 weeks, spent a couple of weeks doing tests and then told me that I could not have an abortion (if I wanted one) in that country as it was illegal after 24 weeks. The 2 doctors I saw told me I would have to fly to the UK where it was still acceptable to have an abortion up to 28 weeks. In fact, they could get on the phone and arrange it for me in a London hospital. Apparently the UK allows it until 28 weeks. Sorry, but that that is too long. By this time I was 27 weeks pregnant. Fortunately for me after an MRI it was found that my baby was not in as bad a way as first thought and then on delivery it was found that he was actually OK shock Having gone through the process myself I do personally think 28 weeks is too long or 24 if that is what they say in public. But behind doors it is longer than that in the UK. However, if it goes down to 20 weeks they better make sure they have very sophisticated tests to test for everything possible that can go wrong. Having to deliver your baby that late on in your pregnancy, under those circumstances, for me is one of the most horrific experiences imaginable. I nearly went through it (someone up there is seriously looking out for me). It was like staring into an abyss. It is the worst thing I have ever been through and I didn't even have to do it in the end. You cannot imagine what it is like to actually have to do it. They need to invest more into early diagnostic tests and spare women the terrible psychological pain of having late abortions.

ATourchOfInsanity Sun 07-Oct-12 11:37:29

Have only time to post not read whole thread - sorry if doubling up.
I cannot see how this 12wk limit will help anyone. You encourage women (lets face it, some will be alone) to bring an unwanted child into the world and think you are doing this for the bigger good? No.
I hope the put a lot of money and time into the already creaking adoption and social services depts if this ever comes into fruition as they are going to have to pick up some very messy pieces.

flow4 Sun 07-Oct-12 11:40:24

lantern what an awful experience for you! I absolutely agree they need to "invest more in early diagnostic tests and spare women the terrible psychological pain of having late abortions". BTW, the limit was 28 weeks between 1967 and 1990. Since 1990, it has been 24 weeks.

marriedinwhite Sun 07-Oct-12 12:00:14

Why is it thought to be so remarkable that a girl or a woman should exercise some control in relationships and if she doesn't want to be pregnant make sure that she doesn't get pregnant? If women don't take charge of that then men will always have the upper hand but they can only have that if women allow it.

I have a daughter (of 14). She knows our love for her is unconditional. She has been raised in a secure loving home. She wants to go to university and to study medicine (at the moment). She is sensible and aware that life works best if one makes measured, sensible choices. She is also pro abortion - she knows I am not. She knows that her parents will accept her whatever happens to her; she knows if she got pregnant and wanted to keep the baby she would be fully supported; she also knows that my view is that whilst it is legal for her to have an abortion I would support her choice although I could not agree with it.

I have a son (of almost 18). He knows our love for him is unconditional. He also knows that if he got a girl pregnant and she wanted to keep the baby that we would, in the early years support the mother and the child whether he wanted to be involved or not. He also knows that in those circumstances he would be expected to maintain that child from the moment he was financially independent until that child reached a majority. He has been brought up well aware that every act and decision has a consequence. He has been brought up to respect others and to care for others in the same way that his father respects me and loves us and cares for us. That is the example he has been shown.

Both of our children discuss sex and relationships and contraception with us. As they have discussed alcohol, drugs and other issues. Both know that you can only take out of life as much as you are prepared to put in. Both seem to understand concepts such as personal responsibility. Both know that if the wrong choices are made then life is harder for all concerned.

Of course contraception can fail; of course it is possible to get drunk and have sex. In the case of condoms and reckless night there is also the morning after pill. I would have thought that if a girl or boy is intelligent enough to go to university then they are also intelligent enough to manage to avoid getting pregnant.

There will always be accidents, that's why it is so important only to have sex with people one can be sure of. Isn't that just common sense?

In the 21st Century how can it be right to use abortion as an extension of birth control and why should an unnecessary surgical procedure be available on the NHS which is there to ensure that disease is treated, managed and where possible cured.

I expected to be flamed for my earlier post. My view remains unchanged.

merrymouse Sun 07-Oct-12 12:05:46

Women with very heavy periods/period pain are not advised to use copper coil.

Even assuming that a woman did become pregnant through fecklessness, I don't understand the logic of the argument that she should therefore be responsible for the financial and emotional welfare of another human being for the next 18 years. This would only make sense with a massive increase in funding for social services and benefits. (as others have said)

I think Cameron is just letting nadine dorries et al to mouth off for a bit, knowing perfectly well that he has no intention of making any changes.

thegreylady Sun 07-Oct-12 12:09:31

I agree with marriedinwhite. I don't really like the idea of abortion at all though I accept that it is occasionally medically or even socially necessary. However you dress it up a foetus is a developing baby and by aborting it you are killing it. I accept that women should have the right to 'choose' but feel that they should make that choice well before they are carrying a viable child. Twelve weeks is too early but twenty seems as late as it should go.

PosieParker Sun 07-Oct-12 12:10:58

Only women with social/emotional/mental health issues use abortion as a form of contraception.

I do get rather bored of the well it's not a life if it's rape, but don't kill a baby, if you have sex you must keep the child.....

Either it's life or it's not, you can't pick and choose who must keep and who can terminate based upon who you think deserves choice.

flow4 Sun 07-Oct-12 12:13:33

You haven't been 'flamed', married, you have been disagreed with. It's an important distinction; and if you don't get it, you won't be listening to the counter-arguments, so it is unsurprising that your view "hasn't changed" and we're all wasting our time. hmm

The logical extension of your argument is that you disagree with sex before marriage. This is a view you are welcome to hold, but as I said before, it is just wishful thinking, and not a good basis for making law.

LonelyCloud Sun 07-Oct-12 12:15:41

married - of course girls and women should use contraception if they don't want to get pregnant. I'm sure most people would agree with that. However, any form of contraception (other than abstinence) can, and does, fail from time to time, no matter how careful the user is. This includes the morning after pill.

Even if the woman is in a secure, committed relationship, her and her partner may have very good reasons for not wanting, or not feeling able to manage another baby. Or the woman may be a victim of rape, and not on any form of contraception because she's not in a relationship and wasn't planning on having sex with anyone.

bochead - excellent point about the need for more support for families if access to abortion becomes harder.

merrymouse Sun 07-Oct-12 12:18:41

Does anybody believe that women are having abortions after 20 weeks as an alternative to the pill?

5madthings Sun 07-Oct-12 12:22:56

yeah i am sure there are lots of women that do that merry! they cant be arsed with contraception and think a termination after 20 wks is an easy alternative hmm

as another poster said 'as early as possible, as late as necessary' its not a decision women make lightly, i thank my lucky starts i havent had to make that choice.

and i think married said earlier she doesnt believe in sex before marriage! so dp and i are screwed then, 15yrs, a mortgage and 5 children but we should have those children as we shouldnt be having sex. the fact that we have made a choice NOT to get married yet we are still in a committed relationship is neither here nor there (rolls eyes...)

flow4 Sun 07-Oct-12 12:22:58

Some people might believe it, merry, but it's nonsense. smile

ATourchOfInsanity Sun 07-Oct-12 12:23:15

It certainly has affected my view of the Conservatives! There is real politics needing attending to and this is not a viable scapegoat for doing their real job.

If they reduce the limit, they had also better buck up NHS testing times as most people I know don't get a nuchal fold test until 13/14wks here in my town. This is about taking away people's choice, not pro-life. What about the person/people's lives that this baby will affect for years to come?

And yes, all posters who have very reliable 14yo/older children, this is all well and good. But if you have to keep telling people this, it is clear that other people don't have the same experience. How would you feel if the baby had an illness like Edwards Syndrome, for example? I'm sure you would say you would support it, but do you really want your little girl to be looking after a baby with special before she has even left school herself? This is a million to one odds I'm sure, but the point is, no matter how "good" your kid is, doesn't mean their babies can't be affected by downs or similar.

We are in the middle of a baby boom, the future of billions of people living longer with less space is yet to be seen and our country is massively in debt. In a very, very jaded and cynical way, possibly the only savings the gov is getting are from women choosing to abort rather than put their baby into social care costing 40k per child per year with the child more likely to offend and be kept at her Maj's leisure (41k PA in 2010) let alone the cost of policing, addictions being more likely and thus further burden on NHS, retirement and their own children possibly befalling the same fate as they may be incapable of having a stable family, having never had one themselves. I know I am citing the worst case scenarios here, but they happen, we can't pretend they don't and won't create a bigger cycle.

I am against the social services system as it stands. They need to do one hell of a better job at it if they even consider this.

Anyone think perhaps they should take the men's names when people go for abortions and repeat offenders should be named and shamed or fined in some way? This is a very anti-woman stance the gov is taking and it makes me feel pretty sick. As you can possibly tell blush

Sorry ranty pants over.

FreudiansGoldSlipper Sun 07-Oct-12 12:23:22

No one likes the idea of abortion what do you pro choices do have parties to celebrate terminations and discuss with joy those that have had one how great it was hoping to spread the message hmm

But we do recognise that it is the right thing that women have control over their bodies and will always support that

And I have to agree you are either pro choice or not, opting out but it is ok under certain circumstances makes you pro choice just a hypocritical pro choicer

Kalisi Sun 07-Oct-12 12:28:10

Exactly my view PosieParker. However "irresponsible" someones choices are, this should not be the basis on whether abortion is available to them. Pregnant is pregnant and if you are indeed 'pro-life' it seems slightly hypocritical to put provisions on what is considered an acceptable reason.

5madthings Sun 07-Oct-12 12:29:37

what freudian said. i would far rather women didnt have to have abortions but life isnt that nice or simple. its necessary and i would far rather women can access safe abortions and the necessary care before and afterwards and trust them to make a decision that is right for them. women deserve autonomy over their bodies.

and yes i do find the abortion is wrong unless argument a bit odd, its either a life that you must value and protect or its one that isnt?! make up your mind.

i have already said on this or other threads that i think it should be available for all pregnancies up to 40 wks, the current law is disabilist and essentially says that the life of a disabled baby is worth less than that of an nt one. a late abortion is not something that any woman does without a lot of heartache and this is reflected in the figures, 90%+ take place in the first twelve weeks. women dont abort on a wim and certainly not at the late stages of pregnancy.

seems to me its just an erosion of womens rights and going back to the belief that women arent capable of knowing what is best for them, therefore they shouldnt be allowed to have an abortion! wrong wrong wrong on so many levels.

5madthings Sun 07-Oct-12 12:32:02

i have no problem with someone being 'pro-life/anti-abortion' if that is the choice they would make for themselves then fine, but they do NOT have the right to dictate to others their choices. and as others have said so many of those in the pro-choice are all for stopping abortion but they dont have ANY plans to help support all these mothers and their babies once they are born. dont abort but dont expect any support once the baby is here! they need to put their money where their mouth is if that is their view.

grimbletart Sun 07-Oct-12 12:40:43

In these discussion where people assert that there is no need for an unwanted pregnancy with contraception available I always think it is useful to see the facts about contraception e.g.

Note the column marked Perfect Use. Even used perfectly there is no method that has no failure rate. Extrapolate those percentages of failure to numbers per 100,000 in a population and you will see that any assertion that there is no reason for any woman to have an unwanted pregnancy these days are, to put it kindly, rubbish. Remember that these figures include married women, so unless posters are suggesting complete abstinence for married people once they have their desired number of children I fail to see how they can back up their assertions about unwanted pregnancies.

mrsrosieb Sun 07-Oct-12 12:43:35

I misread the thread title and thought you were talking about jeremy kyle

fridgepants Sun 07-Oct-12 12:49:31

"I'm a feminist but I think a woman has the right to chose whether to have sex and whether to use contraception, I don't think she should be allowed yo choose whether to kill her child. Take it to term and have the baby adopted if you don't want it."

FYI you can still get pregnant when using contraception. I had an IUD fitted - which I had to argue for as I had never had children - because I have bipolar disorder and most medications for it have health risks to foetuses. Was I allowed to have an abortion, or should I have stuck with it, hoping that if the IUD didn't damage me or the baby, that I wouldn't have post-puertal psychosis and kill myself or the child? If it helps, it wasn't rape, so under your rules I don;t have that way out.

Even as someone who's never wanted children and has always been very pro-choice, it was the hardest decision I've ever made. I spent hours on the phone crying to my DP and mum as I tried to work out if there was any way we could make it work. I genuinely don't understand people who think women just merrily trot along to have it done.

happygilmore Sun 07-Oct-12 12:51:34

I don't understand when people make these "qualifications" about rights to abortion. So if it's rape, it's OK? Surely if life is sacrosanct and should never be allowed?

And to all those who say abortion after rape is OK, how are you going to police that? By a conviction of rape? Because we all know how great those stats are in this country.

And again, those who say terminations for severe fetal abnormalities are OK, what definitions do you use here please? Incompatible with life only? What about downs syndrome? (Not wishing to be controversial here, but I'm sick of these random qualifications that some people throw in without actually thinking these things through). Perhaps you could draw up a list of "acceptable" disabilities for a termination? How revolting!

And again, those who say abortions are OK when carrying a child is detrimental to the mother's health. The facts are that pregnancy carries much greater risk than a termination. All pregnancies carry risks to a woman's health, even the most low risk mother can have terrifying complications. These are not necessarily predictable. At what point do you draw the line and say that actually the risks are too much?

My situation is that I had severe pre-eclampsia in my pregnancy and suffered a brain injury, plus a severe PPH. After treatment, the drs say I may well have a trouble free pregnancy (but then again I may not). I've not been told not to have any more children, but was so terrified by what happened to me I didn't have sex with my husband for nearly 2 years. Do I need to continue this for the rest of my life to ensure I don't get accidentally pregnant again? What if my contraception fails, do I have to go through a pregnancy? Or would I be granted an abortion because of my history? 10% of all women suffer pre-eclampsia when pregnant. Where do you draw the line?

It is all very well these hypothetical exceptions that some people have, but you really need to think about what, in reality, these mean. Never thought I would say this, but I actually have more respect for people who out and out disagree with all abortions. At least they're consistent.

To repeat what has been said earlier - as early as possible, as late as necessary.

fridgepants Sun 07-Oct-12 12:52:25

By the way, my mother came off the Pill to get sterilised and was pregnant with me a week later.

PosieParker Sun 07-Oct-12 13:07:58

You cannot be a feminist and support tools of the Abrahamic religions (aside from Quakerism) or taking away the autonomy a women has over her body.

LineRunner Sun 07-Oct-12 13:16:25

Yes, it's absolutely about women having bodily autonomy.

JugglingWithPossibilities Sun 07-Oct-12 13:26:49

Wow, I'm impressed you make an exception for Quakerism Posie, as I'm a Quaker - are you too ? - what's your experience of Quakers ? smile

But yes, I'm increasingly seeing how patriarchal many religions, churches, and faith groups are.

merrymouse Sun 07-Oct-12 13:35:17

"Take it to term and have the baby adopted".

Just imagining the following conversation at the school gates: "oh no I'm not keeping this one - we can't afford another - we've reached our maximum benefits so this one is up for adoption"

"it's tough isn't it - we have just stopped having intercourse".

"I suppose we were a bit irresponsible. No form of contraception is totally reliable, and really, if you aren't prepared to teach another child their times tables, you shouldn't have sex".

"nevermind though, this is so much less traumatic than an abortion, particularly now that the government has told us that childbirth is completely risk free. Of course I will still follow all government recommendations about alcohol and shell fish".

"you do worry though, dont you. The people who were up for adopting my last wouldn't take him with any defects ..."

happygilmore Sun 07-Oct-12 13:40:28

Easy to explain to your existing children too merrymouse!

"Well we wanted you, but not this one, so we're giving it away"

PosieParker Sun 07-Oct-12 13:41:31

No, I am not a Quaker... I am practically an Anti Theist!! But I do make exceptions for Quakers as I grew up in a town built by them! The Clarks family built swimming pools, a theatre, schools, houses for their workers. I do appreciate their lack of hierarchy, surely (if there was a God) that would be what she intended?

YouMayLogOut Sun 07-Oct-12 13:42:12

> Supporting the "sexual revolution" is just supporting females being allowed to crawl into the gutter with males who can't control their sexual desires and are promiscuous.

OK, so hands up, who on this thread has had sex before marriage? Did you "crawl into the gutter" with a "male" who could not "control his desires"? hmm

happygilmore Sun 07-Oct-12 13:45:55

I really want someone to answer my questions about the exact circumstances when it is OK for someone to have an abortion, and how these will be judged in practice.

Can I have an abortion if I get pregnant in your world? Or if I'm feckless enough to get pregnant, do I have to carry the child to term as some kind of visible punishment for having sex?

YouMayLogOut Sun 07-Oct-12 13:47:54

> They have a choice to go on the pill, to use a condom, to ensure they have sex in a secure loving relationship, to use a diaphragm, to use the coil/mirena.

married the pill/condoms/diaphragm/coil/mirena are all less than 100 per cent effective.

YouMayLogOut Sun 07-Oct-12 13:50:12

AngryBeaver thank you for your posts on this thread. I am so sorry to hear what you have been through.

Xenia Sun 07-Oct-12 14:40:44

I am not on that side, but if you believe life begins at conception then it is murder whether the mother was raped or if the child will only live for 1 hour. If mother or unborn baby will die then you have a debate but otherwise the pregnancy goes ahead. That is totally consistent with the view tha life begins at conceptions. It is not my view but it is how anyone with that view would see it.

marriedinwhite Sun 07-Oct-12 14:52:26

And they are only 99% or 98% or 96% effective if you use them and there is a darned sight more chance of getting pregnant if you don't than if you do and what makes me see red is that all too often they aren't used when women don't want to be pregnant.

Personally Xenia I agree with your statement even if not with you. Personally I don't believe in abortion at all - to me it is morally wrong in each and every case except if mother or baby may die. But then I'm an oddball because I think casual sex is wrong, and that unprotected sex when you definitely don't want a baby is not just wrong but daft too.

happygilmore Sun 07-Oct-12 14:53:02

Quite Xenia.

That's why I can't understand all the arguments about disability, rape etc.

It makes no logical sense.

happygilmore Sun 07-Oct-12 14:55:02

So marriedinwhite, can you answer my question - when do you make the decision about the mother's health? When it definitely will be life and death? Or just might be?

I nearly died having my daughter. The same MIGHT happen again. But then again, it might not. Am I allowed an abortion if I get pregnant?

Where do you draw the line?

It HAS to be up to the mother to decide. Anything else is barbaric.

FreudiansGoldSlipper Sun 07-Oct-12 14:58:51

It is to their conscious they do not want to be seen as agreeing with abortions so come up with a list that allows them to decide for others that it is ok all will be forgiven

You are either pro choice or not

marriedinwhite Sun 07-Oct-12 15:16:28

happygilmore I don't think I would be making the decision; I think a doctor would when possibly the mother couldn't. In your circumstances I don't think I would risk it because I would not want my existing child to risk losing a parent and I would not want to chose between my life and my unborn child's.

Personally I do not believe in abortion, in any circumstances, except where it might save the life of the mother. Abortion, since 1967, is however legal in the UK and it is unlikely that will change. It is likely that the limit for abortions for social reasons will be reduced to 20 weeks - it should, in my opinion be reduced to 14-16 weeks (and I say that having miscarried a child at 17 weeks and am aware of how pregnant one is at that stage and what a huge step it must be to abort at that stage) but that abortions where there are significant clinical reasons such as the compatibility with life of the foetus or the health of the mother may take place later than that and that is a decision that will be taken with the mother and her clinical advisers against a background of support and professional counselling.

What I do not understand is how so many attitudes are so casual in relation to a life and how so many claim that abortion frees women and gives them choice. That choice needs to start before intercourse takes place and women and men need to understand that they are responsible for their actions and the consequences of those actions. In 1969 there were about 5 abortions per 1000 women aged 16 - 44. In 2004 this had risen to about 16 abortions per 1000 women aged 16 -44 (and abortion for medical rather than social reasons remains a rarity). So unless a casual attitude to sex and relationships and responsibility has arisen during the last 45 years when the availability of contraception has become increasingly prolific what else explains a three fold increase in the number of social abortions taking place.

Yes contraception fails but it is hugely more reliable, more varied and more readily available than it was 45 years ago. Young people are supposed to be far better educted than they were 45 years ago and have access to information far more readily and are able to discuss sensitive issues far more readily. In those circumstances why do we seem to have an increasing rate of unwanted pregnancy than a decreasing rate. It does rather lead one to believe that it is because of the need for instant gratification, because there is a rememdy that costs nothing in economic terms (I believe the cost is high in emotional terms) and because girls do not value themselves, their sexuality, their right to make choices or the lives of the conceived but unborne children they have made an unconsious choice to make.

happygilmore Sun 07-Oct-12 15:25:01

You're dodging the question.

You said you believe that abortion should only be legal when the mother or child's life is in danger. As I pointed out, that isn't at all clear cut.

I have taken a great deal of medical advice, and for me, no doctor can say that it will happen again. With good antenatal care, the chances are I might be lucky. I have not been told not to conceive again. However, there are of course no guarantees - and my history therefore means a higher risk of complications in a second pregnancy. The decision on whether to go ahead with a pregnancy has to reside with ME not a doctor; after all me, and my family, are the ones that have to live with that decision.

I am by no means alone with having a difficult first pregnancy, should all high risk women have to have their request for a termination OKd by a doctor?! At what percentage risk do you think it is OK?! 20% risk? 10%? What happens is the doctor gets it wrong? Do we just say "oops sorry"?

And if women are forced to go through pregnancies that they don't want, the facts are (simply due to the numbers involved) some will suffer very serious medical consequences. Pregnancy and childbirth is not risk free, and the thought of being made to go through it again against my consent makes me feel physically sick.

I hate all these glib statements about abortion being OK in certain, very defined circumstances. No-one who puts these arguments forward actually stops to think how difficult in practice they would be to implement, and tries to palm them off on someone else - in your case, doctors. It's completely and utterly unworkable.

merrymouse Sun 07-Oct-12 15:28:14

MiW, I don't think anybody would suggest that unprotected sex is a good idea if you don't want a baby.

However, whether sex is casual or not, the problem is not just that sex often = baby, but also that sex=baby does not also make true:

baby=suitable parents
or baby=healthy
or baby=parents with means to support child

Whether a woman has an unwanted pregnancy because she couldn't be bothered to use contraception or because contraception failed, the nature of conception does not change the fact of whether she is in a suitable situation to raise a child, or even to responsibly carry a child to term.

I am a bit confused by your argument. You seem to be saying that easy access to abortion makes it more likely that women won't use contraception. However, I don't think there is any evidence that reducing the time limit for abortion would change this behaviour. Perhaps you are arguing that it should be more difficult to get an abortion at any stage of pregnancy?

happygilmore Sun 07-Oct-12 15:34:45

Quite merrymouse. Whether I got pregnant because of being "feckless" hmm and not using contraception, because my contraception failed, or because of non consensual sex, the end result would be the same. A high risk pregnancy that I could not, currently, cope with.

bochead Sun 07-Oct-12 15:35:04

I see Hunt's comments as the thin end of the wedge coming from an administration that has relentlessly withdrawn resources from societies most vulnerable since taking office. Given that the bulk of caring falls most often on women, we have so far born the brunt.

My life story is not that of other individuals - I've been lucky enough to never be the terrified 13 year olds described in cases like the Rochdale Aisian sex ring (cos SS were doing such a great job of protecting innocents there weren't they?). Nor have I had to face devasting news at a 20 week scan. How dare I try and further restrict an already despairing woman's choice further?

Are some so lacking in compassion that they really can't see beyond the confines of their own sheltered comfort? Any woman can be abandoned or subjected to violence at any time in her life, no matter how safe she currently feels. The financial security of many women is far more precarious than they realise too. I'm old enough to have met a few "smug sahm wives" abandoned to poverty with young children by spouses they trusted absolutely.

There but for the grace go many of us adult women. The price of freedom is said to be eternal vigilance, and if we want our daughters to enjoy the kind of lives we have been blessed to live we need to jealously protect our hard won rights and freedoms. If we don't then the sceptre of UK based "romanian style orphanges", extreme poverty, MORE not less sexual violence is the potential future of our daughters and grandaughters.

It is possible to be personally violently opposed to abortion while not wishing to restrict that choice for others. I can choose to be celibate myself, without inflicting it upon others Taliban stylee.

happygilmore Sun 07-Oct-12 15:35:46

Maybe I should go back to never having sex with my husband, just in case I get pregnant. That didn't put a strain on our relationship at all hmm

marriedinwhite Sun 07-Oct-12 15:39:20

happygilmore I am sorry you are in such a difficult situation but I think I have answered your question. I have said that in your shoes I would not get pregnant again. I personally could not risk the baby's life and I personally would not want my existing child to suffer the loss of a parent. I cannot answer your question any more clearly. If you want to take the risk of getting pregnant again then if abortion becomes necessary or advisable that is a matter for you and your clinical team alone under the prevailing employment laws in the UK. I wish it were different for you but only you can make the choices ahead of you (and your DP of course).

That's precisely what I'm inferring *merrymouse*. I think women should have to think very hard indeed before an abortion is provided and that the process should ask many more questions and be considerably more reflective before the abortion is provided. I think they should be grilled about precautions weren't taken or why they failed and I think there should be monthly follow up appointments for three to six months to discuss future contractive precautions and to ensure they are being taken. Further I don't think more than one social abortion should be provided free of charge.

marriedinwhite Sun 07-Oct-12 15:43:14

should have written abortion laws not employment laws.

*happy Gilmore* our dd was our 5th pg, we have two children. We decided we couldn't face another pregnancy. Perhaps we were lucky but the pill was very effective for us and then for a while we used condoms. One did once come off/break and I got the morning after pill - in fact that happened to me once in my 20s with a very serious boyfriend and I got the morning after pill then too. I am only too well aware that accidents can happen. Had I been in your position I think I would have had my tubes tied.

merrymouse Sun 07-Oct-12 15:45:13

Looking back at 1969, a woman could be sacked when she got married and I think the average marriage age was about 22. A wife certainly wasn't expected to bear any financial weight (Mortgages based on husband's income, Married Couple's Allowance given to man etc. etc.).

I think now the average age of marriage is about 30 and women tend to work.

This might have an influence on abortion rates.

merrymouse Sun 07-Oct-12 15:47:13

MiW, what are you assuming will happen to the children who would be born as a result of pregnancies that would otherwise be terminated.

happygilmore Sun 07-Oct-12 15:49:12

You haven't answered it at all, because it's too difficult to answer properly given your black and white view of abortion.

The only way I can guarantee not to get pregnant again, is to either get sterilised (which is not 100% effective) or never have sex again. I do not want to get sterilised as I may decide to try for another child in the future. I have full support from my obstetrician to do that.

What you keep dodging is whether or not I should be allowed an abortion in your ideal world, when a mother is only allowed an abortion if her life is at risk. Please clarify, for the third time of asking, what level of risk you are talking about here:

Absolute certain death? In which case I don't qualify.
Likely (more than 50% chance) death? Again, I don't qualify.

You may not want to make the decision on what qualifies as "serious risk" to the mother, but the fact remains, that someone will have to. To simply palm that off on a doctor (because I'm sure they'd be happy having that decision in their hands) is just passing the buck.

happygilmore Sun 07-Oct-12 15:51:35

I don't want my tubes to be tied. I find that equally distressing.

I think that one day, I might want to have another child. I certainly want to keep that option. I just don't want it now.

marriedinwhite Sun 07-Oct-12 15:51:48

but that is precisely my point Bochead. Women bear the brunt of the caring and risk of being deserted; they also bear the brunt of the potential emotional trauma of having an abortion. Therefore if they want to be truly emancipated and truly independent women and the mothers of women need to make sure they are equipped with the strength of will and determination to make the right choices to be circumspect in their choice of partner, to be responsible and to make themselves as secure as possible in their future lives before they get pregnant. Young women need to be aware of the risks and pitfall of "losing themselves in a drunken haze" as one poster said upthread, of being aware that they need to get themselves the morning after pill in case they do.

Freedom for women doesn't come from having the righ to demand abortion it comes from having the confidence to chose, to say no, to only say yes to the right person and make sure that person is on message vis a vis precautions.

marriedinwhite Sun 07-Oct-12 15:54:47

happygilmore I have answered your question in the way I would answer it. I cannot answer it for you. Abortion is presently legal in this country and the answer to the question is a matter for you and you alone - not for me.

merrymouse Sun 07-Oct-12 15:56:07

If it is up to the doctor, the law already states that 2 doctors have to agree that a termination would result in less damage to the woman's mental and physical health than having a baby.

merrymouse Sun 07-Oct-12 15:58:41

MiW, I think you have given the impression that you would like the law to be changed, and happygilmore is asking you how she would be treated if this were the case, not as the law currently stands.

happygilmore Sun 07-Oct-12 16:02:40

I know what the current laws are about abortion!

I'm trying to get you to answer about your views on what the rules should be - but you won't, presumably because you don't want to type that women should be forced to go through a pregnancy, even when it potentially is damaging to their health. (Actually, all pregnancies are potentially more damaging to a woman's health than a termination...)

You said that you only agreed with abortion when a woman's life is in danger. I have repeatedly tried to ask you at what level this is set - but you won't answer.

In all honesty, I didn't expect you to, because most pro-lifers never seem to. They make grand statements about the fact that terminations being OK in certain, defined circumstances, but seem incredibly unwilling to actually detail what these in practice will be, instead passing that (frankly impossible) job to some unknown "medical" person...

Xenia Sun 07-Oct-12 16:07:06

I think I hvae given the views of anti abortionists. They are not hard to understand If a life is a life then to kill it is murder. It doesn't matter if the child is disabled or if it woudl end up adopted or if it is the result of rape. I don't think that's hard to understand. if you recrd abortion like say cutting off the head of a 6 month old baby which of course it is morally if you believe life begins at conception then it's very understandable view, but not mine.

JugglingWithPossibilities Sun 07-Oct-12 16:07:45

Having read and learnt from this thread and from others experiences I now feel that ...

It does seem wrong to me that as the law currently stands it has to ostensibly be on health grounds (ie physical and mental health)
Sometimes it is clearly based mainly on social grounds and I think that's right, but that this should be honestly acknowledged and enabled in the legislation.

I feel I'd like to see it available on request say in first 12 weeks.
Then possibly after that some reason provided as to why the option wasn't taken at an earlier stage, this could include chaotic lives and wanting to keep the pregnancy secret, not knowing about pregnancy till later, and finding out later about abnormalities.

I also like the phrase "as early as possible, as late as necessary" though still have reservations about very late abortions. And still think much more could be done to promote use of contraception around the world as well as in this country.

ATourchOfInsanity Sun 07-Oct-12 16:08:44

married It seems that you want to punish the women by forcing them to continue with an unwanted pregnancy. Not everyone's for that, but each to their own. I would ask though, how this benefits anyone at all at the end of it? Does the baby 'win' in this scenario?

Extrospektiv Sun 07-Oct-12 16:09:50

I am 32 with 5 dc's married at 19 years old. And Xenia that's my exact view. Morally it is murder, although legally it isn't (and I don't condone violence against abortionists)

Whoever spoke about "modernising" abortion law is disgusting. There is nothing modern about killing unborn children, it's barbaric and has ALWAYS been barbaric.

as for youmaylogout 90-95% of people have sex before marriage in the west. Even before the "sexual revolution" it was up to 80%; abstinence was not enforced on men for misogynist reasons and women were spared social shame if they went through a shotgun wedding, so many, MANY babies were born 3-7 months after the couple were married. That doesn't make it right. 99% of people have lied at some point in their life, including me, but I still believe it's a sin. There are quite a few sins that most people in society have committed at least once.

And for the either you're pro choice or not pro choice, not a hypocritical pro choicer- that's why I am not a pro-choicer in the least. I am 100% pro-life. I believe the unborn baby is a living human and has the moral right to live (legal rights being irrelevant to this moral issue for me.)

happygilmore Sun 07-Oct-12 16:10:54

The law as it stands is definitely a bit of a fudge - abortion should be available as needed. Millions of women aren't suddenly going to stop using contraception and having multiple abortions simply because they can hmm

Xenia, I agree with you that that is a more consistent view. But it doesn't seem to be the view held by a lot of people, even on this thread most people against abortion (for want of a better phrase) seem to agree with it in certain, limited, circumstances. That is something I just cannot understand at all.

Extrospektiv Sun 07-Oct-12 16:11:46

oldest is 11. waited until marriage, as one should. You can change careers after marriage, you know! You don't have to fuck around and marry at 34 to be an "independent woman". I really dislike the way society has turned in the direction of people marrying at 30+ when they are massively sexually experienced, double-figures on both sides, then getting divorced before 60.

That is something I want absolutely no part in and so I have refused to follow that way of life.

EasilyBored Sun 07-Oct-12 16:14:01

Arguing that only one 'social' abortion should be provided fee of charge, seems to ignore the obvious fact that if you cannot afford another abortion, you are not likely to be able to afford another baby.

Xenia Sun 07-Oct-12 16:15:33

happy, they cannot be consistent and hold a different view from mine above (unless I suppose you think a child with a disability has no soul in which case you might justify its murder where you mightnot an unborn child which is"perfect"). A child of a rapist is just as much a child (if you hold that view on when life begins) as any other. That is the view of most anti abortionists/the Catholic church. It is the only consistent view to hold. If tha baby is a baby and a life then it is not its fault if the father was a rapist or even if the father were its mother's father in an incest situation.

The law is a fudge. I would prefer us to be honest and say you can have abortion on demand up to 24 weeks in the UK (and if a disabled child no limit as currently is so).. Changing to that would be consistent with how it is operated.

marriedinwhite Sun 07-Oct-12 16:16:58

Looking back at 1960 - I would have been aborted had my mother had the guts to go through with an illegal procedure outside a hospital.

What do I assume would happen to the children who might otherwise be terminated. Over a very short time span I think the number would reduce as those who were feckless realised there was no quick fix. Some would grow up as I did with a parent who didn't want anymore and without much emotional bond. Some might make a success of their lives like I have and bring deeply wanted children into the world who have known how loved they are from the minute they were born. Some may grow up in tenements and tower blocks and be generally not terribly well loved or cared for. All however will be given the chance and gift of life.

JugglingWithPossibilities Sun 07-Oct-12 16:22:51

I think it is perfectly consistent though to take a more pragmatic, compassionate, and reasonable view on this issue rather than an absolutionist view of either a 100% pro-lifer (saying that life begins at conception) or a 100% pro-choicer (saying that women should have choice at any stage), Xenia and happygilmore.

I'd just like to stand up for reasonable moderates here ! I would think that most pro-lifers for example can (or at least should be able to) see that a few cells post conception (and possibly therefore present before morning-after pill or maybe IUD intervenes) are not a life in the same way as at various stages I could mention during pregnancy.

Similarly most pro-choicers can see that it is preferable to all if any abortion carried out is carried out at the earliest reasonable stage possible.

Extrospektiv Sun 07-Oct-12 16:35:09

I'd prefer the law to be consistent too... the way it is in Ireland.

Unfortunately that won't happen for now, though polls suggest European and American youth are more pro-life than their parents' generation.

FreudiansGoldSlipper Sun 07-Oct-12 16:38:42

of course pro choicers think it is preferable for an abortion to take place as early as possible

but pro life means that life begins at conception and the women has no choice to make with the decision to carry on with the pregnancy or not only nature or at times a doctor can decide that for her

if you beleive that women can make that choice even if you for some strange reason limit the reason why then you are pro choice like i said before hypocritical, not moderate hmm

perfectstorm Sun 07-Oct-12 16:39:26

Ektrospektiv you are bizarrely judgemental about people who make choices different to your own. "As one should" "purity" and the really hair raising comment about how angry you'd be if your child aborted your grandchild without your permission. Not a scrap of concern shown for the wishes and welfare of your child - just your rights over her, her body, and any foetus.

Not a lot of Christian charity and humility in your outlook, is there.

missymoomoomee Sun 07-Oct-12 16:42:45

So in my situation, happily married, had 2 children, wanted a 3rd child, concieved, went through the pregnancy then when she was born she had a very severe, painful condition.

I explained upthread that most of her bones broke as I gave birth, she couldn't breathe, or move, she suffered every single minute of the 2 weeks she lived, she had tests and procedures every single day, her brain was perfectly active, the machines she was on showed that she felt the pain, and every day I had to wipe the tears from my little girls eyes, although she couldn't breath to cry properly, she never got a proper cuddle as she was too delicate and her bones would have rebroken, the only relief she got from that pain was when her life support was turned off and she died in my arms.

When we were told it was genetic months later I was already pregnant, her condition couldn't be tested for.

I had to wait until 30 weeks to get the definate that the baby didn't have the same condition as my little girl.

If anyone witnessed what my daughter went through and could then have put another baby through that then I will absolutely tell you now you would be heartless and callous to put any child through that.

I am very fortunate that I didn't have to have an abortion, but I would have done, and I can firmly say that I adored my little girl, I loved her so much, but if I had known what her short life would have been like I would have had an abortion to save her that pain.

Anyone saying abortion is murder and on about having a right to life etc clearly hasn't been in the position that a few posters on here have been in and that I was so very close to being in.

You should never say 'I would never have an abortion'. Try walking a mile in someone elses shoes before you judge and start spouting off about 'moral rights'.

EasilyBored Sun 07-Oct-12 16:44:58

Exactly perfectstorm. I am 100% pro-choice. And that means that while I might be uncomfortable with certain reasons for having an abortion, I still support a woman's right to make her own choice and have control over her own body. From the point of view of caring about the fetus, it is irrelevent to me whether you have 1 abortion, or 20. I would care about you and your life and the circumstances that led you to need that many abortions, but I can't be pro-choice ad start putting restrictions on your choices iyswim. Then I wouldn't be pro-choice, I'd be pro here are the choices I would make, you can only make the same ones.

JugglingWithPossibilities Sun 07-Oct-12 16:45:35

If you're addressing points in my post GoldSlipper then I object to the use of the phrase "hypocritical, not moderate" - I'm merely saying that it's possible to have more pragmatic, moderate views rather than absolutist ones on this issue.

5madthings Sun 07-Oct-12 16:46:15

well the law in ireland doesnt work, an average of 12 women a day go to the uk from ireland to get an abortion, that is a conservative figure. there is also a growing supply of the 'tablet' for early abortion and an illegal market in it. not to mention the women who if they cant have an abortion ie in cases of encephaly (sp) of the baby who are then forced to carry to term and give birth if they cannot afford to travel, that is shocking and barbaric imo.

banning abortion does not stop it happening, it just makes it harder for women who then struggle to get an abortion, often ending up having one later than they could have done and also the rise in illegal abortions puts women at risk.

perfectstorm Sun 07-Oct-12 16:46:32

Juggling, I agree. The case of the woman recently jailed for a 39 week abortion caused anger amongst some I know. I couldn't support what she did in any way, though I appreciate she almost certainly has serious issues in order to do such a thing. I have no issue with the idea that a woman should be able to insist on an induced labour if she no longer wishes to be pregnant, but not to cause the baby's death when it is more than able to sustain independent life.

I don't think abortion is value-neutral, and that the foetus has no rights. I think it's a case of competing rights, and the woman in question's rights trump the foetus'. That's why I have no interest in or time for any male input - his rights are third in the equation, as it isn't his body involved, and the foetus' rights precede his. It's always going to be a fudge unless you disregard one of the parties in the situation altogether, as IMO both extreme perspectives do.

5madthings Sun 07-Oct-12 16:49:08

if i am honest then late term abortion makes me uncomfortable, but i understand that it is done for very valid and often traumatic reasons. i would never deny anyone the right to make that choice, i have no idea what i would do in those circumstances. i dont think i could have an abortion, but thankfully have never been in the position of having to make that choice. i feel nothing but sympathy and compassion for women that have to do so, they dont need judgement they need support. i am 100% pro-choice.

perfectstorm Sun 07-Oct-12 16:50:34

Missy I have just read your post. I'm so very sorry for your loss, and thank you for being willing to talk about it here to help people understand a little better.

perfectstorm Sun 07-Oct-12 16:51:33

And in case it wasn't clear, my post on competing rights is not referring to choices made by people like Beaver, and potentially Missy, which come from nothing but love for their child.

JugglingWithPossibilities Sun 07-Oct-12 16:52:09

Thanks for your support perfectstorm - so many times you see polar ends of a debate arguing vehemently with each other and no-one listening to more reasonable, moderate views. And never more so than in this area IMHO
Having said that I think I am fundamentally with the feminists and pro-choice, but I'd like to see some practical wisdom too.

perfectstorm Sun 07-Oct-12 16:55:03

I just saw this: "Nobody who doesn't want to be pregnant need be pregnant nowadays".

Tell that to the 19 year old I knew who had an abortion at 4 months because her GP never considered pregnancy... because she had a contraceptive implant fitted.

No form of contraception is failure free. None.

FreudiansGoldSlipper Sun 07-Oct-12 16:57:15

do you well i stand by it

you can make that choice if x,y or z is hypocritical as really there is no choice it is down to circumstances the women is in. either a women can make a choice about the pregnancy, have control over her body or she can't

and beign pro choice but at times it is ok to take the moring after pill hmm well that is it is ok sometimes if it suits my needs

i have friends who are pro life (no i do not respect their beleifs how can i when mine are opposite) but i respect the fact they beleive this for themselves they do not call other women names or list when it is ok for a women to have a termination they accept it happens they rather (like we all do) wish it didn't and not something they feel they could ever consider (again feel they could be more minded by it is not for me to tell them they are wrong)

FreudiansGoldSlipper Sun 07-Oct-12 16:59:08

and being pro life but at times ....

missymoomoomee Sun 07-Oct-12 17:01:53

Thanks perfectstorm and to those who offered kind words upthread too.

I always said before I lost my daughter I would never judge anyone for having an abortion, but I would never have one, and I believed that, until I was put into the position of having to seriously consider it.

Those who are so against abortion clearly haven't been in the position of having to consider it.

No-one sees abortion as an easy choice, no-one pops down to the clinic to have an abortion before they get their dancing shoes on for a night out, no-one thinks 'Great news I'm pregnant, now I can have an abortion'. Its a hard, tough choice, at any stage, these women need support not to be villified.

perfectstorm Sun 07-Oct-12 17:03:58

Freudian I completely and totally support choice. I would oppose any attempt to reduce the limits, and I am really sickened by those who attack women who have to make such a tough decision. I'm just saying that I don't think it's reasonable to look at a newborn and say those who oppose abortion are always bigots.

I do agree that a lot of those who oppose seem a lot more interested in controlling sexuality and life choices - almost always women's, too - than they are in the rights of any foetus, though. And I find that determination to monitor and dictate the sexual choices of others, right down to what happens to their own bodies, profoundly disturbing.

The old slogan was "my body, my choice". I think it remains the best.

Binkybix Sun 07-Oct-12 17:06:03

I am also a bit confused about married's statement about using the morning after pill given strong anti-abortion stance. If (ask think you have stated) you would not condone abortion at any stage, why was the morning after pill acceptable to you?

Binkybix Sun 07-Oct-12 17:06:33

* as I think.

perfectstorm Sun 07-Oct-12 17:06:46

Missy I think abortion is always, always a difficult choice for anyone to make. But in a situation where you think you may need to make one to spare a beloved child terrible suffering, it's a choice made from love for that child. And the insensitivity that can be shown to women such as your self is genuinely beyond my comprehension.

It takes courage to post as you have, and as Beaver did. I hope you know how much it is appreciated. Posts such as that make theory real, and give it a human dimension that I think is really important, if people are to understand.

rhondajean Sun 07-Oct-12 17:09:26

Alex Neil the Scottish health secretary haas weighed in saying the same thing as Jeremy hunt.

FreudiansGoldSlipper Sun 07-Oct-12 17:17:40

i do not think those that oppose termination are hypocrites i do not agree with them at all but when they they list reasons why i do. can a child conceived through rape not be loved as much? can a child with disabilities not be as wanted and loved as much? of course they can and many many many are

the cases of women going to nearly full term as so so rare and we have to look at these cases sepertly the reasons why these women are in this situation, what support are they getting, their mental health it also highlights that if a women wants a termination the lengths she may go too and the risk she is taking on her own life too

perfectstorm Sun 07-Oct-12 17:22:31

Freudian I think in the recent case she was terrified of her husband finding out she'd had an affair, which was why she'd hidden the pregnancy from him. I agree that there should have been some way she could have accessed support to have an induced labour, and the baby adopted. I suspect it was her marital status, and the fact his consent would have been needed for adoption, that deterred her. Awful all round. She was plainly not thinking at all straight - she basically took medication that meant the baby died, followed by meds to induce a birth, at home, all alone. The pain and the risks of that... it's not a choice anyone in their right mind would make, is it.

I really don't see how jailing her helps anyone.

FreudiansGoldSlipper Sun 07-Oct-12 17:27:58

this was not the first pregnancy she had hid she had done this before, she also tried to terminate a later pregnancy before and had given a child up for adoption. something very wrong here what was going on to make her feel she needed to do this it is very sad

FreudiansGoldSlipper Sun 07-Oct-12 17:29:22

not that i think there is anything wrong with giving up a child for adoption.... far from it

perfectstorm Sun 07-Oct-12 17:32:02

Yeah, I read that, apparently she'd not planned either of her kids, either. Sadly the judge is active in an anti-choice Christian organisation, which IMO should have meant he didn't hear the case at all. If a law lord couldn't hear the Pinochet extradition case because he was a member of Amnesty, I don't see why that principle of conflict of interest isn't applicable here. 8 years for someone who is very plainly unwell is wrong.

Having said that, I do think support to induce labour and then adopt is best in later pregnancy, unless serious disability is at issue. I don't think anyone has the right to force anyone to carry a baby they don't want to, but if life can be sustained independently then I think that should be the aim. I don't see that as incompatible with a staunchly pro-choice position.

thegreylady Sun 07-Oct-12 17:51:44

Missy yours is one of the cases where I would endorse abortion without reservation.

happygilmore Sun 07-Oct-12 17:52:24

Juggling I was pointing out that when people say that abortion is wrong except in the case of...(add in their preference here), it is simply illogical. You can't use an argument that abortion is wrong because it kills babies, except when it's rape (because presumably they're not babies then hmm?) It makes no sense at all.

I see marriedinwhite chose not to answer my question about whether I'd be allowed an abortion if the legal changes she proposed were implemented. Funny how people like that never do..

bochead Sun 07-Oct-12 17:59:56

marriedinwhite - I do think our young are over sexualised far younger than they can handle. This impacts boys and girls with equal detriment. if I ever become world dictator one of the first things I'd do is emphasise in kids sex ed lessons the right to say "NO". Binge drinking amongst our youth does need to be seriously debated and addressed too.

As a society we demonstrate some pretty hideous double standards to our youth, and all too often fail to protect them when we should - as shown by the relevations about Jimmy Saville & the Rochdale cases.

It would be better to focus proper educational time and resources to these issues in order to prevent unwanted pregancies in our youth than to introduce Draconian legislation that fails to address the fundamental issues that cause unwanted children to be foisted onto an uncaring world - which is all the Tories are suggesting.

No help prior to pregnancy & no help after is all the Tories can come up with & it's not good enough. Abortion is an action of last resort, in a society that actually doesn't give a fig for the vulnerable.

marriedinwhite Sun 07-Oct-12 18:29:59

*happygilmore I am sorry you are in such a difficult situation but I think I have answered your question. I have said that in your shoes I would not get pregnant again. I personally could not risk the baby's life and I personally would not want my existing child to suffer the loss of a parent. I cannot answer your question any more clearly. If you want to take the risk of getting pregnant again then if abortion becomes necessary or advisable that is a matter for you and your clinical team alone under the prevailing employment laws in the UK. I wish it were different for you but only you can make the choices ahead of you (and your DP of course).*

happygilmore I have not proposed any new laws in relation to women who find themselves in positions similar to yours. I do not agree with abortion - it isn't for me. At no time have I said the law should be changed for anyone in your circumstances. I have given you an answer on the basis of what I would do personally. I cannot give you an answer about what you should do because providing you are acting within the law the choice is yours and the decision is yours to make. I really do not know what more you wish me to say on the subject except that I am sorry you are in a difficult position but I have said that already.

I feel very strongly that a great deal more should be done to prevent social abortion and I do think the process to obtain one should be more complex and should be more probing. I do not think women should be forced to carry babies they do not want but I do think that there needs to be a much much greater emphasis on the prevention of unwanted pregnancies and the empowerment of young women, all women, to say no to unwanted advances, unwanted alcohol and to think before they get lost in the moment. I do believe if the process demanded a little more thought and reflection then the numbers of social/unwanted baby abortions would reduce and could reduce significantly. If anyone can give one good reason why that would be a bad thing I would be interested to hear it.

Insofar as the morning after pill is concerned, yes on reflection it is a contradiction in pro-life terms. However, there is no pg test available the morning after, no certainty that conception has taken place and no likelihood that there will be any implantation or embryonic formation but yes, if one is committed entirely to the pro-life agenda then it is wrong. But then too wouldn't the iud be wrong because it merely prevents implantation?

JugglingWithPossibilities Sun 07-Oct-12 18:30:22

But I think you could think abortion was OK in a qualified way without necessarily being illogical happygilmore - for example at an early stage, or for medical reasons (as law technically currently stands), or depending on various social situations, or events surrounding the pregnancy.

I don't really think along these lines myself, I just think from a logical stand-point a moderate view is very possible.

happygilmore Sun 07-Oct-12 18:34:46

Yes juggling I understand when people say things like, I agree with abortion before 24 weeks as the foetus is not viable before that stage, that is a logical argument (whether you agree with it or not).

But lots and lots of people say (just look at this thread) that they only agree with abortion in the case of rape or severe disabilities. That, in my view, is an illogical and strange position to have.

marriedinwhite you said earlier - Personally I do not believe in abortion, in any circumstances, except where it might save the life of the mother.

Is this not a statement that you think abortion should be restricted unless in these circumstances?

marriedinwhite Sun 07-Oct-12 18:44:16

happygilmore the key word is personally. I do not personally believe in it. I do not intend to and cannot change the law. I would like to see the limit reduced but I cannot reduce it - if it is reduced it is likely to be the result of a free vote and not something likely to be influenced by any party in particular but by a majority of all elected members of parliament across all parties - they may vote against the suggestion of a reduction. Nobody is proposing that the limit be reduced for women in your circumstances. There is a vast difference to a personal view which every member of society within a democracy is entitled to have and actual legislation. There is much legislation I don't agree with - but I cannot change it but I can neverless the maintain a personal view.

In my personal view it is a very strange that some women think it's OK to have unprotected sex with a total stranger, get pregnant and then nip down the abortion clinic for their third or fourth abortion. I also think it very strange if a happily married couple get pregnant and then decide to abort a perfectly healthy baby; to me that is not normal or acceptable.

ATourchOfInsanity Sun 07-Oct-12 18:59:54

I do believe if the process demanded a little more thought and reflection then the numbers of social/unwanted baby abortions would reduce and could reduce significantly. If anyone can give one good reason why that would be a bad thing I would be interested to hear it.

married You aren't really getting the point that these women didn't CHOOSE to be in this situation. No one has sex with abortion in mind. No one.

All you will get by taking this choice away is more and more babies left in social care. Personally I am extremely concerned that you think that bringing a baby into the world with little or no love in it's life is a lovely/good thing to do.

LineRunner Sun 07-Oct-12 19:08:31

I do believe if the process demanded a little more thought and reflection

The waiting times for abortions are long enough already, surely?

marriedinwhite Sun 07-Oct-12 19:10:31

Well surely if you don't want a baby you do have sex with the fact that you might get pregnant if you don't take precautions on your mind. Good grief it isn't rocket science.

Of course no-one (well I hope not) has sex with a good looking bloke who has got them a bit pissed and thinks it's OK I'll have sex just this once and he might love me and then if not and if I end up pg I'll just go down the clinic and get an abortion; probably they just have a good shag and think about it when they miss their period. I don't suppose they think they might end up at the clap clinic either and potentially permanently infertile but never mind they'll go for IVF on the NHS too. But they should; shouldn't they?

marriedinwhite Sun 07-Oct-12 19:12:13

And I'm not talking about taking the choice away. I'm talking about empowering women so they don't have to make the choice in the first place. Part of that empowerment process is surely to get women to reflect on what they are going to do next time to prevent being the same situation again.

ATourchOfInsanity Sun 07-Oct-12 19:14:13

Using Jeremy Kyle style characters to make your point, only shows the type of people you assume are lining up in droves to have abortions. You really aren't seeing how many varied reasons there are for this terrible choice. And it is always put on the women, the man doesn't even have his name taken.

In your world would the man take the baby if the mother died during child birth, even if he was the rapist who got the lady pg in the first place (to turn your JK actors on their head)?

marriedinwhite Sun 07-Oct-12 19:20:20

FGS Meet man, get to know man, get to know man's family, find out everything there is know about man, possibly sleep with man having taken adequate precautions, get engaged and married (or set up home with man in a permanent and secure relationship), plan family, have babies, work together in a loving family unit for the wellbeing of the children. Compare to

go out boozing, meet bloke, have a good snog, have a date, sleep with him, get pregnant, find out he's two kids and a pitbull around the place and hasn't held a job down for more than 9 months ever, have an abortion if you are lucky and start picking up a bit of a reputation that keeps nice blokes at bay - get trapped in an abusive relationship if you are not.

It's about making choices, being sensible, self empowerment, independence, living a good life - all those things keep doors and choices open for women and always have done. A quick and thoughtless shag, one way or another has always closed them.

Life isn't ideal; life isn't always pretty; why do some women sabotage the chances they have. I don't understand it and I think it is a tragedy that society facilitates women to make the wrong choices so very easily because says anymore "that's wrong, don't do it, you will be thought badly of, you will close down your opportunities". We can't do exactly what we want without having to take the consequences.

I have been on this bloody thread all afternoon - I haven't done the jobs I should have - starting them now - it's a consequence - my fault, no one elses.

happygilmore Sun 07-Oct-12 19:21:46

Crikey we're into deserving and undeserving abortions now.

What evidence do you have for your assertion that many women are simply shagging around and then having multiple abortions as contraception?

The number of abortions in this country did not go up when abortion became legal. Women in Ireland do not have abortions because it is not legal in that country..they simply travel abroad. Whether you like it or not, making abortion harder to access does not solve the problems facing women who feel that a termination is the best option for them.

And your argument that you won't be changing the abortion laws in this country is disingenuous at best. You clearly believe (as stated in this thread) that women should not have abortions unless it is a life threatening condition for them to be pregnant. I asked you to qualify what that means in practice but we're going nowhere on that one!

Nobody is proposing that the limit be reduced for women in your circumstances.

Well, yes they are. If the limit was reduced to 12 weeks, as Jeremy Hunt wants, that would affect me and every other woman.

ATourchOfInsanity Sun 07-Oct-12 19:22:36

Married you are still missing all of the other situations women can be in to get pg. I even mentioned rape and you ignored it. Other women on this thread have serious medical issues which you avoid.

You seem stuck in this "only common as muck idiots ever need this service and they need a clip around the ear and told to grow up and be sensible"

I give up.

ATourchOfInsanity Sun 07-Oct-12 19:24:12

Happy well said. And our daughters, their daughters and so on.
What is the point of having the science to discover downs, etc, if you don't have time to act on the discovery?

notenoughsocks Sun 07-Oct-12 19:25:08

I strongly disagree with Hunt's views.

But....I would have more respect for them if any talk about reducing abortion time limit was accompanied by discussions about providing extra support for mothers (parents).

ATourchOfInsanity Sun 07-Oct-12 19:32:27

Agreed. Or even better adoption proposals. They should have started with reforming adoption, social workers, more midwifes, better teen education and maybe, MAYBE then considered this reduction.

It's all backwards.

mrsrosieb Sun 07-Oct-12 19:35:42

I think his reasoning behind this is his Christian beliefs and he has a right to have those beliefs respected.

happygilmore Sun 07-Oct-12 19:36:42

He specifically said it wasn't because of his Christian beliefs.

And in any case, just because your views are due to your religion, it doesn't confer automatic respect from anyone, least of all me.

Abortion should be available to term on request. As early as possible, as late as necessary.

To disagree with this means you hate women and consider them unfit to have control over their own lives.

marram Sun 07-Oct-12 19:50:56

A subtle point was brought out in an article in The Guardian yesterday. That the current 24 week limit allows women more time to think, and it may even prevent women from rushing in to have terminations they later regret if there was a shorter time limit.

flow4 Sun 07-Oct-12 20:03:35

I have wondered before, and I wonder again now, whether this is the difference between those who oppose abortion, and those who don't...

People who oppose abortion feel their own lives are entirely under their own control, and assume that anyone who needs an abortion is somehow reckless or feckless...


People who support the right to choose have felt their own lives slip out of control, and therefore know that life does not always go as we plan and hope...

To me, it's essentially a question of compassion.

Viviennemary Sun 07-Oct-12 20:04:00

My views on this don't agree with the majority of Mumsnet but here they are. I'm not comfortable with the thought that one baby at 24 weeks can have it's life terminated and yet another baby can have every medical intervention possible to save it's life.

Viviennemary Sun 07-Oct-12 20:05:33

Just to add I haven't always felt my life is in control and I don't know what I would have done in those circumstances. So I don't condemn anybody.

rhondajean Sun 07-Oct-12 20:05:36

Solid gold that's rubbish.

I cannot support abortion for a child which would live if delivered at that stage, ie 23ish weeks on, not because I hate women but because I love life and value every person on this planet.

I cannot possibly comment on those who have to make heartbreaking decisions late in a pregnancy because of their child's health and prospects, those are special cases and my heart goes out to them.

But to suggest that someone who thinks killing a 32 week healthy child is unacceptable in a society which values human life does so because they hate women is just ridiculous.

Abitwobblynow Sun 07-Oct-12 20:05:41

Sorry to be ignorant, but what is the limit now?

I really am TFGGGI, so am neutral on this issue. No child should be born that is not wanted, and no woman should have to parent before she is able/mature enough. Me becoming a mother before I did, before I had acknowledged childhood issues, got in touch with myself? Makes me shudder with horror. I WOULD have projected/revenged myself on them, I WOULD have abused ....

But, isn't it rather sad that we as a country have killed ?3 million people (what is the figure?) and have had to 'import' immigrants to help with the labour shortage as a result? I think that is rather sad.

ATourchOfInsanity Sun 07-Oct-12 20:06:24

Vivienne surely that shows whether the baby will be wanted or not though and therefore you should technically be opposed to the person willing to terminate being entrusted with a baby? Or have I misread?

YouMayLogOut Sun 07-Oct-12 20:06:56

married I disagree that enough "childless couples" would come forward to adopt. If they wish to adopt then that's wonderful; but exactly the same applies to fertile couples who equally could adopt. It's inaccurate and simplistic to assign "unwanted babies" to "infertile couples", because adoption is about finding parents for children, it's not a cure for infertility.

Most couples with fertility problems want to have their own children, and don't want to go down the route of adoption. And before anyone says that's "selfish", remember that this is exactly how fertile couples tend to behave too, as most do not adopt.

If there are unwanted babies arriving in the world then that isn't due to childless couples! So why are their households always conveniently labelled as being where unwanted children should end up, as if babies are interchangeable? If adoption is really the same as having a child naturally, then why do fertile couples rarely adopt?

I'll bet the majority of the people recommending adoption on this thread have never adopted a child themselves, so that's rather hypocritical, isn't it? Maybe some of those with children could give something back by adopting, instead of having further children of their own! It's so convenient to recommend adoption to others, but not do it yourself.

Abitwobblynow Sun 07-Oct-12 20:10:20

Solid, noooooo! That is just too harsh.

What about instead of taking extreme views, people met half way?

Like: say a 7.5 month baby is viable (I have no idea).

A couple looking for a child, agree with that person, to pay all ceasarian/medical/counselling/education costs, to have the baby delivered.

Mother recovers fanjo intact with just a small scar practically invisible, adoptive couple happy, no one has been killed.

To me, that is the way to go.

ATourchOfInsanity Sun 07-Oct-12 20:10:23

YouMay exactly re: adoption. Also if anyone has tried to adopt you will see how hard it is, red tape everywhere (some for good reason). This stands in the way of many lovely and hopeful couples dreams of adoption and has not been resolved.

The Conservatives should work on this area first, before creating more cannon fodder for a system that is draining the Country and causing huge heartache.

marriedinwhite Sun 07-Oct-12 20:17:17

Within the context of the law I have never said the limit shoudl be reduced to 12 weeks. The law if the limit is reduced will not affect *happy gilmore's* situation or that of women in similar situations because where the life of the mother is at risk the baby can be aborted up until term. Presumably post 24 weeks that would usually nowadays be an emergency caesarean and the aim would be to keep the baby alive.

All I have tried to highlight is that it surely makes more sense if a woman does not wish to be pregnant to do as much as possible to prevent being pregnant. On occasion that may mean saying no. Why is that offensive? What is wrong with women being empowered and taking control of their lives?

notenoughsocks Sun 07-Oct-12 20:18:42

^I have wondered before, and I wonder again now, whether this is the difference between those who oppose abortion, and those who don't...
People who oppose abortion feel their own lives are entirely under their own control, and assume that anyone who needs an abortion is somehow reckless or feckless...
People who support the right to choose have felt their own lives slip out of control, and therefore know that life does not always go as we plan and hope...
To me, it's essentially a question of compassion.^

Agree, I think... flow four. But I would add that I think that, ultimatley, the consequences of life failing to go to plan in this case are largely borne by women.

bouncysmiley Sun 07-Oct-12 20:29:21

Agree with Bartlett too. Current laws are abhorrent.

UnbearableRuth Sun 07-Oct-12 20:31:51

Abitwobbly - that's what I used to think. Possibly so do a lot of people in the anti-choice camp. It really does seem so easy when it's just a theorical situation.

Giving up a baby for adoption, even an unwanted one, is so completely awful and can screw you up for the rest of your life. It's bad enough for someone who chose that route of their own free will - having seen the effect that had is what flipped me into the pro-choice camp. The idea of persuading or pressuring someone to go through that hideous experience, let alone forcing them, makes me feel physically sick way more than those emotive pictures which anti-choice people think will persuade in the other direction.

The idea that someone could be given money to go through that and it would all be OK is frankly disgusting.

marriedinwhite Sun 07-Oct-12 20:42:35

*Happy Gilmore* the abortion act was passed in 1967. In 1969 there were about 5 abortions per 1000 women between 16 and 44 by the mid 2000s there were about 16 abortions per 1000 women aed 16 to 44. The numbers rose very quickly during the 1970s at a time when contraception was becoming much more accessible and reliable. Why do you think the rate of abortion increased so quickly at the same time as contraception was made more reliable and accessible? With the advent of reliable contraception one really would have expected the rate of abortion to decline would one not? Abortion was introduced just before the pill. It was introduced to stop women dying as a result of unlawful procedures in non clinical environments. Those procedures, lawful or otherwise should have decreased once the pill was available because the pill prevented women from getting pregnant.

I have not criticised a single individual on this thread yet my posts have been selectively pulled apart. It seems to me that it is acceptable on this thread to opposed Jeremy Hunt but it is not acceptable to agree with him. That is not how reasoned debate works.

I will repeat women are entitled to choice. That choice starts with using contraception and making choices about when one wants to be pregnant. Unless in unusual and tragic circumstances such as rape (and I think I would use the morning after pill in such circumstances) women's choices need to start long before they find themselves six weeks pregnant. That is surely logical. And it is surely logical to educate girls and young women to that effect. It might just need an NHS that remembers what is right and what is moral and what is in the best interests of girls and babies and young families rather than the general panacea of "anything goes". Anything does go, but eventually he or she who plays must pay the piper, sadly often with regret and unhappiness or at the expense of others.

fridgepants Sun 07-Oct-12 20:45:16

"Whoever spoke about "modernising" abortion law is disgusting. There is nothing modern about killing unborn children, it's barbaric and has ALWAYS been barbaric."

You know what's also barbaric? Putting a woman and her unborn child in a difficult position during an IUD pregnancy, or putting that woman in a position where her medical condition may likely lead to the end of her or the baby's life once born.

You can have your own views about what you would have done in my position, but please don't call me barbaric for making the right decision for myself and any child involved. I'm glad you aren't my mother. My mother is pro-life - Catholic upbringing and that, she could have aborted me as I was a surprise late pregnancy that got in the way of her being sterilised, and probably would be considered morally conservative - and when I phoned her three weeks ago in tears she was nothing but supportive.

MysteriousHamster Sun 07-Oct-12 20:45:41

Putting a 12 week limit on abortions (which I don't think will happen anyway, this is all about getting it to 20), will just punish women and women alone for daring to have sex.

Contraception is not always effective (my niece was conceived while her mum was on the pill).

I don't have a huge opinion on 20 vs 24, except that there needs to be damned quick turnaround between people getting their 20 week scan and abortion if warranted.

Who is going to decide which medical problems are bad enough to abort post-20 weeks? You might think it's ridiculous for someone to abort for 'only' a moderately bad medical problem (lifelong but not life-threatening, say), but what if it means the pregnant woman then puts the child up for adoption, because they can't afford the impact of a disabled child on their family. Who is going to be adopting all these potentially disabled children? Infertile couples, is that what they're for then? Sorry you're infertile love, yeah we'll probably stop paying for you to have IVF now as you can look after these kids that none of the fertile people want...

(All written in a ridiculous tone for a reason)

Fishwife1949 Sun 07-Oct-12 20:47:23

Not every one agrees with how it is now whats wrong with giving his view

i am not that bothered apart from i think you should have councilling and be made to have consultation for concerpecption

Or are you only allowed to give your view if its what mumsnet massive want to hear

I don't get why anti-choicers think it's any business of theirs if a woman they have never met and never will meet decides to terminate her pregnancy at any stage.
Late abortion is incredibly rare anyway, and late abortion for 'social' reasons so rare as to be almost non-existent. It's a woman-hating myth that if women are 'allowed' to terminate pregnancies just because they decide to do so, clinics will be overrun with vile selfish heartless feminists wanting to abort healthy 9 month foetuses so they can go on holiday.

But it's nothing to me or any of you if a woman you've never met has an abortion every week. She should have the right to choose what happens to her body. No one else but her.

fridgepants Sun 07-Oct-12 20:49:44

I googled 'IUD pregnancy' when I found out and one of the sites I found - a US Christian message board - had a woman deciding an IUD was not compatible with her pro-life beliefs as it essentially causes a miscarriage every month. I know some believe life begins at conception, but I never realised people were that hardcore about it.

Abitwobblynow - the baby I would have had would have been likely to have birth defects, so there's no guarantee he/she would have ever been able to do the work immigrants do.

ATourchOfInsanity Sun 07-Oct-12 20:52:09

married The sexual revolution was about many things, including education for women. They were no longer the 50's housewife chained to the sink and could have a career for example (well, it was the start of it) which is why figures rose. Women didn't have to put up and shut up any more. That is kind of the point of a lot of peoples arguments on here.

The trouble is most people here don't seem to agree with you for one reason or another, which is why you have to keep coming back to justify your arguments. You do seem offensive, be it intentionally or not, because you don't appear to have been in anything other than a happily coupled situation yourself. You appear to lack empathy.

fridgepants Sun 07-Oct-12 20:52:32

"FGS Meet man, get to know man, get to know man's family, find out everything there is know about man, possibly sleep with man having taken adequate precautions, get engaged and married (or set up home with man in a permanent and secure relationship), plan family, have babies, work together in a loving family unit for the wellbeing of the children."

The man who got me pregnant was my partner of five years, who would have happily raised the child with me were the circumstances not there. I'm not sure why you think a) the majority of women who have abortions got knocked up in a nightclub toilet while pissed on Malibu b) why it matters

Adoption as a 'solution' for unwanted babies and to avoid terminations, is a nice, but rather naive idea, sorry.
I agree with everything that YouMayLogOut wrote.
Even IF adotption were morally/ethically/emotionally right, it would still leave the woman with the unwanted pregnacy be pregnant and have to deliver. Re 'hardly visible CS scar' - anyone want to see mine?? A CS is abdominal surgery and has its risks, as does VB.
And paying money for it - yeuch!

I also wanted to correct the impression I created earlier in the thread that I felt teenage pregnacy was to blame for high termnation rates in Britain. I know that that is not the case and that by far the highest number of terminations are requested by grown woman, most of whom have been pregnant before.
What I ment to say was that better education, better self-esteem, better self-worth will enable girls/women to manage their lives more effectively. Say no, consider contraception before it's too late, have that conversation with their partner. And I do think that that process starts with young people or rather children.
DS3 aged 4 was chasing his bigger brother to 'give him a kiss' today; DS1 got quite annoyed and frustrated. Which led to a conversation how it is never ok to kiss somebody who does not want to be kissed. No word about sex, or contraception or consent was said, but I hope that a seed has been sowed. It's that kind of thing I mean.

honeyscot Sun 07-Oct-12 20:58:19

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Binkybix Sun 07-Oct-12 21:02:49

honeyscot I wood have thought what you just posted was incredibly upsetting to some posters who have shared their sad stories of horrible decisions they have had to make on medical abortions.

Binkybix Sun 07-Oct-12 21:03:05


xkittyx Sun 07-Oct-12 21:03:44

I'm also struggling with the seeming implication that it's people having irresponsible, indiscriminate sex that are having the abortions.
My understanding is that a big percentage of "social" abortions are carried out on married women in their thirties with existing children that feel unable to continue with an accidental pregnancy.
Also the bizarre implication that contraception is 100% foolproof. It's not.
Even female sterilisation has a 1 in 200 failure rate. So what are people meant to do? Give up sex? That would be a good way to damage a healthy loving relationship.
And as for the have the baby and give it up for adoption idea.... pregnancy and child-birth are dangerous and can leave women with lifelong birth injuries.
Being forced to stay pregnant against my will is one of the most horrifying things I can think of.

honeyscot Sun 07-Oct-12 21:07:20

Binkybix I do appreciate this but abortion by its very nature is not a very pleasant thing, we should stop trying to ease our conscious by pretending it looks like a lump of cells at 22 weeks.

Binkybix Sun 07-Oct-12 21:10:20

I don't think if you read the posts of those women you could say that's how they thought of the foetuses they decided to abort.

AngryBeaver Sun 07-Oct-12 21:11:43

extrospectiv So according to your post, I am a child killing barbarian? Is that right?
How nice it would be to shower down my opinions from my ivory tower. Untouched by the hell of being told that there is something wrong with your much wanted baby, the one you already love as much as your other children, the one you have picked a name for, the one that kicks and moves around inside your tummy,and you pat and stroke instinctivly.
How perfect your life sounds.
I wish I were you (not)
You sound like a horribly self righteous and judgemental person.

missy I'm so sorry for you and your husband. Thank you for sharing your experience on this thread xx

honeyscot Sun 07-Oct-12 21:14:35

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notenoughsocks Sun 07-Oct-12 21:17:54

fishwife Not entirely sure, but I belive that is standard, or at least, recognised best practice.

xkittyx Sun 07-Oct-12 21:18:28

But as has already been discussed, the amount of people who have very late term abortions is vanishingly slim. I didn't suggest increasing the limit, btw, don't put words in my mouth.
And yes for some people the thought of a pregnancy is horrifying. You only know your own circumstances, not anyone else's.

ATourchOfInsanity Sun 07-Oct-12 21:25:17

honey surely you should be more concerned that the NHS are apparently diagnosing so many babies incorrectly and therefore causing more abortions than whether a woman who decides to abort on that basis is in the right or wrong?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 07-Oct-12 21:26:05

Miw, given the Act was only passed in 1967, it may be official services were not available nationwide by 1969, I don't know when BPAS and Marie Stopes were established for example, and women may still have been using unofficial services. Do you have a link for your stat so I can see if there is any more info about methodology?

honeyscot Sun 07-Oct-12 21:26:08

xkittyx If being pregnant is so horrifying and you were made to "make your bed lie in it so to speak" you would be a bit more careful in regards to casual unprotected sex infuture, character building so to speak! The amount of repeated abortions is also something needing seriously looked at it is suppose to be max 3, but I know people with 4,5! Doctors are not happy about doing this and I have heard of girls throwing tantrums to get another and another. Where do you draw the line?

Ooops, just realised I made my point about teenage pregnancy on the thread in politics, not here. V sorry.
It is getting a bit personal here, so I am off.

xkittyx Sun 07-Oct-12 21:27:08

"Casual unprotected sex" with my husband??? How fucking offensive.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 07-Oct-12 21:27:24

Honeyscot I have never read anything about the maximum number of abortions being 3, where is that from please!

xkittyx Sun 07-Oct-12 21:27:53

Not everyone who doesn't/can't continue with a pregnancy got pregnant as a result of casual sex.

ATourchOfInsanity Sun 07-Oct-12 21:30:29

honey you clearly know a very select bunch of people. 3 people all misdiagnosed. Women 'throwing tantrums' to get an abortion...
(out of interest, would you WANT that woman to have a child?)

I think perhaps take some time to read some of the posters stories on here and really try to see how you would feel in their situations before you go further.

honeyscot Sun 07-Oct-12 21:37:48

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honeyscot Sun 07-Oct-12 21:39:29

ATourchOfInsanity The 4 abortion girl went on to have a child (13 now) she never got pregnant again!

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 07-Oct-12 21:42:43

Is it also a nonsense for married people to use contraception?

Knowsabitabouteducation Sun 07-Oct-12 21:43:45

The current abortion law is a joke.

How about pro-choice meaning not to spread your legs?

xkittyx Sun 07-Oct-12 21:44:52

Honeyscot, with respect, perhaps if you are married you feel it's nonsense having an abortion. However, you have no knowledge of the circumstances others find themselves in.
Are you aware that not everyone chooses to become a parent, and that some of these people do marry and live in committed relationships, and that the NHS often refuses them permanent sterilisation as they have never had children? Would you force these people to parent entirely against their will should their contraception fail?

ATourchOfInsanity Sun 07-Oct-12 21:45:22

This is all becoming a bit departed from reality I think...
I hope you will never have to make a decision like this honey because really, you and MIW sound like two peas in a pod and I don't know how you would cope having to make a real life decision about something that actually affects you.

I'm off too.

EdgarAllanPond Sun 07-Oct-12 21:45:33

i didn't realise marriage was signing up to have all pregnancies carried to term...whether desirable to me or not.

missed that bit.

gordyslovesheep Sun 07-Oct-12 21:46:53

debates like this are brilliant at showing what utter loons many pro-lifers are grin keep going - you are making me smile!