Thursday, October 25, 2007


When a medical professional writes about abortion you might expect an even-handed, well thought through presentation of the facts. Unless, of course, that medical professional happens to be writing in The Daily Mail. Dr Chapman begins her anti-abortion tirade with this sentence:

"For far too long, the debate about abortion has been clouded by blind prejudice from both sides. On the one hand are those who, often for religious reasons, believe the whole concept of abortion is morally repugnant. On the other are the pro-choice zealots who see any suggestion that abortion should be restricted as a threat to women's inalienable rights."
Yep, every debate has zealots on either side. But if you look hard enough (ie at some other than The Daily fucking Mail) then something quite interesting happens. You see a broader debate; you see calm and rational argument. Sadly, Chapman has no time for such rational arguments – instead milking the emotional side of the argument like a dairy farmer with their prize heifer. She goes on:

"Now, at last, we have a real chance to discuss the subject openly, honestly and impartially."
What, with a hysterical, whinging headline like "Why should we doctors save tiny lives in one room... and end them in another?" Do go and fuck yourself, you miserable shithead. You are clearly borderline retarded if you think for one second that your argument is anything other than polemical, emotionally charged tripe. And the very fact that beneath the above sentence there is the picture of a prematurely born baby makes my point – your article isn’t about intelligent, reasoned argument. It is about tugging on the heartstrings of those who read the Mail. Nothing more, nothing less.

"Yesterday, Dawn Primarolo, the Health Minister, told the committee that she has heard no evidence to support a lowering of the upper age limit, nor seen any need to change the existing law. Which makes me wonder exactly where she is getting her evidence from."
Well, not from your hysterical claptrap, Chapman. And thank fuck for that small mercy.

"For in my 37 years as a gynaecologist, I have seen quite enough to persuade me that, for the sake of women and babies, we urgently do need a change in our law - not only to lower the upper time limit but also to help reduce the current rate of 200,000 abortions carried out in Britain each year. Now, let me be absolutely clear: I do not believe we can or should abolish abortion completely."
Oh goody, you don’t want to abandon abortion altogether.

"I have carried out abortions throughout my career where there was a threat to life, and I know very well that there will always be a need for terminations as a last resort for women in great distress."
But you do want to push it back to the limits prior to the legalisation of abortion – back to the era of Vera Drake; of back street abortions, of abortions for the elite rather than the general population. Nice. And who would be a judge of whether the distress is great enough to warrant an abortion, Chapman? Oh, wait, it would be you. Fuck-a-doodle-do. ‘Cos you’re fucking impartial, aren’t you?

"But I also believe that the law should be there to protect life. That is why I would like to see the time limit for abortion set at 17 weeks - a level that would still be considerably higher than France, Germany or Italy, where the cut-off point is 12 weeks."
Right, let me try to get this absolutely fucktarded argument clear in my mind, because it makes about as much sense as a whore teaching a Sunday School class about good moral conduct. First of all, and I really can’t stress this enough, there are laws to protect life! And why on earth should we reduce a woman’s right to choose because we will still be offering a greater time period than various European countries? Let’s play this argument out to the logical extremes. Let’s ban abortion after 4 weeks, because in some states in the US ban abortion altogether except where the life of the mother is threatened or where rape/incest caused the conception. Fuck, let’s bring back executions behind closed doors, because we’d still be better than Iran, where they hang people in public.
"My reasoning owes less to moral or ethical objections than to my decades of medical experience."
Shite. Total fucking shite, Your arguments relate more to ill thought through observations and anecdotal evidence. Your medical training may make you special in your own head, Chapman, but in the real world you come across as a compelling ignorant fuckwit.
"Thanks to advances in scientific knowledge, we now know that it is legal in Britain to abort babies who, if born prematurely, might live - however slim that chance might be."
Yeah, a baby born after 22 weeks might live. But here’s the rub – there is some sort of issue that means the mother/parents of the child don’t want the baby. So what you gonna do? Make the mother have the kid, then put the kid up for adoption. So why stop there? If you abort a baby after 4 weeks there is a real chance that, if not aborted, the baby could live. If you prevent an egg from being impregnated by a sperm then you prevent a child who might live from living. So what, you going to ban contraception?

Oh wait, you can’t. Because then we are heading to the back street abortions again.
"That leaves us doctors in a very awkward position. For example, if I were to deprive a premature 22-week- old baby of oxygen and thus cause a long-term disability, I could (quite rightly) be sued for negligence. And yet the law also allows me to abort that same baby until 24 weeks."
There is also the small question of choice here. If the mother wants you to save her baby born after 22 weeks, as a doctor, you have an obligation to do so. Likewise, if the mother wants the baby aborted and the law allows you to do so, you have an obligation to do so. So, actually, it ain’t fucking awkward at all. It is actually really simple, but comes down to a different mindset – of patients being able to make, and being responsible, for their own choices, not their fucking doctors.

"For doctors, trained to preserve life, that is a terrible inconsistency in the law."
Doctors are also trained to stop suffering. So sometimes an abortion might reduce suffering, even though it does not preserve life. Just as sometimes turning off a life support machine might reduce suffering at the same time as not preserving life.
"Pro-choice campaigners say that such situations rarely arise in practice, and point out that only a tiny number of babies survive if they are born before 24 weeks."
Yeah, God forbid we should let fucking reality interfere with a damn good bit of hysteria.
"Well, I'm sorry, but that should not be an excuse to take young lives."
Opinion, pure and simple. Tell you what, you don’t have to abort any baby you might have in the 23rd week of any pregnancy. But you shouldn’t force your opinions on others.

Then she hits us with another type of deeply unconvincing argument. Oh yes, it is time for the anecdote.
"I remember being on duty as a young doctor, shortly after the implementation of the 1967 Abortion Act, and spending the night treating a premature baby, born at 22 weeks. During the shift, I chatted to a consultant who had just carried out an abortion on two 24-week-old twins. What she told me was utterly chilling, but I make no apology for repeating it here. Discussing the termination she had just performed, she said: "The babies were so strong and were crying so loudly that I didn't know what to do. Eventually, I had to bash their heads to shut them up."
Right. So we should change the law based on something someone told Chapman nearly 4 decades ago? Seriously, what the ruddy, Christing fuck is this total cunt banging on about? Firstly, she might not be remembering the story correctly. Secondly, who’s to say that the consultant was telling the truth and not just winding up or trying to impress a young doctor? And this is one fucking incident: it does not represent everything that has happened in relation to abortions since 1967.
"Tell me, what was the logic in my trying to preserve the life of a 22-week-old baby in one part of the hospital when, in another part, two even larger babies were having their lives taken?"
Logic? Where is the logic in reducing the number of weeks in which a woman can have an abortion based on anecdotes and crappy comparisons? Chapman invoking logic is like the Pope invoking the memory of Buddha – completely alien to everything they have said and done before now.
"No, an Act that was intended to deal humanely with the occasional patient and to end the horrors of backstreet operations has instead become a licence to end healthy infant lives."
Yep. That’s what it does. Both removing the backstreet abortionist and increasing the number of abortions. If you allow abortion, healthy babies will be aborted. Some women will make the choice to abort a baby that could grow up healthy. And it is there choice, as it is their body. For what it is worth, I struggle to support their choice – it doesn’t seem right to me. But I defend their right to choose.
"Sadly, I know that it can damage many women, too. People understandably fear the return of the backstreet abortionist. But towards the end of my career I was seeing far more women with complications from legal abortions than I was seeing from backstreet abortionists in the bad old days."
Oh, sweet Jesus, it is difficult to read this crap. Seriously, did no-one proof read this article and note the complete deficits of logic? Of course there were more complications from legal abortions than back street abortions by the end of your career, Chapman, you total and absolute cuntbrain. When you were a junior doctor the Abortion Act had only just come into force! There would be far more back street abortionists and far less legal abortions, wouldn't there?
"Yet we hear so little about these complications that it is almost as if there is a conspiracy of silence to mask the truth."
Perhaps the most ludicrous conspiracy theory I have ever heard. Of course there isn’t a conspiracy of silence. I’m aware of the damage abortions can do to a woman, and I don’t really need to know as a male who will never have an abortion and, to date, has not been involved in the situation where a choice has to be made on abortion. I don’t need to know. Those who do need to know about the complications surrounding an abortion are those who face the choice about having an abortion or not – and those who should be aware of all the facts are those women who are seriously contemplating an abortion.
"I realise that many abortions are sought by women who are in great distress, but I have also seen for myself how - with adequate counselling and support - a huge number of those women who thought they had no option other than abortion can not only come to terms with their pregnancy, but end up treasuring their child. Why, then, is this counselling not more rigorously encouraged? Why is a termination always seen as the default position?"
Right, and whose job is it to provide that counselling and advice? Politicians or doctors? And who says termination is always the default option? If you actually provide some evidence for what you state then people might be able to take you seriously.

And then we hear a lot from Chapman about the damage an abortion can do. Yep, don’t dispute the facts. However, it is the job of medical professionals to advise on the risk and offer suitable counselling. We should not have to resort to the government further restricting freedom and choice in this country.
"I stress the fact that abortion is justified if the mother's life is at risk, or if the foetus has a severe genetic disability but, as Lord Steel - the original architect of the Abortion Act - has himself conceded, many of those seeking abortions today are not desperate women falling back on abortion as a last resort, they are simply using it as a method of contraception."
Great, so your evidence to back up your claim is one man – Lord Steel – who is a politician rather than, you know, say, a reputable study or some sort of meaningful research. Chapman’s approach to research and evidence is shameful given she should have some sort of background in science.
"And that is not only wrong, it carries a risk to the mother's health - especially in the case of late-term abortions."
Right, so explain that to women contemplating a late-term abortion, rather than banging on about changing the law.
"Back in 1967 it was said that easier legal abortion would prevent physical and psychological trauma for the reluctantly pregnant woman. In fact, for many women it has led to the exact opposite. How can that be right?"
Evidence. Evidence. Evidence. Evidence. Evidence. Evidence. Evidence. Evidence. Evidence. Evidence. Evidence. Evidence. Evidence. Evidence. Evidence. Evidence. Evidence. Evidence. Evidence. Evidence. Evidence. Evidence. Please can we have some evidence to support your claims? Please? And what is the alternative to legal abortion? Making it illegal again? Return to the back street abortionists? ‘Cos that really fucking ain’t going to reduce "physical and psychological trauma" now, is it?
"It is 40 years on, we know so much more and we should surely think again - for the sake of the women and the babies."
Yep, let’s think again. From a personal standpoint, I am concerned with the research into the level of humanity a foetus has at the various stages of development and what that shows us about both the rights of a foetus to life and a woman to chose what happens to her own body. I am pro-choice, because I believe people should have the right to choose for themselves. But I am also concerned about the rights of a foetus. I see this as a hideously complex area, both morally and empirically. I want to see arguments from both sides, clearly argued, and backed up by reasoned evidence.

Which is why I cannot stomach the absolute shite spouted by Chapman and her odious, ignorant, ill-educated ilk. This debate should happen, but the likes of Chapman have nothing to offer to that debate, and nothing to add.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home