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Regan King: The law is being broken... so let's change the law to make a difference

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Abortion law is being broken. Flouting of rules and 'gender-abortion' practices are widespread. Earlier this month Diana Johnson's radical abortion bill sought to decriminalise abortion completely.

But Regan King says that "abortion was, is, and will always be the choice to take an unborn child's life. By the end of today approximately 580 such choices will have been made in England and Wales alone. Change is needed, but not the change Diana Johnson wants."

It dehumanises infants in the womb and treats them as commodities of choice and convenience not the natural living product of procreative sexual relationships.

I believe the Abortion Act should be repealed. The law as given, however, was not put in place to make abortion legal, rather to make abortion legal ​in certain circumstances ​(i.e. posing risk to either the physical or mental well-being of the mother and/or child)​.​ While the phrase '​in certain circumstances' ​is not at all right or helpful, it is still supposed to rule out the vast majority of attempts to abort an unborn child. But does it? The evidence is to the contrary. 

Abortion Scandals

Assessing the most recent months, in August 2016, Britain's second largest abortion provider, Marie Stopes was forced to suspend surgical abortions using anaesthetic or sedation for underage girls and vulnerable women. This followed an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) that indicated doubts that​ staff had adequate training and competence to administer sedatives and general anaesthetic. There were additionally concerns over matters of abortion consent.

In December 2016, the CQC revealed ​2,634 safety flaws observed in Marie Stopes International's procedures between 2015 and 2016 [1]. These included regular 'bulk-signing' of abortion consent forms and failure to adequately train staff. Properly informing and obtaining consent from patients was neglected, training in basic first aid and safety skills was limited, and poor hygiene including aborted babies being left in open hazardous waste bins was evident.

​In March this year an undercover probe of Marie Stopes discovered that the abortion provider's doctors ​approve thousands of abortions a year for women they have never met [2]. While a face-to-face meeting is not required, it is considered to be good practice by The Department of Health. Without a face-to-face meeting it is almost impossible to properly evaluate a woman's suitability for an abortion even under the flawed 1967 Abortion Act.

It was discovered that referrals being made for abortions were often simply the result of brief conversations through a call-centre in which information was changed to suit the 1967 Abortion Act guidelines. For example, when asked the reason for wanting an abortion, one undercover reporter responded simply, “I just don't want to have the baby.” This was justified as a valid 'emotional reason'. These are just stories from one abortion provider. Doubtless, such practices are not the sole reserve of Marie Stopes.


Such scandal comes on the heels of the CPS refusal to prosecute doctors filmed in 2012 agreeing to sex-selective abortions as the crimes were 'not in the public interest'. That same year, Dr Vincent Argent, previously of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service had indicated he had no doubt that sex-selective abortions are wide-spread in the UK [3]. In November 2016 a government aide revealed how the CPS had also failed to secure a conviction for a sex-selective abortion by dropping a case made by an Asian woman whose family had forced her to abort her unborn girl [4].

Even more recently, in the past two weeks, Professor Wendy Savage, a voting member of the British Medical Association Council, has said women should have the right to terminate a pregnancy at any stage of the pregnancy and should be allowed an abortion on emotional grounds if she does not want a child of a particular sex [5]. These incidents while receiving the most prominence ignore the increased availability of abortifacient pills online that while recommended to be taken under supervision cannot regulated.

Changing the law

The law as stated in the 1967 Abortion Act is being broken in many different ways. The problem is recognised and indisputable. What can be done to ensure that the law as it stands is not being broken? Change the law so it is no longer broken of course! Remove the restrictive clauses of the 1967 Abortion Act and make abortion in any case at any time for any reason fully legal. We won't have to worry much about rules, regulations, and negative stories and statistics if the standard is lowered to where the abuse of the current law currently operates. Such is the logic of today's society.

Indeed, it is a problem not limited to abortion. There is drug-crime and illegal possession of substances. How do we deal with the problem? Lower classifications and make previously illegal substances legal! Crimes linked to human trafficking, brothels, and prostitution are common. What must we do? Campaign to legalise prostitution! Marriage stats are poor and paint a broken picture of our society. We should open up marriage to anyone and everyone who wants it! Essentially, the past generation has seen criminal and immoral activity constantly rebranded as lawful and products of righteous libertarian free choice in a far-flung effort to gloss over the very real problems present within our society. 

A better solution

A further liberalisation building upon the 1967 Abortion Act by removing that Act's restrictions will not solve the problem, but will simply mask the reality of the problem and its extent. We would do far better to question whether the 1967 Abortion Act itself if morally right. Upon establishing the answer objectively rather than out of a sense of whimsical convenience, we will be better placed to deal appropriately with tackling the abuses against the present law as well as the aberrant moral practice supported by the present law. Illegal abortions have always happened with varying degrees of danger for the mother - that was a given reason for allowing abortion in certain circumstances in the 1967 Act.

Illegal abortions still happen - both inside and outside of the supposed-to-be sterile medical environments of providers like Marie Stopes. Changing the law so that once 'illegal' abortions are now 'legal' may help satisfy some people's consciences and enable statistics to paint a better picture of our society. In no case, however, did the 1967 legalisation of abortion in certain circumstances or the present bill presented by Diana Johnson to decriminalise abortion in any circumstance remove the reality that abortion was, is, and will always be the choice to take an unborn child's life. By the end of today approximately 580 such choices will have been made in England and Wales alone. Change is needed, but not the change Diana Johnson wants. 

[1] 'CQC publishes inspection reports on Marie Stopes International' on 20 December 2016,
[2] -phonecall.html
[3] Claire Newel​l​ and Holly Watt​,​ "Sex-selective abortions are 'widespread'" in The Daily Telegraph, 24 February 2012
[4] ​Hannah Summers​ and Camilla Turner​, "​CPS 'blinded by political correctness' dropped sex-selective abortion case, government aide reveals" in The Daily Telegraph 11 November, 2016
[5] Stephen Adams, "Let mothers abort babies of the 'wrong' sex: Doctors' ethics boss is blasted by pro-life campaigners for 'abhorrent' views after she backs terminations based on gender alone" in ​The Mail on Sunday​, 18 March 2017 


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