One of the matters arising at this meeting was a motion proposed by Prof Wendy Savage. Prof Savage has worked in obstetrics and gynaecology around the world, previously helping to set up abortion services in New Zealand. It was no surprise then that the proposed motion was to totally decriminalise abortion in the UK.
It was not long ago that Prof Cathy Warwick as chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives made the executive decision on behalf of the RCM (without consulting its members) to announce that the organisation supports a campaign to scrap the time limit on abortion and sweep away all current legal restrictions. It now looks like the BMA could well follow suit.
SHOULD DOCTOR'S BE ABOVE THE LAW?
Currently in practice there are very few restrictions left regarding abortion in UK law but Prof Savage proposed that gender selective abortion and abortion up until birth for any reason should be permitted and decriminalised. She recounted the story of the two doctors caught referring women for gender selective abortions. She cautioned the meeting about the 'Well funded anti-abortion lobby' who are following 'their aggressive US counterparts by using the law against doctors' but I would ask if it is so unreasonable to use the law against doctors? Should doctors be above the law? Is it up to doctors to decide if and when laws are no longer necessary or need not apply? Sadly this proposed motion received much positive interest.
Those in favour of the motion used emotive imagery as tales were told of struggling women, suffering alone, desperate & in fear of being prosecuted despite Dr Melody Redman from Yorkshire's reminder that 'last year there were over 185,000 abortions so let us not fool ourselves that there are onerous burdens' (on abortion minded women).
One of the most contentious statements of the day came from Dr Matteo Martino, in favour of the motion, who told those present emphatically that it was a fact that 'The most dangerous thing you can do as a woman of reproductive age is have a pregnancy'. Really? I think that statement needs some kind of clarification.
Yes I'm well aware that there can be complications or even fatalities during pregnancy or childbirth but surely the occurrence of this hardly compares to abortion of which world-renowned abortionist Dr Warren Hern once said 'Complications are inevitable' yet Dr Martino announced that abortion 'Is one of the safest surgical procedures performed in the UK'. Well let's be blunt, it's certainly not safe for the baby who ends up dead and yes, it's ok to call it a baby as even Dr Martino acknowledges that much as he spoke of 'Terminating babies'. Yet he was well applauded for his speech.
'PROTESTS OUTSIDE ABORTION CLINICS ARE GETTING STRONGER'
He went on to mention how 'protests outside abortion clinics are getting stronger' as the 'anti-abortion lobby gains traction and funding from the US.' I don't know where all this US funding is going but I have been praying outside abortion clinics regularly for over 10 years and I haven't seen a penny of it yet. Maybe pro-abortionists can't understand that people would help those in crisis pregnancies for any reason other than money.
There were some doctors courageous enough to oppose the motion. Dr Lydia Akinola astutely pointed out that whilst their 'campaign dresses itself in feminism it could enable female gendercide' and would further 'promote the idea that human life has no intrinsic value'. Dr Brendan Affleck clearly understood how far reaching the effects of abortion are as he spoke of the common definition of a crime being 'an act harmful not only to an individual or some individuals but also to a community, society or the state'. In case there was any doubt as to how deeply damaging abortion is Dr Affleck went on to say 'since 1967 8 million babies have been aborted in the UK, the equivalent to the population of London'. But Dr Affleck failed to receive even the smallest ripple of applause.
At the conclusion of the meeting a vote was taken to pass the motion as a reference and the chair of the council made it abundantly clear what this meant: 'Taking it as reference ties us to doing it, just not using the precise method detailed in the motion . . .It is the right thing for women and society and now is the time to do it because of the 50th anniversary coming up. You are asking us to make sure that process happens and I will make sure it does.' The vote won the necessary two thirds majority.
'WE CAN'T ALLOW OURSELVES TO BELIEVE THAT A LATE TERM ABORTION HAS NO MORE SIGNIFICANCE THAN REMOVING AN APPENDIX'
So this means we need to be ready next year (when the matter will be re-addressed at the BMA's ARM) for another battle against those seeking to further liberalise our already pitifully weak abortion law and we need to start preparing now. The BMA has approximately 154,000 members let's start encouraging them to respect life and not to be afraid to speak out about the harm abortion causes to women.
Abortion provider BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service) have already formed a slogan for their campaign: 'We trust women'. Surely the reason we have any laws is that we can never trust every single woman or man to make the best decision. We all make bad choices at times based on selfishness, indifference and fear. Dr Melody Redman, speaking against the motion, warned us of the moral chaos that can ensue when we allow individuals to make their own laws "We can't allow ourselves to believe that a late term abortion has no more significance than removing an appendix'. So no, we cannot put a blanket of trust over all women no matter what Prof Savage tells us, we women are not infallible and we need laws just as men do to protect ourselves and others from our own moments of weakness. So do we trust women? There are some women I do trust but Prof Wendy Savage you're not one of them.