British Minister of Women Maria Miller is continuing her public relations campaign to roll back the country’s legal limit for having an abortion from 24 weeks to 20. Unlike those in the United States, however, Miller isn’t trying to cloak her attempts in disproven scientific data or anti-choice physicians’ pseudo-clinical claims. No, Miller says the abortion should be cut off at 20 weeks because “people” like the idea.
Via Daily Mail:
Speaking on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour yesterday, Mrs Miller said: ‘I want to make sure that the law keeps pace with people’s views on this issue.’
‘Whether it’s to do with medics, whether it’s to do with women themselves, whether it’s to do with children’s health, it’s a small reduction which I think would go a long way to make sure that there’s a pressure on the medical profession to keep evolving the way that they assess neonatal health and the way they assess maternal health as well.’
By “peoples’ views” Miller is obviously referring to her own subset of anti-choice activists and politicians, but still, it’s a more honest approach then that of those in the United States, who erroneously claim that a fetus can feel pain at that point in development.
Miller claims that legislating medical policy off of public opinion is the best way to keep doctors striving to do a better job with their patients — a statement that in itself is utterly offensive to those in the medical profession. Even more disconcerting than her implying that doctors won’t work for positive outcomes unless a threat of legal action is eminent is the way that her words show those who oppose abortion that by becoming louder and more vocal, they can change medical standards, even if it harms women.
Emma Barnett writes in The Telegraph:
Mrs Miller and other MPs regularly talk about being concerned about the impact abortions have on women. However, what about the impact of their words on the growing number of anti-abortion protestors congregating outside of the clinics across the countries on women going through this difficult and emotional process?
There is currently an upsurge in the number of pro-life protests happening outside abortion clinics across the UK. “These comments by the ministers embolden the anti-abortion protestors and give their actions a sense of legitimacy,” explained Clare Murphy of BPAS.
“It spurs them on to shout at women on their way to have an abortion that their actions are immoral and wrong…abortion is a fundamental part of women’s reproductive health and yet it still remains a very stigmatised area of healthcare.”
There is little doubt that the anti-choice war on women’s rights has come loudly to the U.K. and is escalating rapidly. The only question is whether those who oppose abortion will try to wrap themselves in psuedo-science, or if they will just continue pretending that they are expressing the “people’s views.”