No, I’ve not forgotten you all, I’m just a tad busy at the moment with important stuff.
Well, start here with the new Coalition for Choice website, which – as you’ll hopefully see by Monday’s 2nd reading of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill – is taking up a fair bit of my time as I compile various bits of information and evidence that have appeared on MoT and LibCon over the last few months in to a series of FAQs and factsheets supporting the campaign.
So yes, folks, the subject is scientific evidence relating to abortion law and its gonna be me vs Nadine Dorries, so watch this space.
In the meantime, Bookdrunk runs the rule over Dorries’ ’20 reasons for 20 weeks’ campaign – or 20 weeks why Nadine Dorries is a raging hypocrite and congenital liar, which is a more accurate reflection of its content. Bookdrunk say its all irrelevant, misleading or entirely stripped of any factual content, which is spot on and my task of the next few days/weeks will be to demonstrate exactly why.
Meanwhile, the esteemed Dr Crippen fires off a well-aimed double-barrelled blast at Dorries, with Iain Dale thown in as a bit of collateral damage, and explains that while he personally would support a reduction in the upper time limit to 20 weeks, he still won’t be backing Dorries’ campaign.
Now I do disagree with the good doctor’s conclusions, but I respect his position absolutely and, truth be told, I strongly suspect that any differences between our respective views are actually very marginal and based on nothing more than slight differences in emphasis and the respective weight that we give to different elements of a complex series of clinical and ethical arguments.
Truth be told, I would be delighted if we were to reach a position in which there are no abortions carried out after 20 weeks gestation, not through legal prohibition but because we have a health service which meets the needs of women quickly. efficiently and with the minimum of obstacles and the maximum possible support. No woman chooses to have an abortion at such a last stage in the second trimester because of anything other than what they see as necessity, and the only humane and decent way to deal with that with is to ensure that such necessities are dealt with with all due alacrity.
John is one of the good guys, and Dorries would do well to consider carefully why it is that her manner and approach to this debate has cost her someone who, in other circumstances, would be a natural supporter – not that I expect she’ll give it a moment’s thought.
One other point – as much as I jealously guard my personal privacy and anonymity – not to mention that I have a perfect face for radio – the one thing that would sorely tempt me to break cover and come out fully into the open would be the chance of a one-on-one debate with Dorries on this issue. It’s a chance I doubt I’d even get, after she’s run scared of every previous challenge and this time, whether me or the good doctor in the opposing corner, I’ve have no expectation she’ll respond any differently.
Its not just the hypocrisy and mendacity that I find irritating, its the rank cowardice as well.