Nadine Dorries MP has written a couple of posts about abortion (she’s agin it) and has had the shit deservedly ripped out of her by Trixie at Is There More To Life Than Shoes?, DK and Unity at Ministry of Truth. Nevertheless, I will add a few words to the debate.
As I’ve said elsewhere, to my mind objections to abortion such as those raised by Ms Dorries are, essentially, theological ones; they depend on beliefs about the soul and when life begins and, quite simply, these are beliefs that a great number of people, rightly or wrongly, do not share with Ms Dorries. It is, quite simply, wrong for MPs to legislate on primarily theological grounds. The reason we have laws against murder and theft are not, as I keep on saying, because God forbids such activities (though I believe He does) but because you can’t have any sort of complex society in which people can go around murdering and robbing people with impunity. Society can, however, knock along reasonably well despite some of its members committing adultery and worshipping graven images, which is why we don’t ban those activities despite the fact that we have it on equally good authority that The Almighty disapproves of them, too.
My views on abortion are very much coloured by personal experience. Some twenty years ago, my then girlfriend found herself pregnant as a result of a condom bursting (baby oil and condoms do not mix, experto crede). What to do? This is two intelligent professionals in their 30s we’re talking about, remember, and it wasn’t an easy decision for either of us. One thing we were both completely clear about, though, was that, ultimately, it had to be her decision and — this was what was foremost in my mind — was that whatever my views on the matter, ultimately the only honourable thing I could do was support her in whatever decision she took.
Unfortunately, at least from my point of view, she decided — unwillingly — that an abortion was the least bad option. I didn’t agree, but I could see it from her point of view and, as I said, all I could honourably do was give her all the love and support I could in what was, I know, a very difficult decision for her.
Now, as far as I’m concerned, if anyone had the right to interfere with her decision, it was me. And I certainly didn’t think, and still don’t think, I had that right.
That being the case, I’m bloody sure no MP, nor any Cardinal of a church to which she did not belong, has any say in the matter. She asked me to drop her off at the end of the road where the clinic was, so she could walk in by herself (and, if she chose, turn round by herself). While I am not by nature a violent man, unless circumstances demand it, there is no law of God nor man that would have saved anyone who tried either to stop her or force her through those gates at the end of what I know was a very difficult walk for her, no matter what were my views on her decision.