Thursday, September 13, 2012
A deadly compassion
There's an opinion piece in the Irish Times today by David Adams titled 'Real life demolishes absolutist stances on abortion.' My first thought would be that what the content of his article actually demonstrates is how easily he moves from presenting abortion as the 'compassionate' option in difficult and emotive cases to his statement that 'it should be the woman’s wishes that prevail.' In other words abortion on demand whatever the circumstances of the pregnancy.
After I read it I looked up some statistics on abortion in the UK. You can find those figures here and here. And having looked over the figures, I think Mr Adams leaves out some important points. That there are, of course, some very different real life results to his type of 'compassion.' In 2010 there were 189,574 medically induced abortions in England and Wales. Almost none of these were for the kind of hard cases that he uses as the starting point for his argument. When it is considered that the live birth rate for 2009 was 706,248, this means that over 20% of pregnancies ended in abortion. And in 1969 the figure for abortions was 49,829. What he argues is 'a last resort' inevitably becomes normalised over time into the first, best, and only option for many.
That is the actual real life results of this sort of 'compassion.' There are, of course, real life 'hard cases' out there. But we mustn't allow them to be used by those with an agenda for abortion on demand to use them as part of their campaign as a form of moral blackmail to get what they want. However they like to paint it, we must never allow ourselves to forget that their idea of compassion in this issue is deadly.