The Daily Telegraph, that bastion of conservative moral values (ha! ha!), has just carried out a sting operation on some independent Crisis Pregnancy Centres (CPCs) around Britain. They sent undercover reporters into some of these centres, posing as women in need of advice, and then reported on the findings. According to the article, counsellors at one CPC informed the reporter that abortion could lead to a propensity to sexually abuse children, and at another clinic a reporter was informed that having an abortion could leave them unable to carry future pregnancies to full term. It was also claimed that abortion could lead to an increased likelihood of developing breast cancer.
The article goes on to say that these disclosures will “add to growing calls for increased regulation of abortion services amid fears that both pro-life and anti-abortion clinics and services are not offering reliable advice.” The report also quotes a Department of Health spokesman as saying, “It is vital that any woman considering an abortion is offered impartial and non-judgmental counselling, accurately advising her of all her options, so that she can make an informed decision”.
Now I don’t really want to comment too much on what the workers in the CPC centres actually said, suffice it to make one or two observations. Firstly, the main thrust of the report is that these clinics are giving misleading information. However, if they are then the words pot and kettle spring to mind. The title of the report was “Abortion will make women child sex abusers — independent clinics warn”. Well actually the advisor in question said no such thing. She claimed that there was a statistical likelihood and a correlation between the two things, but she certainly did not say that “abortion will make women child abusers”. Note to Telegraph: If you are going to do undercover sting operations and report back to your readers on the scandal of misleading information being given, maybe a good idea to ditch the misleading and scandalous information which do not represent what the person on the receiving end of your sting operation actually said.
As for the actual claim that there is a statistical correlation between abortion and the sexual abuse of children, I have no idea and have seen no statistics to confirm or deny. But whilst it is of course highly unlikely that there would be a statistical cause and effect between the two things, the fact that a woman is prepared to dispose of her baby via a vacuum cleaner and hospital incinerator does not really induce me to think that her attitude to children is all that healthy. Of course she might end up regretting it, or even repenting of it, but in the absence of either regret or repentance, am I really supposed to think that such a woman is going to be as doting a mother towards any children that do make it through her womb unscathed, as a woman who for whom the vacuum and the incinerator are abhorrent? No, I am not asserting anything like cause and effect, nor even asserting correlation — just merely posing the question: “ceteris paribus, who would I feel safer placing my children in the hands of?”
Then there is the Telegraph’s shock and horror that one advisor claimed abortion can increase breast cancer. Again, I have no statistics available to check out this claim, but here is something of interest taken from the website of Cancer Research UK — an organisation that has no particular axe to grind against abortion, so far as I am aware:
“People often forget this when talking about breast cancer, but having children protects against the disease. Women are less likely to develop breast cancer if they have their first child at an earlier age. Their risk also goes down the more children they have and the longer they spend breastfeeding. These simple associations can explain a lot of the differences in breast cancer rates between developed and developing countries. One study calculated that if women in the Western world had the same number of children as women in the developing world (and breastfed as long), the rates of breast cancer would halve”.
So if Cancer Research UK are right, and having children protects against breast cancer, then it would seem to follow — would it not — that not having children would increase the risk, right?
Now, what are two of the major methods used by women in the Western world to prevent the birth of children? One of course is the contraceptive pill, but interestingly enough, Cancer Research UK, in a rather bizarre refusal to apply basic logic, say this:
“The Pill probably hasn’t had a big effect on breast cancer rates. It only slightly increases the risk of breast cancer. Women take it at a young age when their natural risk is low, and that risk disappears quickly when women go off the Pill”.
This is frankly bizarre. Whether the Pill itself — i.e. the chemical effects — is a major cause of cancer, I’m not sure that anyone really knows. But if there’s one thing I know about the Pill, it is that it has one major aim: to prevent women from having children. So to come out with statements like “having children protects against the disease” and “women are less likely to develop breast cancer if they have their first child at an earlier age”, and then to claim that a pill which is designed to stop women having children has almost no effect on breast cancer rates is…well as Professor Kirke might have said, “Logic. Why don’t they teach logic at these schools”.
But there is another major method of birth control used in the Western world. It’s called abortion. And in case the folks at the Telegraph are unaware of what abortion does, well it leads to women not having children, it leads to many women delaying having children, and it certainly means that the women who do it aren’t going to be doing a whole lot of breastfeeding. So all those things that Cancer Research UK point out as protecting against breast cancer — having children, having them early, breastfeeding — they just happen to be things that abortion precludes.
Let’s see if we can wrap this point up for clarity’s sake. According to Cancer Research UK, having children protects against breast cancer. Therefore, not having children must increase the risk of getting breast cancer. Therefore, any method that prevents a woman from having children — be it the contraceptive pill, or abortion — must increase the risk of breast cancer. So the claim that there is a connection between abortion and breast cancer is not quite as misleading as the Telegraph would have us believe.
Aside from those particulars, there are a few more general comments that need to be made. Let’s just say that the advisors caught out by the Telegraph had got some of their facts wrong, and let’s just say that through this one or two babies ended up making it through the rest of the pregnancy without being shredded. Just how great an evil would this be? I mean, when set against the other 200,000 babies that don’t make it each year in Britain without being shredded. Go on Telegraph, which one would be the lesser of the two evils?
Secondly, how brave of the Telegraph, that bastion of conservative moral values (ha! ha!) to pick on a few independent pregnancy centres where a few ladies are just trying to save a few babies from being shredded and incinerated. Did they not have the guts to pick on the mighty Marie Stopes International, or the awesome British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS)? Or has the Telegraph abandoned the last remaining conservative instinct it may have had and decided to join the illiberal left as they kill babies. What they have done is the moral equivalent of picking holes in Oskar Schindler’s methods.
And finally, what can we say of the claim made by the Department of Health that women need “impartial and non-judgmental counselling”, and the claim made by the Telegraph that “…confusingly these centres sometimes look like the official organisations properly trained and regulated to give out advice about abortions – such as Marie Stopes or the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS)”.
Properly trained and regulated? Impartial? There is no impartiality on this subject. There can be no impartiality where the killing of human beings is concerned. Somehow Marie Stopes and BPAS have managed to convince people that their advice is impartial. Yet their “impartial” advice given by their “properly trained and regulated” advisors has put more Britons to death than died in the first and second world wars combined. With properly trained organisations giving impartial advice like this, who needs propaganda?