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I am riled beyond belief at the comments from this government’s newly appointed Health Secretary. Jeremy Hunt, who’s name will always be rhyming slang for what I really think of him, released a statement saying he backs the reduction in legal abortion limits to 12 weeks. This is hot on the heels of Nadine Dorries’s quest to reduce the limit to 20 weeks. One can’t help but think Hunt’s interjection is a ploy to make Dorries seem reasonable. Well, Joseph Mengale might make Dorries seem reasonable, but other than that I am hard pressed to view either proposition as tenable.

Women will never have true equality while privileged males (and idiotic females) have control over our bodies and what we do with them. And if you are wondering why this might affect you as you are a sensible woman with complete control over her contraception, are any methods 100% effective? What if you discover at 20 weeks into a planned pregnancy your foetus has a life limiting disability, or may not survive the pregnancy anyway. Wouldn’t you want choices? Even if you would never choose a termination don’t you want other women, especially those who may be in abusive relationships or poverty, to have choices over what happens to their body. Yes inside a pregnant women is a human life, but that life is contingent on the women as a life source, and unless you consider a woman to be simply an incubator, that woman has to have some control over her body, especially when there may be so many other parts of her life she has no control over.

The reality is that 9/10 abortions are performed before 13 weeks, so the question is, who exactly is Hunt targeting? Women do not go into late abortion lightly. Often they are fleeing abusive relationships. And many abortions beyond 12 weeks are because of the long wait and hoops women have to jump through to get a termination.

Lowering the legal limits for abortion will not reduce the number of abortions. It will reduce the number of legal and safe abortions. Someone desperate enough to terminate a baby in the middle of pregnancy is likely to go to any lengths to do so. Reducing the legal limit for abortion will not result in more happy smiley chubby babies; it will increase the number of desperately unhappy women and children brought into this world in devastating circumstances. With a government reducing welfare and community support for families and people with disabilities this can only be a path to unhappiness for many.

I’m not an expert on this, but the Royal College for Obstetricians and Gynaecologists are so check out their website for more information.