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.
Morning all, I promised a Sunday brunch post, and to everyone’s surprise, including mine, I’ve managed to pull one together. As I just said to someone on Twitter, I tend to over commit and under deliver. This brunch post is great idea. When I usually write posts for my blog I like them to be coherent, well thought out articles, I often do a bit of research (well, I google a few facts…) and I plan them in my head for ages. This is why I don’t blog as much as I would like, as it is time consuming. Well, these brunch posts are unashamed opinion and blather, lacking in coherence and structure, much like a normal brunch time conversation, just without the other person’s opinion. Just how I like it.
Anyway, on the menu today is bacon and eggs. Thick cut smoked bacon, half price in the Co-op, and farm eggs from the village green grocer, on wholemeal toast, slathered in ketchup! Sorry for the crappy picture, food is notoriously difficult to photograph, erm, especially if you forget till halfway through…
So, what’s been happening in my world this week? Well, I spent a happy hour taking part in the Mumsnet webchat with Caitlin Moran. Caitlin, if you don’t know her, is a writer for the times, previously a music journo, and top Twitterer. Her book How To Be A Woman is an excellent treatise on real life feminism. Some of her points are contentious, but her frank discussion of her abortion experience was excellent. When Caitlin had her abortion she was a grown up, married with two children, financially solvent. Having a baby just wasn’t the right choice for her or her family. Her response on Mumsnet about it was
The thing about abortion laws is that, if you were some right wing guy, you might very well think it would be okay to change them. After all, you NEVER hear women going on about their abortions. You’d think no-one normal was having them. This is why we have to normalise talking about it. You know – one in three women will have an abortion, but they’ll never talk about it. As a consequence, access to abortion could easily disappear, or be curtailed, because it just looks like no-one’s using those useful laws. When they were having that debate in the US, I wanted every woman in America who’s had an abortion to go on strike for one day – just so America could see, in one dazzling moment, how common this is for women. it’s not a marginal event. it’s absolutely part of our society. America would have ground to a halt on that day. And it would have been incredibly apt and symbolic, because if you curtail women’s access to abortion, their lives grind to a halt, too.
which I absolutely concur with.
Caitlin has a new book coming out Moranthology which is basically just her blathering about all kinds of crap and just how we like her best. I for one can’t wait to read it (and don’t yet have a copy hint hint to any publishers or just friends who want to buy it for me).
I have been listening to BBC 6 Music a lot this past week. Now I am completely not a muso, I mean, I like music, but I like, you know, Take My Breathe Away by Berlin and The Best of 70’s Disco. It safe to say I’m not schooled in the art of cool music. God, do people even use the word ‘cool’ anymore? Am I supposed to say ‘sick music’? Anyway, in the past few weeks I have been listening to 6 Music to alleviate the boredom at work, and I’m developing quite a taste for it. When I hear a song that I really like I write it down in my diary so I can check it out when I get home and the two songs I wrote down this week were Hail Bop by Django Django and Something Good by Alt J.
Turns out these two artists (bands? They might be bands, I’ve no idea) have been short listed (and are way up the list) for the Mercury Music Prize. Check me out, into music. And the final album I want to buy this month is Push and Shove by No Doubt. I feel like a teenager again, waiting for payday so I can go and buy a CD. It’s their first album in years and I have always loved them, since I used to listen to Don’t Speak when I broke up with my first love; sobbing while singing “I really feeeeeel like I’m losing my best friend…” Good times.
The news has been dominated more than was necessary by the subject of the breasts of the Duchess of Cambridgeshire. I’ve been trying to muster up an opinion on the matter and struggling, mainly because it’s not news. But here’s the crux of it, the French magazine was wrong to print the pictures of Kate. Tits out or not she was on private property trying to enjoy a holiday in peace. And taxpayer funded or not NO ONE has the right to take and publish pictures of someone half naked without their consent. It’s exploitation and an abuse of privacy.
But here’s the other side, the Duchess of Cambridgeshire should not get any special treatment just for being a member of royalty. The Royals are not special. They have got where they are by accident of birth or marriage. They live an exorbitantly luxurious lifestyle which they in the main don’t pay for, for which they give up about half their time doing light ceremonial work. Kate should not have had her privacy invaded. But let’s remember there are enormous number of other woman being exploited who do not have the weight of the Royal Family or the indignity of the righteous British public behind them. This should not be news. And let us remember that these publications publish these sort of pictures because they know we the public buy them. No British outlet has published them (so far) but that is because Kate is held up a some sort of Madonna figure by the British media. They are not short of other young women to exploit, women seeking validation and money in the way they have been conditioned to think is acceptable. When we buy these magazines and papers we are complicit in their exploitation. We can call for as much regulation of the press as we like but far better just to cut off their power and circulation by boycotting them.
Anyway, enough of my diatribe. Hope you are having a happy Sunday. What’s been going on in your week? I do wonder if there is mileage in making this into a blog hop. Blogging is so one-sides, it would be good to share other people’s thoughts and posts too. Tell me what you think. Oh and how to do it would be good too!