|Labour MP, Rupa Huq, Saturday 14th October 2017, standing much closer to the pavement than those on the pro-life vigil and proudly facing them down. These same pro-choice protestors that she described as a problem in Parliament, on Monday 16th October 2017 (from Caroline Farrow's blog post on this subject)|
I am very behind with my blogging: so sorry reader! Part of the reason is that I am very, very busy in real life (which is very joyful and positive thing), but the other part is I am simply overwhelmed with a volume of "bloggable" material at present! I start blogging and then something else crops up I feel I have to blog about. The net result is a blog management page full of half-written blog ideas and lists of links I hope to insert into posts at some nebulous point in the future.
I have to post this blog, which I intended to post about a week ago, because it is so important. I hope my delay in writing this out and haste in typing it up now will not serve to diminish the importance of the point I wish to make.
Basically, if you haven't heard, Ealing Council voted to ban prayer vigils outside Ealing abortuary at a recent meeting.
Local MP Rupa Huq accused the Good Counsel Network of “weaponising the rosary”. Huq has long been involved with these vigils, actually joining loud, and occasionally violent counter protests of a group called Sister Supporter (see Caroline Farrow's post for details of Huq's disingenuous posturing on this issue).
Rupa Huq is extraordinarily disingenuous in this interview suggesting that intimidation and harassment take place, presenting absolutely no evidence what-so-ever (the literature has been filleted? What on earth does that mean?).
What is so evidently clear from last week's TV, radio and news reports about the Ealing abortion buffer-zone story is that lots of the journalists and their editors are really activists, not journalists, they're not interested in finding and reporting the truth, they care about pushing their personal and social preferences. There has been a number of programmes on BBC Radio 4 this week that really made me feel sick about the issue. They seem to blatantly ignore the obvious truths around the damage done to women by abortion, preferring to use language which seeks to distance themselves and the women they treat from the reality of what they are doing. Terms like "product of conception" are used for the baby and "procedure" for the actual act of abortion. Writer and broadcaster Anna Raeburn described having a backstreet abortion in 1965 in a graphic account which made no attempt to hide the pain, shame and regret she felt. However, rather than acknowledging that the fact she still suffers from the memory of this experience today is because she was pregnant and destroyed that life, many people managed somehow to blame her mental anguish on the illegality of the procedure and argued this was why it must be legal and freely available!
This despite huge evidence regarding women's abortion regret (which seem pretty obvious when you are honest about what is being done to their unborn child here) as well as evidence of various other ways abortion harms women.What a heart breaking story on #wato. Anna Raeburn very brave to talk about her illegal abortion. This is why it MUST be legally available.— ✩*¨**Jen**¨*✩ (@coaldragon) October 18, 2017
As Caroline points out:
"Until the emergence of Sister Supporter about a year ago, there had never previously been any complaints of nuisance by the local residents.
The vigil consists of a handful of mainly elderly people, on the green across the road from the abortion facility, who quietly pray the rosary. They have a couple of signs, one of the Virgin Mary, one a nice picture of a baby in utero, and another which invites women to approach them if they are in need of any assistance. Slightly more controversially, placed on the ground in front of them are three models of plastic foetuses, all anatomically correct and in proportion, corresponding to different stages in pregnancy. One volunteer stands near the clinic entrance offering passers-by a leaflet, which they are free to accept or decline.
If there was harassment of the nature alleged by Sister Supporter and Marie Stopes, including that which stops women and supposedly staff, from entering and leaving the clinic, then existing legislation, such as the Public Order Act, which has been successfully used to prosecute anti-vivisectionist and animal rights campaigners, would already have been used. In an age where the camera phone is ubiquitous and the clinic has two cameras permanently trained upon the vigil, why has there been no footage released of women being harassed, shouted at, abused and even, as Pam Lowe attempted to claim on BBC1’s Sunday Morning Live, having what she sincerely hoped was, holy water, thrown over them. A particularly vicious lie.
The fact is that no criminal prosecution or even arrests have taken place, because no criminal activity has occurred. The Public Space Protection Order, which Ealing Borough Council hopes to impose will criminalise the activities of those on the vigil. Activity, which could arguably be defined as freedom of speech and the right to protest, which is covered by sections 10 and 11 of the Human Rights Act."
Meanhwile The Care Quality Commission has published a new inspection report on the Marie Stopes clinic in Maidstone, Kent, which reveals a catalogue of abuses and safety violations, as well as a "culture that worked against patient choice."
The front page of The Daily Mail led with the finding that the clinic 'paid its staff bonuses for encouraging women to go through with procedures.' The report states that : "staff were concerned that ‘Did Not Proceed’, the term used when women decided not to proceed with treatment, was measured as a KPI [key performance indicator] and linked to their performance bonus. They felt that this encouraged staff to ensure that patients underwent procedures."
Staff were concerned that this created "a culture that worked against patient choice," said the report. "One staff member described it as 'feeling like a hamster in a wheel' and said the word, 'Cattle market' came up quite a lot. See full report on SPUC's website here.
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