Sunday, 3 July 2022

A bit of obsessive indignation on attacks on women’s rights.


I might be getting a little obsessed but maybe that’s no bad thing, provided it doesn’t go too far. So here I go again. Just in case we get a little complacent here in the UK about what a liberal, free-thinking society we are, even under the austerity of the Conservatives, here are a couple of things I have come across in the last few days.

First of all this from Open Democracy: 

“A UK anti-abortion group that wants to replicate America’s backlash against reproductive rights has placed more than a dozen interns in MPs’ offices since 2010, openDemocracy can reveal.

Christian Action, Research, and Education (CARE) has provided free researchers to 20 MPs as part of its Leadership Programme, which offers 11-month placements in Westminster – and all-access Commons passes – to recent university graduates.

Of those, 13 continued to take the interns despite revelations about the charity’s position on LGBTQ+ rights in 2012. Ir emerged that CARE had sponsored a conference about homosexuality that promoted gay ‘conversion therapy’ and included sessions on “mentoring the sexually broken”.

The group has said its internship scheme puts participants in “real positions of responsibility”, and boasts that former interns have gone on to become cabinet ministers and senior civil servants. Tory MP Stephen Crabb, an alumni of the scheme, credits it with giving him “a grounding of the Commons, politically”.”

Just quietly beavering away to influence things!

And then there is this that was in the Guardian:

“Women in England and Wales who have suffered miscarriages or stillbirths are being investigated by police on suspicion of having illegal abortions, with some forced to hand over their phones and laptops for invasive “digital strip searches”.

In one case in 2021, a 15-year-old girl who had an unexplained early stillbirth was subjected to a year-long criminal investigation that saw her text messages and search history examined. Police dropped the case after a coroner concluded the pregnancy ended because of natural causes.

The teenager was investigated under the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act, which says it is unlawful to procure a miscarriage using “poison”, “an instrument” or “other means whatsoever”, and that those found guilty can be jailed for life.

The 1967 Abortion Act transformed women’s healthcare by legalising terminations in England, Wales and Scotland up to 28 weeks, with the legal limit since reduced to 24 weeks. But abortions are only lawful in circumstances where two doctors agree that continuing the pregnancy would be risky for the physical or mental health of the woman.

The old law was never repealed, so anyone who has an unregulated abortion or tries to terminate their pregnancy without supervision from medics is acting unlawfully. Anyone assisting them can also be prosecuted.

Police have launched dozens of investigations into suspected breaches of the law in the past 10 years, according to analysis of crime logs and Home Office data, with the alleged offences including cases where women took abortion pills bought on the internet and induced their own abortions by drinking herbal remedies without supervision from doctors.”

So, at a time when there are apparently not sufficient resources to investigate burglaries properly, time and money is being spent on this. Imagine the psychological effect on that 15 year old being investigated for a year of her young life. 

It beggars belief! That’s indignantly all!

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone! 

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