…were the words which my mother once chanted when she joined the protest against this horrible society.

SPUC, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, compares abortion with eugenics. It believes that to have an abortion is “the deliberate killing of an unborn child”. It also claims that contraceptives like the pill are murderous, and that abortion is responsible for doctors who are now committing infanticide.

Here, from the society itself:

The injustice of abortion

Abortion denies the most basic of human rights–the right to life–which is justly due to each member of the human family.

Abortion is not only itself a grave injustice but it also perpetuates other social injustices. Abortion does not solve social problems, such as unstable relationships, poor housing and financial insecurity, which lead women to seek to end their pregnancies. It actually undermines the will of society–at the levels of family, peer group and government–to find humane solutions which do not involve killing a baby.


Abortion’s victims

Abortion is typically carried out by the dismemberment, poisoning and/or premature expulsion of the unborn child. It is usually an invasive procedure for the mother which, even in the best hospital conditions, presents risks to her physical and psychological health. Fathers and other family members may also suffer after an abortion, the ethics of healthcare professionals who take part in abortions are compromised, and society as a whole is harmed by the toleration of violence against the unborn child.


Early abortifacients

Abortion can be caused in the first two weeks of life by birth-control methods which prevent the implantation of the embryo in the mother’s womb. Although many advocates of such techniques refer to this action as contraceptive, it actually involves the death of an embryo in the womb and is therefore abortifacient. Abortion can be caused by:

  • birth control implants
  • birth control vaccines
  • intra-uterine devices (coils)
  • the morning-after pill
  • other forms of contraceptive pill.


Population control

The population control movement is the world’s largest and most powerful promoter of abortion. Many countries have legalised abortion because of concern at alleged over-population. Population-growth is said to be the cause of poverty, famine and environmental degradation, and governments have used this to justify controlling the sizes of families. Such measures infringe human rights, including unborn children’s right to life.


Infanticide and euthanasia

Legalised abortion has led to increasing contempt for newborn babies who are disabled. Some doctors in Britain have admitted killing disabled babies by methods including sedating and starving them to death; this is still against the law. In some countries, including Britain, courts have approved the starvation of brain-damaged adult patients. The same attitude to human life is apparent in eugenic abortion, infanticide and the pressure to decriminalise euthanasia.

Now, you may have guessed that I have a problem with SPUC. My problem is this: being anti-choice, or ‘pro-life’, denies a woman’s right to autonomy. It denies her power and control over her own body, and turns the process of abortion into murder.

When abortion was illegal, women had to find doctors willing to perform an abortion illegally – some women even resorted to coat hangers to perform the abortion. Today, abortion is legal and available in the UK. There is still social stigma about it, and there are still mental (and yes, I mean mental. Look at the SPUC director’s blog for goodness sakes) societies like this around. But at least the days of the coat hanger are gone, for now.

So what has inspired me to write this, you may ask. Well, I discovered recently that the very SPUC that my mother was protesting against when she was my age is coming to my sister’s school. To give an assembly. Recently, my sister has been learning about abortion in her religious studies class (I know, good start right? No bias there…) and came home saying that she wasn’t sure she agreed with abortion. We had a big family debate and both of us put forward similar points. In fact, she had only meant that she wouldn’t want an abortion but that if another woman wanted one, that should be allowed. A woman should be able to choose.

Because her school, which I used to attend, teaches about abortion is such a weighted way (unintentionally, I think. The teacher I had was very religious but tried to be balanced. He failed miserably), she left thinking that she was against abortion without understanding the meaning behind such a belief.

And now, SPUC have been invited to come to the school and talk to a group of teenagers, my sister included. They won’t try the balanced approach, and these young people, who are the most in need of a clear understanding of contraception, abortion, and relationships generally, will simply be preached at by a Christian right-wing society.

I am totally furious about this. I think I’d be ok about it if there were a pro-choice group coming in to talk too, but that’s not the way the school works. While they may attempt to be balanced in their teaching, they are certainly not when choosing which speakers to host in the chapel. Still, I’m going to try and find out if they’d have me and a friend give a pro-choice chapel, to try to level the field a little.

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts, and any ideas for how to approach 15 yr olds about abortion (in case we are actually allowed to speak). Also, any idea what my sister should do? She and her friends disagree with SPUC but will be forced to sit through 1/2 an hour of it (there was an opt-out letter, but she forgot about it…), and they say they’ll be excluded if they shout FUCK SPUC in the middle of assembly. Which is fair enough.

And on that note – adieu.