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British Cardinal Wants US Style Pre-Abortion Scans

British Cardinal Wants US Style Pre-Abortion Scans

 

Cardinal Keith O’Brien has said that he wants Britian’s NHS to adopt American-style legislation that mandates women be shown scans of their unborn child before they have an abortion.

Reports Deadline:

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, has said he wants NHS bosses to introduce the American-style measure to reduce the number of terminations in Scotland.

Currently around 200,000 abortions are carried out in Scotland every year and anti-abortion campaigners feel the procedures will help persuade women not to go through with the abortion after seeing how far developed their babies are.

[...]

“While viewing or reading this material is not compulsory and a woman may decline to do so, the fact that it is offered shows a commitment to informed consent which is lacking in the NHS.

“A right to know approach empowers women and enables them to make an informed decision. It is unjust and unethical of the NHS to deny crucial medical information to women this way.”

O’Brien said there was a “shocking” absence of informed consent in dealing with abortion issues in Scotland.

Sadly, it seems there is little evidence to support the Cardinal’s notion that there is a lack of informed consent.

Women’s rights groups have hit back saying that this spells a worrying assault on women’s rights that creates another unnecessary and emotionally damaging barrier to abortion services, citing the recent battles in America as social conservatives have attempted to pass increasingly more restrictive and dehumanizing legislation.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government, while saying that the government has no plans to make these changes a reality, is also quoted as inferring that the Cardinal’s position lacks merit:

The number of abortions carried out in Scotland has reduced year on year over the past few years. This is a trend we wish to see continue and that is why we are investing in sexual health services and prioritising access to effective contraception for women. Women seeking abortions in Scotland are subject to assessment by two NHS doctors and already receive balanced information about the procedure. We have no such plans in Scotland regarding scans.

The Cardinal’s staunch anti-abortion agenda has been apparent for quite some time however.

Just earlier this month Cardinal O’Brien attended the UK premiere of a so-called “pro-life” film in Glasgow. The Doonby film has apparently earned the Vatican’s endorsement for its (anti-)abortion themed subplot. Cardinal O’Brien reportedly said the following at the film opening:

Concentrating on human life, as does this film “Doonby”, we must again ask ourselves just what has been happening since the 1967 Abortion Act. We are aware of the tens of thousands of unborn babies killed in the womb in the United Kingdom since then. It is estimated that the total of babies killed in the womb at this present time is over 200,000 per year – which means 600 babies are killed daily which is the equivalent to 30 classrooms of children. What a horrible thought!

This British frontier of the US War on Women has been quietly simmering for some time now.

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries, allegedly with the backing of several anti-abortion campaign groups who have U.S. affiliates, alongside Labour MP Frank Field, attempted last year to have the UK’s abortion laws amended to add to existing requirements that women undergo independent counseling prior to a termination.

The proposed changes seemed particularly geared toward allowing religious organizations the chance to counsel women.

The plans failed to receive serious backing from Dorries’ own party let alone cross-party support, however this did prompt the British government to say that it may begin examining current rules in order to see if they require further attention. There has been concern over what the government may try and do while working within existing legislative bounds however.

Anti-choice activists with US affiliations have also begun targeting London abortion clinics for protests, holding vigils outside one central London abortion clinic and filming people coming in and out of the building.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien recently caused considerable offense when he alleged that the British government’s plans to legalize same-sex marriage were, in human rights terms, akin to legalizing slavery.

 

Related Reading:

Dispatches From The War On Women: GOP Can’t Change The Topic

Man Admits to Hacking UK Abortion Provider Site

Illinois Dems Poison Ultrasound Bill

 

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Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Catholic Church England and Wales.

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48 comments

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8:47AM PST on Nov 7, 2012

Nimue P. WELL SAID

8:45AM PST on Nov 7, 2012

CLEAR OFF CARDINAL.

5:45AM PST on Nov 5, 2012

The day this man can become pregnant is the day I will listen to his views

11:39AM PDT on Mar 29, 2012

Or they could just do what the Canadian government did. List all abortion providers as terrorists.Note: this was eventually taken down off the site after a petition.

10:30AM PDT on Mar 28, 2012

Ok, one more time...

My point is this: the abortion laws currently on the books would take a tremendous legal effort to overturn - it's been tried many times and generally was nothing but a waste of money. The more efficient direction is to make abortion so difficult and expensive to obtain that either the woman won't be able to afford it (remember the wealthy in the 50's sending their girls off to Europe?) or simply won't be able to obtain one. The laws (Roe v. Wade, et al) are still in force, but their intent has been stymied. True, there's nothing blocking a woman from having an abortion, but she effectively IS blocked - politically, technically, geographically. The goal of stopping abortions has been accomplished without firing a shot at Row v. Wade or any other laws.

One last thing: please don't ask for cites on this. I don't have the time or the interest in providing them. My intent was to make a point, not to depart on a long history of abortion in the United States, Europe, China, India, etc., etc. If you want to do research to counter the points I have made, do it yourself and post the results.

10:26AM PDT on Mar 28, 2012

Sorry, got cut off...

6.) All women must receive a lecture on the process of a zygote -> blastocyst -> embryo, an explanation of the timetable for formation of various biological subsystems (i.e. neural, circulatory), followed by waiting 24-72 hours and then submit a written explanation describing why they want/need an abortion. Rules of privacy are null and void. Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers (even private physicians) have been driven out of business, so the woman must travel to another state, several times

Yes, much of the above is conjecture but I believe that in some states, women who wanted an abortion had to view a film of the progression of life in the womb plus some information on how they are killing a human being (albeit one that is not completely formed). Not sure about the written explanation; may have heard it somewhere.

My point is this: the abortion laws currently on the books would take a tremendous legal effort to overturn - it's been tried many times and generally was nothing but a waste of money. The more efficient direction is to make abortion so difficult and expensive to obtain that either the woman won't be able to afford it (remember the wealthy in the 50's sending their girls off to Europe?) or simply won't be able to obtain one. The laws (Roe v. Wade, et al) are still in force, but their intent has been stymied. True, there's nothing blocking a woman from having an abortion, but she effectively IS blocked - techn

10:22AM PDT on Mar 28, 2012

"British Cardinal Wants US Style Pre-Abortion Scans"

Rubbish. Smoke and mirrors. What the British Cardinal (and all fundamentalists) want is to eliminate abortion by gradually chipping away at the right to it. Examples - note the gradual transition (much conjecture but some reality):

1.) All women must wait 24-72 hours

2.) All women must get an ultrasound, followed by waiting 24-72 hours

3.) All women must receive a lecture on the process of a zygote -> blastocyst -> embryo, followed by waiting 24-72 hours

4.) All women must receive a lecture on the process of a zygote -> blastocyst -> embryo, an explanation of the timetable for formation of various biological subsystems (neural, circulatory, etc), followed by waiting 24-72 hours

5.) All women must receive a lecture on the process of a zygote -> blastocyst -> embryo, an explanation of the timetable for formation of various biological subsystems (i.e. neural, circulatory), followed by waiting 24-72 hours and then submit a written explanation describing why they want/need an abortion. Rules of privacy are null and void

6.) All women must receive a lecture on the process of a zygote -> blastocyst -> embryo, an explanation of the timetable for formation of various biological subsystems (i.e. neural, circulatory), followed by waiting 24-72 hours and then submit a written explanation describing why they want/need an abortion. Rules of privacy are null and void. Planned Parenthood a

9:14AM PDT on Mar 28, 2012

Ainsley C. Wow, any more ridiculous assumptions you care to share with us?

10:17PM PDT on Mar 27, 2012

It is amazing how angry folk get over any christian professing his beliefs. The cardinal has a right to express his views like anyone else. stiff cheese whether you like them or not. As for those pointing the finger at pedophile priests, church wars etc, it is easy to sit in your arm chairs and criticise. Try getting off your bum and do some charity work like most christian folk do. The christian church isn't perfect and those minorities who break the law need jailing. But as Christians we are forgiven and saved by God when we repent and turn to him.

6:46PM PDT on Mar 27, 2012

Now instead of just being a US war, it's world wide :( Un freaking believable.

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