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Sneaky Assault on Right to Choose in UK

Sneaky Assault on Right to Choose in UK

Last Friday, the UK politician Diane Abbott walked out of an all-party group created to discuss rules on abortion counseling. Abbott claimed the group was a front for ‘Tea party Tories’ to push through an ‘aggressive, anti-choice campaign’ without legislation or parliamentary debate.

This all-party group was established following the politician Nadine Dorries’ attempts in 2011 to strip abortion providers of their role in counseling women seeking abortions. Dorries claimed these providers were not independent because they also carried out the terminations. However, her definition of ‘independent’ was not exactly comprehensive. Instead, her proposals actually made it easier for services influenced by pro-life groups to obtain government contracts for abortion counseling.

Widely denounced publically and politically, Dorries’ proposals were heavily defeated in Parliament. However, Diane Abbott believes the all-party group will allow these changes to be made through the back door.

This development is yet another attempt to chip away at UK women’s hard-won reproductive rights. Only two weeks ago, Dorries was due to put forward a sex education bill that required schools to offer extra classes on abstinence. But these classes were only for girls. This regressive approach viewed sexual politics as if from the 1950s: instead of sex being a mutual act where both parties are equally responsible, suddenly it is women alone who are the “gatekeepers” of sexual modesty.

Under international law, women have the right to make choices about their own bodies without undue coercion. Yet UK women are at risk of these rights being undermined without the protection of parliamentary scrutiny. Perhaps the 1950s will be revived after all.

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Photo Credit: Patty Mooney

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32 comments

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10:31AM PST on Feb 20, 2012

Those anti-women teabags are quite enough to handle in the US. If we ever want to export them, Europe wouldn't want them. How about Mars, Jupiter or Uranus?

8:59AM PST on Feb 15, 2012

Can't see the ladies of the UK standing for this, and rightly so :-(

3:58PM PST on Feb 3, 2012

Good grief! This is spreading faster than the Black Plague.

1:20PM PST on Feb 2, 2012

Seems these anti-choice people are everywhere. What I don't understand is, why do they want to get involved in the first place? A decision to go through with a pregnancy is that of the woman and no one else. Why do these people seek to control the lives of others? Is it a power trip or what?

1:11PM PST on Feb 1, 2012

Thanks for the information.

1:29AM PST on Feb 1, 2012

The greatest misdirection illusion seems to me to be that while laws written, designed and implemented by governements chosen by the people, for the people are takign away rights of freedom with the Patriot Act and Anti choice bills, everyone seems to think that Islam should be stopped because that will introduce sharia which will take away their freedom and choice.

5:24PM PST on Jan 31, 2012

Geeze I can't be in two places at once. it is an all out worldy assault on women as human beings . A fetus is a POTENTIAL human NOT A HUMAN until it is born and breathing on its own. God is the biggest abortionist it is all in the plans to make sure only the strongest survive. In the dark ages before medical science a woman (if she lived long enough )could bear up to 15 children and maybe one or two would survive. So i guess abortion is our modern day population control . Carry on or their won't be much time left for poor mother earth (who as a female) is also overworked and not paid.

3:24PM PST on Jan 31, 2012

Cinsel eğitim hem kızlar hem erkekler için şarttır sadece kızlara verilmesi gericilikten başka bir şey değildir.

2:58PM PST on Jan 31, 2012

I can't say anything better than what George Carlin once said:
"Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren't they? They're all in favour of the unborn, but once you're born, you're on your own.
Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to 9 months. After that they don't want to know about you. They don't want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing.
If you're pre-born you're fine, if you're pre-school, you're f***ed."

1:46PM PST on Jan 31, 2012

I hope the UK doesn't start following the anti-woman agenda that is going on in the US. The right wing haters are taking us back to the dark ages where women were forced to get unsafe abortions in back alleys. We're supposed to be going forward, not backward!

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