Choice? What Choice?

The ProLife Alliance occasionally takes part in debates on pro-life issues. This is an important means of bringing subjects such as abortion to the attention of the next generation and a wider audience. Last year we were invited by Bristol University’s debating society to take part in a debate on abortion. Our opponent on this occasion was a speaker from Marie Stopes’ Bristol clinic.

The debate was memorable for the confused message given by the pro-abortion side. Marie Stopes concentrated exclusively on a woman’s right to choose. They were unwilling to be drawn even on questions where Marie Stopes is directly involved, such as their involvement in China’s forced abortions. Likewise their speaker had nothing to say on the rights of the unborn child, the father of the child’s right to be heard, abortion for disability, gender selection, and many other issues which were raised from the floor. The message for women was “If you don’t like abortion, don’t have sex. Contraception can fail and it is about choice”. When asked about foetal viability the speaker was very definite that life begins when babies become viable at 24 weeks and she would change her view “when the science changed”.

The focus of the ProLife Alliance argument was the value of life and the importance of protecting the right to life at whatever stage. Women and their children deserve better. A large proportion of abortions are done on women of student age (19-21) yet where are the child care facilities in university which they need so badly? Women in our society are constantly postponing having children because of fears of dropping off the career ladder. This is very unfair to women. The baby’s rights are ignored completely. Men have no legal rights in the matter and need to be able to support women. The ProLife Alliance speaker said it is a scientific fact that the unborn child is constantly developing, and isn’t suddenly alive at 24 weeks gestation. 24 weeks is simply the estimated time that a baby has a chance of survival outside the womb.

Tellingly, the Marie Stopes spokeswoman said that every day she sees women who say “I don’t believe in abortion, but I have no other option”. Surely this is about lack of choice?