Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Nadine Dorries: A Few Words

So, Nadine. Here we are again. After you attempted to pass the atrocity that can only be described as a repulsively sexist bill introducing "just say no" sex education to girls while boys get away scot-free - because we all know getting pregnant is entirely the woman's fault (those bloody sluts) - you're back to your old abortion high jinks. Because the last fifty odd years of feminist sexual campaigning really was just a bunch of silly saucy women trying to convince womankind to kill their children and indulge in witchcraft or something else woefully liberal. It's not like they were merely demanding human rights or the opportunity to be worth more than their wombs. It's a perfectly justified fear that all pregnant women are going to start aborting their babies because by law they are allowed to which, if we're thinking logically, is practically encouragement.

Or is it, Nadine? Your latest bright idea is to ban pro-choice charities like the British Pregnancy Advisory Service or Marie Stopes from offering counselling to pregnant women because you believe they are not able to advise women without bias due to their financial dependency on abortions. You think that charities such as these seek to lead women into abortions for their own selfish gains. Nadine, can you hear yourself? As Zoe Williams aptly states in The Guardian, you are using classically liberal anti-capitalist rhetoric in the vain attempt to convince people that charities are capable of persuading women to abort their children for their own financial gains. I know that you are offensively ignorant but I'm sure it's not news to you that charities are non-profit - that's a charity by definition. Your hideous untruths are not only hugely disrespectful to such groups' exceptional expertise and the priceless help they offer to thousands of struggling females but such wild misinformation is also irreparably harmful to their prestige and the public's perception of them, resulting in a lack of faith in those who really are out to protect us. We don't trust MPs - I cannot fathom why - and now apparently we can't even trust charities. And you wonder why we riot.

Have you ever had an abortion, Nadine? Have you ever been given advice by any of these charities? If such charities were giving women unequally weighted advice or misinforming them, do you not think it would have been flagged up by now? Of course you wouldn't assume such a thing: women seeking abortions are probably unable to decipher such a slant, as foolish and 'vulnerable' as they are. In your eyes, such misled women's eyes probably glaze over with all the pro-abortion propaganda and blindly and in comatose state sign an 'X' on the irreversible contract of death. Or something equally sensational and morbid. But perhaps there are one or two sensible women out there who have had an abortion - maybe even other female MPs? - who you could have consulted on the issue before bringing forward such a shamefully uneducated motion? According to both Marie Stopes and the BPAS, you have not made any attempt at contacting them and you have not once stepped into one of their atheist femi-Nazi brainwashing labs, commonly known as 'clinics'. I hate to say it Nadine but I really don't know if you're the type of woman who should be making such life-altering decisions on behalf of 31 million women in the UK. You just haven't done your research and quite frankly, that is just sloppy.

I really cannot comprehend how or why you have found yourself to be in a position of power and trust, Nadine. You logic is that by removing pro-choice charity advice and care from womens' options, the country will see a decline in abortion figures. If less women are getting abortions but the only variable is the advice, that would surely indicate that there are a number of women keeping children from a lack of expert counselling. The motion did not appear to have any strategy or contingency plan: the charities would be barred but there would be offered no immediate replacement. Perhaps after several weeks of personal research and waiting lists, a hypothetical pregnant woman would have found her own counsellor and would have come to the decision that an abortion is the appropriate decision. But of course, you want to change the legal limit to 22 weeks, or 20 if you're lucky, so maybe by that time it will be too late. Is that the definition of pro-life? The baby lives but the mother's life choice has been ultimately taken from her because she has remained confused, marooned and ignorant to her options? I'm all for 'life', personally; I certainly cherish mine. It would appear however that you do not share my sentiments. You are willing to see me make an uniformed decision that would potentially ruin it, because of your own ungrounded, under-researched, crude, dense, unscientific, irrational and vacuous inexperience. Not to mention your religious leanings. I think that is classed as negligence, Nadine.

The press have been all over this issue in a far more eloquent though no less emotive fashion, peruse their thoughts:

Pro-Choice leanings
Anti-Abortion leanings
... and has David Cameron made a correct decision? GOOD GRIEF. Looks like I'll have to eat my hat.


  1. Having read your blog for quite a while without knowing you personally, and having seen your confrontation (if you can call it that) with Cameron on the BBC, it is good to see that you have decided to 'eat your hat' and show a little bit of dignity. Just because you 'don't believe' him doesn't mean he's incapable of making sensible, or as you deem, 'correct' decisions. Perhaps you aren't such a close-minded liberal after all.


    PS I do love that you supported your argument with reference to the Daily Mail. How Tory of you!

  2. Hey Chloe, great post! From what I understand, the BPAS model is so successful that many other nations have copied it down to a tee.

    I'm ashamed to live in a country where someone with such unprogressive views as Dorries can be an elected representative of the people and has the power to propose bills like this. If I was locked in a room with Hitler, Stalin, Dorries, and only two bullets, I'd shoot Dorries twice.

    @Stephenrasp1 - Fail on focusing on one obviously sarcastic comment that Chloe made at the end and ignoring the main debate. Also if you look exceptionally closely you'll see that the link to the Mail piece is under the heading 'anti-abortion leanings', thereby presumably not supporting a pro-choice argument. The heading size is roughly exactly the same size as all the other text and is even reverse-highlighted (I just made that up) by virtue of all the surrounding brown-coloured links, but like I say you'll still need to look very hard for it. Good luck on your quest:

  3. Also don't know if you caught Newsnight last night but this clip is worth a watch:

  4. Thank you for the support Henry, articulate and well mannered as ever! And that Newsnight clip is gold, thank you for bringing it to my attention.

    Steven, first of all, hello. Secondly, you say you've been reading my blog for a while but you call me both a lefty and a Tory in your comment - I think I've made it abundantly clear which I am so not sure how there's any such confusion there. Also, the David Cameron comment is sarcastic, of course, but also seeking to praise him. I am not entirely devoid of rational thinking, I will give praise where it is due, be that a Tory or a Liberal. But please, let us return to the matter in hand: dear old Nadine

  5. Apparently people are having trouble commenting so I'm passing on the message, thereby entering them into the debate...
    Siobhan O' Reilley: Harsh, but true. Well argued. Seems like Nadine needs some better faith in humanity: faith in charities to be charitable and fair, faith in the female population to have the intelligence and compassion to make their own right choice.

  6. Tasterella Taster: Chloe has written a 'rant' that succeeds where other rants fall short.Nadine's 'boast' to reduce terminations by a third begs the question- who will rear these children, of mothers who felt unable to parent them successfully? Let Nadine be handed those babies.Let Nadine offer counselling and advice if these charities are unable to do so, which they have been doing for many years (with great wisdom and experience).

  7. I was being sarcastic in the same way you allegedly were towards Cameron, Chloe. Of course I know you're a raving lefty. With all the inverted snobbery that laces your blog (the Ritz entry was a gem), it would be hard to assume you were anything but.

  8. Changing the abortion limit to 20 weeks is just what this country needs. For such a sensitive individual that you claim to be, I don't know how you tolerate abortion later than this, where the foetus can allegedly feel pain.

    I'm pro-choice, certainly, but far too many young women embark on abortions without realising the consequences this will have to their mental health later in life. There needs to be more education on what abortion actually is and the impact this could have on the potential mother's life, instead of many women, particularly those who are young, acting like it is another contraceptive against pregnancy.

  9. I don't know how many young women you've met, Steven, but of the ones I've met - which is quite a few, being one myself - I can tell you with authority that nobody treats abortion like a contraceptive.
    Abortion is a horrifying ordeal which no woman wants to experience. Trust me. Assuming such a thing would suggest to me that you are of the same inexperienced cluster of people who really cannot fathom such an experience and therefore make offensive assumptions, such as the one you have just made. We know what it will do to us, mentally. Killing our own child is not something we take lightly. Again, trust me. To presume anything else is abhorrent and utterly ignorant.
    Also, not sure when I've claimed to be a sensitive soul, but I'll let that one slide - the 20 week limit is exactly that, far too limiting. Many women don't realise they are pregnant until several months in. Having never menstruated, I wouldn't expect you to have much of a grasp of it but I can tell you that it can be extremely difficult to predict and women often bleed a small amount when pregnant. It's not uncommon for women to discover they're pregnant up to 7 or 8 months in, let alone 5. I appreciate that while it is an appalling decision to have to make, with ethical issues in abundance, the most important person in that decision is the mother. It is her body, her life and her choice.
    I accept that many men have empathy on this subject and can speak with great understanding on it, but ultimately, unless you have dealt with this situation yourself or have the potential to do so, you cannot judge with much conviction. I may have opinions on something like male circumcision - or another exclusively and relevant male experience - but I wouldn't feel at liberty to have much of a say on the laws surrounding it. Not having a womb clearly hasn't stopped you from thinking you're an expert.

  10. ps. Steven, what exactly is an inverted snob? Someone snobbish towards snobs, or someone who is the opposite of a snob? I wouldn't mind being either.

  11. Well if I can weigh in for a second, Urban Dictionary helpfully defines an inverted snob as "Someone who looks down their nose on those more wealthy, simply because they are more wealthy."

    A 2004 Telegraph article which came up in the same Google search says: "The problem with inverted snobbery is that it tends to celebrate the wrong kind of working-class culture: the non-working kind, in fact. It coos and swoons over street culture, with its edginess and lawlessness. Its heroes are never the hard-working swots who overcome adversity to become top neurologists or civil servants. They are gangsters, slackers, footballers or pop stars: people with limited use for either brains or manners."

  12. Thank you Alexis, most helpful. Sure I don't like masses of wealthy people who have all the power in a country and who fail to understand the plight of us mere mortals, namely certain members of government, but I don't have an issue with wealthy people in the slightest. Lots of wealthy people are wealthy for a reason. I have socialist tendencies and detest greed but a wealthy person is the same as a poor person in my mind and should be judged on their merit, not their money. Of that, and I hope I have made it abundantly clear, I am a huge advocate.

    I guess I am a hard-working swot, though I'm not overcoming much adversity apart from a working class household wage (which can only be classed as a 'minor disadvantage') and I certainly won't become a neurologist. We do work hard though and definitely cannot be deemed gangsters, slackers, footballers or pop stars. If only! And I like to think that I can be well mannered, on occasion.

  13. I was just sent this comment from a one Ms. Rhiannon Frame. She has been unsuccessful in posting it herself and insists I do in on her behalf. It's a cracker, read away:

    Do you have a uterus, Stephen? Will you ever become pregnant and have to give birth to a child which you will then have to give up a career to raise?
    If not, I fail to see what right you have to even begin to make statements about what people with uteruses feel, think and do. The tired argement that women use abortion as a kind of birth control is both ill informed and ridiculous, as well as deeply insulting. Silly irresponsible women! Killing babies left right and centre! What a strange world you live in.
    Pregnancy and child birth should not be used as a punishment for - shock horror - having sex. Forcing a person with a uterus to carry a baby that is not wanted and then go through labour (usually considered a traumatic event) is barbaric and not far from torture.
    And here's some more food for thought: people have to consent to be organ donors. A foetus in the womb is completely dependant on the mother's body for all nourishment. Without the mother, the foetus dies. Is it normal medical or moral practise for people to be forced to keep other people alive at the expense of their own health? I rather think not.

    By all means, have an opinion on foetuses, but do not presume to use those opinions on foetuses to impose restrictions on other people's body autonomy.

    Good day to you, sir.

  14. @Stephen
    The evidence to support the fetus feeling pain after 20 weeks is not strong and certainly not conclusive. At present studies span from 18 to 29 weeks on this issue. A review of the evidence in 2005 indicated fetuses are not capable of feeling pain until 29 weeks gestation (
    Also, the relationship between repeat abortions and contraceptive usage is a complex one - the Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV's National Strategy (2008) suggests that tackling access to contraception is the issue, not restricting abortions.
    So please explain to me why lowering the limit to 20 weeks is just what this county needs.
    Also (if you have the time) please explain to me why your issue seems to be as much with Chloe's political leaning, as the issues she wishes to discuss. I don't believe personal slander is necessary. At present reading her blog is not mandatory...
    Though one day I do hope this will change.

  15. Chloe, I know you like to think otherwise, but you're neither the voice of reason nor the spokesperson for every young woman in the world. Far too many people don't take abortion seriously enough, and ridiculous left-wing pro-choice charities don't help. Sure, choice should be emphasised - but not exaggerated. Would you prefer for women to have abortions up to 7-8 weeks, because they didn't 'know' they were pregnant?

    Laur. Firstly, if you're going to direct a comment to me, at least have the decency to spell my name properly. More importantly, take a look at a photo of a foetus at 20 weeks. It's horrific how developed they look, and yet they can be destroyed in an instant. You're right, the evidence isn't conclusive, but while it remains this way I think pain should be considered.

    I'd also like to bring up that the decision shouldn't solely rest on the mother. What about the father? I'm sure that in many abortion circumstances the father is absent - but not in all. When does it become solely the mother's decision? Out of hand feminism at its finest.

    Rhiannon, your offensive little rant completely misses the point. I am very concerned for women that choose to have abortions. Abortions are linked to depression, guilt and anxiety, sometimes years after they have taken place. I’m not being at all offensive. In fact, I’m looking at the bigger picture which you narrow-minded minions seem to be overlooking.

    Some women discover they are pregnant at 8 months. This is too late. No doubt you'll soon be campaigning for abortion at any number of weeks before labour is induced.

    Perhaps you should start thinking about the impact of an abortion, rather than how this relates to women's rights.

    Oh and Laur, if you can't see how Chloe's political leaning relates to the issues she presents in this blog, then I believe it will take more than a spelling correction to knock some sense in to you.

    I want to end this comment on a positive note. At least now Chloe knows what an inverted snob is. Cheers, Alexis.

  16. Ok Steven, you're getting a bit over-excited about all this. I really don't fancy arguing with you much more because we are clearly very different people with very different opinions and you being sensational and employing such hyperbole is a waste of everyone's time. By being so unnecessarily rude about me and the other commenters it seems to me that reading my blog is not doing you or your blood pressure any favours so let's part ways here. To close, just because we believe something doesn't make myself or Rhiannon a 'minion'. And Laur happens to be a doctor so I'm pretty sure she's seen a picture of a 20 week foetus. Her knowledge on the topic is far vaster than any of ours. Anyway, cheerio.

  17. Laur's profile indicates she's a student. A student studying medicine isn't quite a doctor. That said, I don't doubt that she knows more about this than myself, and certainly you.

    I'd appreciate it if you could point out a single case of sensationalism in any my comments. Rather, you are the one being hyperbolic and generalising on pretty much everything, and everyone.

    When you write a public blog, don't shun comments that don't agree with you. It's not particularly dignified. 'Cripes'.


    PS Rhiannon's your minion.

  18. George Legg has sent me this to post. A charming story, he should seek publication:

    It's times like these where a single awkward silence between two people in real life would speak volumes for thousands of online confrontations.

    Steven, there are certain points of yours I agree with. One: Chloe IS a 'raging-lefty'. As much as you probably like to see yourself as a 'grounded, down-to-earth, rational kinda guy' your moral compass and political leanings are just as clouding as you make out Chloe's to be. So there, a moot point which need not have be raised in the first place.

    Second: I agree, there are many questions about the father's consent which need to be addressed when it comes to abortion and that is something of course that concerns men more than women. But the crux of the matter is: until scientists find a way to either give men uteruses or grow all children in laboratories then it should be primarily the mother's right to decide upon abortion. However, arguments such as George Harris' for the father's rights I agree with, but it should be down the courts to analyse such specific cases.

    Now, onto the points I disagree with:

    Firstly, before I continue, you seem to think Chloe has been writing for a national newspaper all this time when in fact you have quite forgotten she is expressing an OPINION in a BLOG.

    Second, any arguments you seem to make outside the sphere of pictures of cute little foetuses is directed at the mental well-being of the mother. So, shall we perhaps focus on your pseudo-concern for the mother's well-being and begin with reading this?

  19. ...(continued)

    And then we'll continue with this thought experiment:

    Imagine. One day you find yourself awake in a hospital ward, wires and tubes connected painfully in places throughout your body. You feel a sudden wrenching jolt in your stomach, to which a nurse promptly appears and tells you that's what you should expect.
    "Why!" you cry, blinking the bewildered sleep from your eyes.
    "Take a look to your left' she replies.

    There, curled suspended in a tank beside you, is a small mackerel; tubes and wires curl out of its body connecting the two of you together.
    'Everything you now do affects this mackerel. Everything you eat will be shared with this mackerel. At the end of your period here you will experience phenomenal pain and a sudden release, upon which you will have the choice of either keeping the mackerel or giving it away to someone else.'

    The nurse approaches the fish-tank and taps the glass, with which the fish gives no response. It won't even be 'conscious' for another 12 months at least.
    'You have that choice, or you can decide to remove all the wires and tubes between the two of you. It will be emotionally painful, but we will be with you to support you throughout. We're here to offer support." Smiles the nurse.

    Suddenly, Nadine Dorries bursts into the room with the God Squad (no offense intended).

    "Hold it right there' curls Nadine's lips.
    'You have no right to abandon this fish! You've already been here three months, you can't escape now."
    "Three months!' you cry. 'How can this be?' Your mouth gapes in astonishment.
    "And you' Nadine squeals as she turns to the nurse, 'you are to leave here immediately, we're shutting you down!"

    "But what about me? I am but a man.' The words rush trembling from your lips. 'I can't expect to have to lie here and suffer this creature for another six months! Who will love it at the end of all this!"

    "You will do as you are told" retorts Nadine. 'Just think of what this fish will become!"

    "It is nothing special! The law is not based on what people will become, it is based on what people are. This fish isn't even a person. How can my right as a human be vetoed by such a thing?"

    "Because God said so!" let loose Nadine.
    "This is nonsense." You cry, yet the deed is done. You must face the consequences. Pregnancy=punishment. It makes perfect sense!

    I got carried away. O dear.

    Steven, I understand you seem to be a learned man and I assume you are a compassionate being, but please leave your ad hominem arguments at the door. I am quite good at that too. Let's see...

    ..."you have no authority to talk on abortion. You have never experienced such a thing. If you had, your pernicious self wouldn't be creeping about Chloe's blog"

    Now of course, that's not my personal sentiment. I welcome your criticism like an old friend, as I'm sure Chloe does too. But don't undermine your arguments with the sort of pretentious uppityness that I've just espoused.


  20. @stevenrasp1

    Continuum fallacies and ad-hominem arguments may certainly appear intelligent to the uninformed, but they actually smack of intellectual laziness. Furthermore, you don't actually support many of your assertions about the behaviour of pregnant women / those who have had abortions with statistics, which effectively just makes it idle speculation - e.g., 'far too many young women embark on abortions without realising the consequences this will have to their mental health later in life'

    Yawn. Nice try though.


  21. @stevenrasp1
    My sincerest apologies that not double checking the spelling of your name has caused such offence. As someone who is regularly called Laura, and not concerned by it, I clearly trivialised the impact misspelling could have on others. Can I also state that I'm dyslexic and I found your highlighting my difficulties in typing (and implying I did so intentionally, due to lack of courtesy) quite upsetting.

    I'm aware of the embryological development up to 20 weeks, but I must stress that beginning to resemble a human does not make the fetus viable or autonomous. I am not claiming to be a doctor or know any more than you (I am unaware of your training/qualifications/knowledge - I wouldn't be so presumptuous), that is why I tried to back up my claims with research. Guidelines on practice and legislation are routed in evidence-based medicine, not emotive images. Currently the BMA does not support a reduction in the gestational limits on abortion (a briefing paper is available on their website).

    I too find the role of the father important in this issue, as I was raised my a single father due to bereavement myself. I think as much consultation as possible should include the father. I think his opinion and feelings should be listened too, and addressed where possible. However, a woman's reproductive rights are her own (as you said often there is no father there to give impetus or support) - this is vital. I fail to see an alternative which would not be patriarchal and leave a woman's body subject to the father. The parameters for this could be absurd! I disagree that it is feminism out of hand. If you have alternative that does not oppress women I really suggest you share it.

    I think George has adequately addressed the mental health and abortion fallacies. Plus I'm getting sleepy. Also, I think "narrow-minded minions" is offensive.

    "Some women discover they are pregnant at 8 months. This is too late. No doubt you'll soon be campaigning for abortion at any number of weeks before labour is induced."
    I don't understand the above statement. eight months is not too late if there is a risk: to the mother's life; of permanent injury to the mother's physical/mental health; or of substantial risk that (if born) the child would suffer such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped. One percent of abortions have been performed after 20 weeks, including very young girls who have concealed or not recognised the pregnancy. I am unaware of the exact figures past eight months. Also, not all labours are induced (just to clarify).

    I don't think you can claim the impact of abortion and women's rights are mutually exclusive. However, I believe this discussion has become pointless. I don't feel there is much listening and it's become too bitchy (I'm not sure if you're trolling or cyber-bullying, but it is certainly personal). I wanted to clarify apparent confusion, but I am not going to respond again.

    Right. Bed.

    [Spelling disclaimer: I cannot spell.]