Dear Ms Dorries
This morning I read a series of letters sent to you regarding uteruses. Some of these I agreed with, others I did not. I would like to add my voice.
I’ve met you a couple of times. Like you, I am a Conservative, although I identify with a different section of the party. Also like you, I am a woman of faith, although from a different branch of the tree.
I have never been pregnant, although I intend to be so in the future. I intend to bring my children up as part of a loving, large extended family. But if I – or any other women – decide that an abortion is right, then it’s my choice. It’s my body, and it’s my potential child. It’s my decision.
You might ask whether I believe that those little cells with that flicker of life is a foetus or a child. My honest answer is that I don’t know. A pregnant woman is a miracle of nature. One life, one easily definable personhood, slowly becomes two. The child doesn’t suddenly spring into existence at conception, but is created, day by day, week by week, month by month. An abortion stops a potential life. An abortion cuts short the path by which those little cells, that flicker of life becomes a human being. It is not a decision to be taken lightly – but neither is it a decision which anyone else can make.
I agree with you that abortion counselling should be independent, neutral and unbiased. However, I remain unconvinced that this is possible. What possible organisation is there which can be completely, perfectly independent around an issue such as this? The NHS, possibly, but they are firstly overloaded, secondly were designed as an all-round health provider rather than a specific pregnancy expert*, and thirdly appear to fall into the category of “abortion providers” with vested financial interests which you so strongly argue against.
Your amendment does not call for abortion counselling to be undertaken by groups with ideological or moral interests in abortion, but by concentrating on independence from those with supposed vested financial interests, it risks creating an opportunity for such groups to chip away at this fundamental issue. Furthermore, is there not a serious risk that rather than fewer abortions, the longer counselling period would simply result in later abortions?
I want neither the state nor the church to have any part in deciding what happens in my body, with my blood and my flesh. I am an individual, and the life growing inside me is a part of me.
Please, consider that your amendment may be a mistake.
* Such as the British Pregnancy Advisory Service.