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Andrew Lilico

I suspect that the current non-partisan position will not survive much longer. In particular, once Roe vs Wade is reversed, and many US states outlaw abortion, the sense of the historical inevitability of more and more liberal abortion will pass, and anti-abortionists will mobilize in a much more focused and partisan way.

Simon Denis

Anyone who has witnessed a partial birth abortion must realise what a horrendous process it is. The soft flesh of the most helpless human being is sliced into convenient chunks before being extracted from its mother's body and thrown away. It is as though the totally innocent had been sentenced to a drawing and quartering. No civilised, honest, moral or disciplined society could or should tolerate such an abomination for a moment. To blame for this state of affairs? Surely the radical feminists. Their insistence on "choice" merely rebels against the dispensations and responsibilities of nature, without pausing to consider that they may be inescapable. Human beings are not machines. The belief that they are lies behind all the horrors of the twentieth century. Home? A "machine a habiter". The soul? A mere "ghost in the machine". Sexual differences? A conspiracy of males. All a lie. This is the same lie which wants to force women into the front line of war; to force fathers out of the family; the family out of society; to remove a baby as though it is no more than a species of tumour; to turn nations into human holding pens without tradition or identity; this lie has taken the form of communism, nazism and goodness knows what else. In art and architecture it is modernism - ugly, callous, faceless, stinking of despair. Even were there no truth in religion, the fact would still remain that far from being machines we are animals, haunted with imagination - not easy, not tidy, not smooth. We cannot live in a world which tries to process us like a vast factory from cradle - if we are allowed to get even that far - to grave - or municipal furnace for the old and unfit.

Justin Hinchcliffe

Thank you, Cameron, for a really informative and well-written article. Pro-life Conservative candidates should let their views be known to faith groups and others in their constituencies. However, pro-life voters should make an effort to check their MP's voting record on life matters and survey all local candidates.

I hope to be at the Rally on Saturday and to see many Conservative-Homers there – let me know if you are planning to attend. [email protected]

Adrian Owens

Thanks Cameron for a timely and measured article that highlights the shifting tectonic plates on this issue.

One example of how attitudes are changing was the Dispatches programme on Channel 4 last Wednesday evening. For years broadcasters refused to show the reality of abortion - Wednesday's programme broke that taboo.

Parliamentarians need to catch up with public opinion on this subject.

Michael Davidson

Nope, 24 weeks is just fine. Don't assume all Conservatives are anti-choice.

Jennifer Wells

What "choice" for the baby, Michael?

Once we start killing babies who are capable of independent survival it will be infanticide next.

Michael Davidson

Jennifer, your hysterical comment barely deserves a reply.

We're not going to agree here so let's just end it there.


Choice has nothing to with it, we are talking about life here, it is not a question of which hospital or store to go to. 6.7 million people have been killed since 1967 because they would have been a burden or not needed; didn't the arguments for the extermination of the European jewry in the 1930's and 40's sound somewhat similar?

Tony Makara

The Conservative party should take a moral stand on abortion. The act of abortion is ultimately an act of personal expediency. It is a selfish act and often an act that is rushed into and later regretted. Abortion involves taking a conscious decision to kill a child. That is what it is. The slogan 'A womans right to choose' was invented by American Ad men for the abortion industry. That slogan has misled women into thinking this is an issue of personal autonomy, it is not. Abortion is about killing children.


Jeez people. You act as if there were no abortions before it was made legal...!

Suppose all those 6.7 million kids were carried to full term, how many of those kids would be wanted and have a real family?

And how many of those 6.7 million kids would be so feral they would themselves get pregnant in teenagehood? (...)

Women cannot look after more than 2 children when they work, and even that is suboptimal -- amazingly people fuss more over how much time is devoted to walking Fido than worrying about spending enough time with their own offspring. Kids are treated worse than pets in this regard!

Rather than concentrate on lumbering people with kids they do not want and starting a huge adoption carroussel(with all the grief this brings later) I suggest you worry about things you can fix:

1. Why can people not use contraceptives properly?

2. Why do so many people feel unable to be parents, so much so that they choose to kill their own offspring?

We have millions of people who even if they wanted to don't have a chance to start a family -- normal people cannot afford even a modest family home, the wife cannot afford to stay a home, and even good earners will end up having to queue for the dole (aka taxcredits) in order to make ends meet once they have kids.

Oh and there is your binge-drinking violence problems -- people who would have been young parents with a mortgage in the past are rare now -- today's cohort is pissing their late 20's and early 30's income away on rents and lager, literally, and opting for abortions because single parenthood in social housing, as much as the state wants to promote is is a fate worse than death to most people. They have given up on the family and you also forget another problem -- those who have grown up in single parent families often have no idea how a family actually works, and so are totally at a loss as how to lead one... let alone start one, which is another problem -- men don't want to get 'chained', women don't want to commit, you see, that's because marriage is the new end of life as we know it(tm) instead being the starting point, as it used to be.

Stop faffing about with the symptoms -- fix the source problem and much of the seeming insanity will magic away, just like that.


Excellent article. If, as Cameron Watt points out, most voters are becoming uneasy about abortion and want the abortion law tightened, and with the images of babies in the womb, it must follow that if the Conservatives became officially pro-life as a matter of policy, this would be popular with voters.

While reducing the time limit and ensuring women are made aware of the risks and alternatives to abortion would be welcome first steps, perhaps the reasons for abortion could be looked at, as well as the time limit. Most abortions happen early in the pregnancy, and the vast majority are carried out for ‘social’ reasons. Legislation should aim to save as many children as possible. If life does begin at conception (apparently some researchers believe that a child has some awareness even from the moment of conception), earlier abortions do not make it any more moral, nor reduce the long term emotional damage to the mother of the aborted child.

Compare and contrast the fuss made about protecting children from accidents and so on, while children in the womb are slaughtered just because they are inconvenient. A human being is created - then killed because it is unwanted.

As for Emily’s List, this link (see under “who can apply”) shows candidates must be pro-choice (pro-abortion) to get a help from Emily’s list. At the bottom of the page, press links, scroll down when that page opens, and this shows Barbara Follett, Lab MP for Stevenage, is Director.

Perhaps the Conservatives should have such a ‘list’ to give grants to candidates (of either sex, so as to be non-discriminatory) with the costs involved in seeking selection, as long as the candidates are pro-life.

Graeme Archer

I hate to say this Cameron - but I think Cinnamon makes many good points @ 6.52pm. I think abortion is something which no-one would like to see actively promoted and it has increased to a ridiculous extent. But I think that Cinnamon makes some very valid points. Why don't people use the free contraception that is available? Why can't young people marry, buy a house and raise their family? I don't know anyone under 30 who owns a house. I'm only 37 but I owned my first property at 21. Doesn't it occur to you that this change - the expulsion of the following generation from the ability to own property - has something to do with the rise in abortion?

I am completely uninterested in debating the rights and wrongs of abortion in terms of party politics. I know what I think. It's very close, I think, to what Cameron thinks. But if the suggestion is that the Tories should make this some sort of platform-defining issue, a la U.S. Republicans - then I'm afraid my response is unprintable. Why does it interest you (Cameron) that in general it has been Tories who have tried to reduce the term limit for abortion (remember David Alton)? Who cares what sort of thought police the socialists have in their party, forbidding them to think for themselves in such matters? Should we mirror them?

Matt Wright

The upper age limit for abortions should be reduced because the science is now more detailed than 40 years ago. We cannot just ignore this,


Justin Hinchcliffe


As always, Con Home sets the agenda!

Graeme Archer

Re-reading my comment from yesterday, I think I expressed myself more strongly than I meant. In case it wasn't clear, I agree with Cameron's points, but think that Cinnamon also made some useful points about the social reasons that might lie behind the increase.

Phil Whittington

This is a cogent and well thought out piece by Cameron.

I would enter one note of caution to the debate however. Has there been any research carried out on whether reducing the term limit would reduce the number of abortions being carried out?

I can envisage a situation where reducing the term limit from 24 weeks to 20 (or even less) would send a signal to women that they should hurry their decision. I would imagine there are a good number of women at present who suffer the initial shock of an unexpected pregnancy, but who come to terms with this and decide to have the baby. If this time was no longer available, might more women rush into "playing safe" and have an abortion?

The pro-lifers risk making a mistake similar to that of the Left on taxation - changing the parameters of the game means that people change their behaviour in often unpredictable ways!

I understand that pro-lifers find late term abortions all the more distasteful (I think both sides of the argument do, to be honest) but they must bear in mind that reducing the term limit may have an effect to the opposite of their intentions.

That said, I guess it is possible to hold the view that late abortions are so abhorrent that these should be eliminated even at the cost of more early abortions. This would probably be my view, but I doubt many pro-lifers would share it.

I don't know whether we can learn from when the limit went from 28 weeks to 24 or from the experiences of other countries in this regard?



There is no '20% less guilt' savings if you abort early -- the result is the same, the grisly procedure is just the sideshow. Dead is still dead.

Abortion is the only legal form of Euthanasia there is, and that is the core of your problem -- Euthanasia is a taboo subject, it's officially verboten to discuss it, and so, no sane solution set can be developed and the problem stays unsolved but continues to be a destructive force.

Note that the problems of unwanted children and unwanted parents is nearly the same, and again, they are the collateral damage of the demise of the family, which started when women were set free by contraceptives and feminism. Both, children and aged parents used to be the wife's job.

Anyway, that's another whole can of worms, but as you can see, there is no paradise to return to either -- when family was still the defining factor in society, women often paid with their right to self determination.

It's time to figure out what 'the modern family' should be - because we simply abandoned an unfair system that no longer worked as soon as it became possible with the advent of the pill, but we haven't replaced it with something equitable and functional that people are keen to be part of.

Phil Whittington

This is why I said I doubted many pro-lifers would share my view - many on the other side of the argument, however, are far less comfortable with late than early abortions for obvious reasons.

Pro-lifers still need to show that a reduction in the legal limit for abortion would lead to a reduction in abortions!

This is by no means clear that this would happen for the reasons I outline above.


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