Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Abortion undercover: Journalist posed as a vulnerable pregnant woman at six counselling services
Her findings raise disturbing questions
Regardless of your moral stance, deciding whether to terminate an unwanted pregnancy must surely rank as one of the most difficult dilemmas a woman can face.
At a time when a woman feels at her most confused and vulnerable, it is vital she has access to clear, impartial advice, so that she can reach a decision which, either way, will stay with her for the rest of her life.
For years, campaigners have expressed fears that pregnant women have only been able to seek advice from abortion providers, who are running profit-making businesses, or from pro-life groups, who tend to encourage keeping a baby, no matter what the circumstances.
But can the current situation really be that bad? To find out, I posed as a terrified pregnant young woman unsure of what to do, and sought counselling. What happened next left me confused and traumatised — and I’m not even pregnant. I discovered that vulnerable women are being given advice that is both biased and manipulative — and could easily make them feel pressured into making a decision they will regret later.
At present, a woman seeking an abortion must simply undergo a medical consultation. She is not required to have counselling, but can seek it if she wants it.
The leading private abortion clinics Marie Stopes International and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) both provide such counselling, but are paid per abortion, which hardly promotes independence. On the other hand, charitable and religious services have been accused of manipulating women into keeping their babies.
I made appointments at six centres using the same story: I was 26 years old, 12 to 16 weeks pregnant, I hadn’t told my boyfriend and I couldn’t decide whether to have an abortion or keep the baby.
So, what kind of service should I have been offered? According to Phillip Hodson, of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), it is essential that pre-abortion counselling is ‘freely available, independent, unbiased and ethical’. But, he adds: ‘Counsellors should never give advice. Pressuring a client to a particular course of action is fundamentally unethical and a contradiction of our profession.’
My first call was to Marie Stopes, a nationwide network of sexual health clinics that provide private and NHS abortions. They claim to allow women ‘access to comprehensive, impartial and non-judgmental information’ and all counsellors are members of BACP.
On the phone, the operator repeatedly tried to book me in for a medical assessment, the first step to getting an abortion — despite me stressing that I hadn’t yet made up my mind. I felt bulldozed into starting the termination process and had to insist on having counselling. In real life, a worried woman might have gone along with whatever she was told.
When contacted later, a Marie Stopes spokeswoman admitted their adviser was ‘slower to understand the client’s needs than we would have liked, but we are pleased that after contacting our One Call service, face-to-face counselling was provided’.
That counselling session took place the next day in Bloomsbury, central London. It cost £80 for just 30 minutes, but would have been free had I been referred by my GP.
It quickly became apparent that my counsellor, Temi, was quite happy to influence my decisions. Her overwhelming advice was that I ‘must’ tell my boyfriend, even though there is no legal requirement to do so. She was openly disapproving when I said I hadn’t spoken to him, and seemed reluctant to talk about any option other than termination. ‘There’s a huge danger to your relationship,’ she said. ‘If you did have an abortion without telling him ..... you could end up resenting him for something he knows nothing about.’
Questioned about the size of the foetus, or the risks of infertility caused by abortion, she said ‘You’ll have to talk to a nurse about that’, or ‘I don’t have the exact statistics’.
Nevertheless, the message seemed very much to be that abortion was the best option. ‘It goes against our very nature to have an abortion,’ she said. ‘But we do things every day that go against our very nature.’ This was followed by: ‘You want what you want ....... is it worth having a child because you don’t want to deal with a bit of guilt?’
I asked about medical abortions (taking pills which encourage the foetus to be miscarried). She said they could leave a woman ‘in agony’ — but did not point out that, as a private clinic, Marie Stopes are not able to give a medical abortion after nine weeks.
The session came to an abrupt end after 29 minutes and I left not knowing the medical or emotional side-effects of abortion. Keeping the baby was not seen as an option at all. I thanked my lucky stars that I wasn’t scared and pregnant for real.
Much more HERE
British abortion rules to be tightened in biggest shake-up for a generation
The Department of Health is to announce plans for a new system of independent counselling for women before they finally commit to terminating a pregnancy. The move is designed to give women more “breathing space”.
Pro-life campaigners suggest the change could result in up to 60,000 fewer abortions each year in Britain. Last year, 202,400 were carried out.
The plan would introduce a mandatory obligation on abortion clinics to offer women access to independent counselling, to be run on separate premises by a group which does not itself carry out abortions.
Critics of abortion clinics claim that the counselling they offer is biased because they are run as businesses — a claim denied by the clinics.
But abortion charities said they feared the proposals would prolong the period before an abortion took place, and that the motive was simply to reduce the number of terminations and was not in the best interests of women.
The proposed change comes ahead of a Commons vote, due to take place next week, on amendments to a public health Bill put forward by Nadine Dorries, a backbench Conservative MP.
The amendments would prevent private organisations which carry out terminations — such as Marie Stopes and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas) — from offering pre-abortion counselling. Women would instead be offered free access to independent counsellors.
The vote would be the first on the laws around abortion since the Coalition took power. A previous attempt to change the law — to reduce the time limit for abortions from 24 to 20 weeks — was defeated in a free vote in 2008. Ministers appear keen to avoid another such vote. They believe that announcing the consultation on independent counselling will prevent it going ahead.
The plan does not mean pre-abortion counselling will be mandatory — something which is vehemently opposed by pro-choice groups and which has been a flashpoint in parts of the United States.
A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “We are currently developing proposals to introduce independent counselling for women seeking abortion. These proposals are focused on improving women’s health and wellbeing. Final decisions on who should provide this counselling have not yet been made.”
Proposals under discussion would involve withdrawing payments made by the taxpayer to abortion clinics for counselling women.
Mrs Dorries, a former nurse, claims abortion providers are not independent because they have a vested interest in conducting abortions. Last year, Marie Stopes and Bpas carried out about 100,000 terminations and were paid about £60 million to do so, mostly through the NHS.
Mrs Dorries said she had hoped that her proposed amendments to the health Bill would prompt the Government into taking the kind of action which it has now done.
Frank Field, a Labour MP, said: “I’m anxious that taxpayers’ money is used so that people can have a choice — we are paying for independent counselling and that’s what should be provided.”
Ann Furedi, the chief executive of Bpas, said if her organisation was prevented from advising women about terminations it could be impossible to gain informed consent, as the independent counselling was not compulsory.
Why Are We Surprised With the Push for 'Pedophile Rights'
Many Americans have been shocked by reports about a recent pro-pedophilia conference in Baltimore in which psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, representing institutions like Harvard and Johns Hopkins, sought to present pedophilia in a sympathetic and even positive light. But why should this surprise us?
Academic articles in scholarly journals have been presenting pedophilia in a sympathetic light for years, and, as Matthew Cullinan Hoffman noted, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) released a report in 1998 “claiming that the ‘negative potential’ of adult sex with children was ‘overstated’ and that ‘the vast majority of both men and women reported no negative sexual effects from their child sexual abuse experiences.’ It even claimed that large numbers of the victims reported that their experiences were ‘positive,’ and suggested that the phrase ‘child sex abuse’ be replaced with ‘adult-child sex.’” Others have coined the more disgusting term “intergenerational intimacy.”
The APA’s report was so disturbing that it drew an official rebuke from Congress, yet the pro-pedophile (or, pro-pederast) push continues. In fact, some psychiatric leaders, like Dr. Richard Green, who were instrumental in removing homosexuality from the APA’s list of mental disorders in 1973, have been fighting to remove pedophilia as well.
Consider, for example, this statement from the late John Hopkins professor John Money: “Pedophilia and ephebophilia [referring to sexual attraction felt by an adult toward an adolescent] are no more a matter of voluntary choice than are left-handedness or color blindness. There is no known method of treatment by which they may be effectively and permanently altered, suppressed, or replaced. Punishment is useless. There is no satisfactory hypothesis, evolutionary or otherwise, as to why they exist in nature’s overall scheme of things. One must simply accept the fact that they do exist, and then, with optimum enlightenment, formulate a policy of what to do about it.”
Now, go back and reread that paragraph, substituting the word “homosexuality” for “pedophilia” and “ephebophilia.” How interesting!
To help flesh this out, let’s picture a homosexual man making his case to a heterosexual man:
1) My homosexuality is not a sexual preference but a sexual orientation, just as much as your heterosexuality is not a sexual preference but a sexual orientation.
2) My homosexuality is just as normal as your heterosexuality.
3) Since my behavior is genetically determined and is not a choice, it is intolerant and hateful to suggest that it is wrong. And to call my sexual behavior illegal or immoral, or to refuse to legitimize same-sex relationships, is to be a moral bigot of the highest order.
4) I deeply resent your attempts to identify areas of my upbringing and environment as alleged causes for my homosexuality.
5) I categorically reject the myth that someone can change his or her sexual orientation. Rather, such statements only add to the anguish and suffering of gays and lesbians, and attempts to change us often lead to catastrophic consequences, including depression and suicide.
Now, let’s turn this around and have a pederast making his case to a homosexual, substituting the words accordingly (thus, “My pederasty is not a sexual preference but a sexual orientation, just as much as your homosexuality is not a sexual preference but a sexual orientation.”)
In point of fact, all the principal arguments commonly used to normalize homosexuality have been used to normalize pedophilia and pederasty, as I documented in painstaking (and painful) detail in A Queer Thing Happened to America, where I also made clear that I was not equating homosexuality with pedophilia but was instead comparing the arguments used to normalize both.
Here are the eight principle arguments, all of which (in modified form) are commonly used in support of homosexuality:
1) Pedophilia is innate and immutable.
2) Pederasty is richly attested in many different cultures throughout history.
3) The claim that adult-child sexual relationships cause harm is greatly overstated and often completely inaccurate.
4) Consensual adult-child sex can actually be beneficial to the child.
5) Pederasty should not be classified as a mental disorder, since it does not cause distress to the pederast to have these desires and since the pederast can function as a normal, contributing member of society.
6) Many of the illustrious homosexuals of the past were actually pedophiles.
7) People are against intergenerational intimacy because of antiquated social standards and puritanical sexual phobias.
8) This is all about love and equality and liberation.
But none of these arguments should surprise us. After all, the age of increasing sexual anarchy in which we live is a fruit of the sexual revolution of the 1960’s, and the seeds of sexual anarchy were sown already by Alfred Kinsey in the late 1940’s, as Prof. Judith Reisman has tirelessly documented. And it was Kinsey, after all, who relied on the research of pedophiles to document the sexual responses of infants and children.
All this, to be sure, is utterly unspeakable. But it should certainly come as no surprise. In fact, we should expect this and more.
Australia: Leftist elder statesman calls for end to Charter of Human Rights
FORMER NSW Labor Premier Bob Carr has warned that retaining the Victorian Charter of Human Rights could liken the state to the UK, where public servants are too scared to enforce the law in fear of being taken to court.
Speaking at a meeting calling for the repeal of the charter yesterday, Mr Carr said British public servants were so afraid of breaching the European charter of human rights, they were scared into inaction.
"I'm very worried, as my friends at British Labour Party are, that the term human rights is becoming a bad term, because of the way the European charter is invoked. It's become a term of abuse," he said.
Mr Carr said older people in working class electorates in the UK feared criminal behaviour was not dealt with by police because the culprits would claim their human rights had been infringed.
"They say the police won't do anything about it because it'll be against their human rights," Mr Carr said.
"The cases they refer to are the gypsies, or the travellers as we should call them, who go on to private property and camp there and when the police are asked to remove them, threaten to take action in the courts under the human rights charter. "So the police do nothing."
Mr Carr said having a charter of human rights affected and shaped the behaviour of public servants.
"Public service employees will opt for the easiest course," he said. "They don't want to be smacked over the knuckles by an auditor general or an ombudsman or a parliamentary public accounts committee, but they certainly don't want to be dragged into court, even more they don't want to be dragged into court and embarrassed by action invoked under a rights charter."
Mr Carr said the resources put into enforcing Victoria's human rights charter could be better spent on child protection.
But President of the Law Institute of Victoria Caroline Counsel said Mr Carr's argument was "misinformed and illogical".
"The charter should be self perpetuating, if we all do the right thing by our citizens, lawyers won't need to be involved, courts won't need to be involved, it will just happen that we all act in accordance with what is appropriate in terms or implementation of human rights," she said. [Wow! Just who is it who is being "misinformed and illogical"?]
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.