Following on from my last post about the ‘Art of the Sniff’, here we have a politician practising, well, the ‘Art of the Smell’, I suppose.
Politicians are often adept at lying, deceiving or dodging – and getting away with it. (I think especially of David Cameron and Tony Blair.)
When a politician has to tell a bare-faced lie, when a politician has to avoid stating or confirming an inconvenient truth but is obliged to say something, or, perhaps, when a politician has to go along with saying something he or she might find disagreeable (in those instances in which career comes before doing the right thing), these are just a few examples of times when the cunning politician (or the obedient does-as-he’s told politician) finds it better to imply the lie than to actually say it clearly out loud, or to put it plainly in writing. Of course, if you haven’t actually said the lie, you can’t be accused of anything more than a wink (and then, only if the wink is noticed).
Jane Ellison MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health, recently sent a letter (dated 12 Nov 2014) to John Leech MP, from which the following extract:
Thank you for your letter of 15 October to Jeremy Hunt on behalf of your constituent … about abortion.
The Abortion Act 1967, under which all abortions in England are undertaken, states that ‘in determining whether the continuance of pregnancy would involve such risk of injury to health as is mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) …, account may be taken of the pregnant woman’s actual or reasonably foreseeable environment.’
As [constituent’s name] is aware, the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health reviewed the best available evidence on any association between induced abortion and mental health outcomes. This was in response to concern in recent years that abortion itself may increase psychological risk and adversely affect a woman’s mental health. A conclusion of the report was that an unwanted pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of mental health problems and the rates of mental health problems for women with an unwanted pregnancy are the same, whether they have an abortion or give birth. However, this is a complex area and there is little research that includes mental health outcomes for women denied an abortion of an unwanted pregnancy. The report highlights the difficulties undertaking research in this area, particularly as it would not be ethical or morally justified to conduct a randomised controlled trial of abortion versus live birth for women with an unwanted pregnancy.
Finally, recent guidance for all those involved in abortion care, published on 23 May, set out the Department’s view that registered medical practitioners should be able to show how they have considered the particular facts of a case when forming their opinion, for example, by making notes in the patient record. They should be able to defend how their decision was reached if asked to justify it at a later date. The guidance also highlights the pre-signing of statutory abortion certificates prior to consideration of a woman’s circumstances is not compliant with the Act.
In addition to the guidance, the Chief Medical Officer for England has written twice to all practitioners, on 23 February 2012 and 22 November 2013, reminding them of their responsibilities under the Act.
I hope this reply is helpful.
I could write at length about this letter but I will confine myself to a few brief points here.
Note Jane Ellison MP’s reference to “abortion care.” Abortion is care? Note the profound irony in the statement “…it would not be ethical or morally justified…” to conduct medical research trials into the alleged psychological suffering of women denied abortions – exclaim with me, “Oh the irony” – and note also the sublime perversity of twisting the subject away from the real concern, namely that abortion increases psychological harm/risk of harm to women, and steering it instead towards the fantasy land in which women risk or suffer harm from not having abortions, but which, tragically, we cannot establish empirically – exclaim with me, “Oh the sublime perversity.” Nobody in England is denied abortion, as Jane well knows.
If my powers of inference and interpretation serve me faithfully, the key implication carried within this letter is that Jane Ellison MP and the Department of Health essentially deny any causation or correlation in regard of abortion and mental harm. What’s worse, Jane would have us believe that killing baby and keeping baby present an equal risk to women’s mental health. I don’t know whether Jane Ellison MP genuinely believes what she says/implies, but I’m pretty clear about what she has said/implied and that I do not agree with it.
Perhaps “the deadly art of implication” would have made a better blog title; the problem with letters like the one above is that we might miss the stench of the holocaust going on right under Jane Ellison’s nose.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized
and tagged Abortion
, Abortion Act 1967
, Chief Medical Officer
, Department of Health
, Jane Ellison MP
, Jeremy Hunt
, John Leech MP
, Mental Health
, Pre-signing certificates
, Psychological Harm
, Richard Carvath
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