Saturday, 28 May 2011

Saving lives...?

Outside the "Wistons Clinic" just across the road
from Brighton Hove & Sussex Sixth Form College
I accompanied two congregants from Wednesday morning's Mass this week, one of whom's brother is a co-organiser of the ABORT67 campaign, to engage in a very important and sadly neglected apostolate in our City; the saving not just of souls, but indeed of lives.

ABORT67 was the focus of our Mission's Lenten Giving this year. ABORT67 is partnered with The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR) and CBR UK. ABORT67 is a non-religious organisation though many of its supporters and volunteers belong to various faith groups. Abortion is not just a "religious" issue, it is a matter of human rights that all should be concerned about. ABORT67 hopes to put an end to abortion by informing people about what abortion is, by showing them what it looks like. Using graphic photographs of certified actual abortions, ABORT67 hopes to bring to reality the murder that abortion is. It is not a popular tactic.

Every successful movement of social reform in the past has involved activists dramatising an injustice to a culture that doesn’t want to know more about that injustice. In our culture the word “abortion” has lost nearly all its meaning. We need to awaken people’s consciences in order for them to know that abortion is an act of violence that kills a baby.

It's incredible how desensitised we have become in the West, how generally apathetic we are, complacent even dismissive of anything that is not immediately related to us, or rather "me, myself and I". Yet this apathy and complacency breeds such a contempt for "life" that we refuse even to acknowledge the savage taking of life that goes on everyday around us. Just because "The Argus" (our local rag) doesn't name and shame the perpetrators or the victims (the victims often aren't even given a name) our society, our community, is oblivious to the daily tragic loss of young lives in the City in which we live. Just a stone's throw away from one of our largest centres of Tertiary education, where children who have been permitted to live study, there exists a place where the most henious of crimes is practised. Infanticide.

Just consider the awful irony of that for a moment. Just over the road from where we educate tomorrow's future, we allow the the exstinguishing of today's potential joy...

Statistics released this week were...

  • In total, there were 196,109 abortions notified as taking place in England and Wales in 2010.

  • 34% of women had one or more previous abortions with Black or Black British having the highest repeat abortions at 48%

  • The abortion rate was highest at 33 per 1,000 for women aged 19 and 20.

  • 96% of abortions were funded by the NHS.

  • 91% of abortions were carried out at under 13 weeks gestation.

  • 98% were under Category C (which is basically for social reasons)

  • 2,290 abortions (1%) were carried out under ground E (risk that the child would be born handicapped).

  • ABORT67 estimate that "Wistons Clinic" performs approximately 4'000 of these abortions per annum. You can see photographs and descriptions of these different methods on the ABORT67 website here and here. Not for the fainthearted, but the only way that some will actually understand what is involved. If you can stand a bit of blood and gore in most 15+ rated movies, you can spare a couple of minutes appreciating the brutality inflicted on the innocent everyday around the world and in our City.
    Method of abortion as described in the above report...

    2.16 Different methods may be used to terminate a pregnancy, depending on the duration of gestation and other circumstances relating to the individual woman. There is one principal medical method, involving the use of the abortifacient drug Mifegyne (mifepristone, also known as RU486). The main surgical methods are vacuum aspiration, recommended at up to 15 weeks gestation, and dilatation and evacuation (D&E) recommended where gestation is greater than 15 weeks. D&E may be used in combination with vacuum aspiration; such cases are recorded in the statistics as D&E.

    2.17 Medical abortions accounted for 43% of the total in 2010. The proportion of medical abortions has more than trebled in the last ten years, from 12% in 2000. There has been a continuing upward trend in medical abortions since 1991 when Mifegyne was licensed for use in the UK, when only 4% of abortions were undertaken using a medical procedure (Table 3a.iv and Table 5.) In 2010, 55% of abortions under 9 weeks were medical abortions compared with 18% in 2000.

    2.18 The surgical procedure vacuum aspiration was used for 52% of all abortions in 2010; and Dilatation and Evacuation (D&E) alone in about 5% (Table 3a.iv.)

    2.19 For abortions at 22 weeks or beyond, feticide is recommended prior to the evacuation of the uterus to stop the fetal heart. In 2010, of the 1,173 abortions performed at 22 weeks and over, 70% were reported as preceded by a feticide and a further 25% were performed by a method whereby the fetal heart is stopped as part of the procedure. 2% of abortions at 22 weeks or beyond were confirmed as having no feticide. For the remaining 3%, at the time of publication, we had not been able to confirm whether feticide had been performed.

    The following is an account of Wednesday's display...

    "We spent Wednesday morning at Wistons abortion kill-inic. We had some amazing conversations with some passers-by but something disturbed me again during our time there.

    Hope for a pro-life youth

    We were pleased to meet several students from the college opposite us who, had concluded abortion is the biggest injustice facing our society and passionately discussed with us how they were stirred to do something about it. This attitude is what we are missing in the younger generation. We need passionate pro-life youth to stand up confident in their conviction and appeal to one of the largest age groups aborting babies in the UK; to stand in favour of life and to fight against the culture of death. We hope they will join us in our upcoming display at Hyde Park Speakers Corner on the 10th July.

    One young man when asked what he thought about abortion said he didn’t really have an opinion but within a few minutes of conversation and seeing the reality of abortion he left clearly pro-life.

    Another guy who was pro-life but not particularly doing anything was hopefully persuaded to get involved with Abort67. We need young people at these colleges who can be trained up to lead their generation. We are getting there slowly.

    By the entrance
    The more difficult part of the morning was the girl visiting Wistons with two of her friends. She just found out she was pregnant – 5 months pregnant – and was returning to the clinic for an abortion. The girl didn’t want to see anything or engage in conversation. The two volunteers spoke to her friends and showed them what abortion really was and gave them some education on pre-natal development. This then compelled to inform their friend of all they had just seen and heard though we do not know for sure how this ended.

    Whilst we were able to persuade her friends to look at our information the mother of this unsuspecting child refused to look at anything we had no matter how innocuous. Sometimes it seems in order to go through with killing their unborn children, people must shut down certain normal functions of compassion, logic and reason. They must shut out everything else and focus their attention on the decision they have made. For this girl with two very young children already it seemed to be the best thing to do. For us it seemed too late to be able to persuade her when her mind was so rigidly set.

    This is where I am disturbed. How can we live in a society where a girl can come to the conclusion that killing her unborn child is the best decision for her? How can this thinking go unchecked? I understand that abortion providers aren’t going to tell her that her baby is a baby. I can understand her wanting to think that her baby isn’t really alive and just a “foetus.” What is giving me great cause for concern right now is that much of the pro-life movement and the Church are culpable in the tragedy of this child as well as the other 199,999 that will be killed this year as they are working harder to cover up the horror that abortion represents than they are to end it.

    A girl can come to this decision because the Church has been silent for YEARS, way before the abortion act. The pro-life movement for YEARS has been more concerned with projects that make US feel better about the problem than accepting the persecution that inevitably comes with exposing injustice. There has been little to no voice for people by which to gauge their moral framework."

    I spent some considerable time myself talking to the Police constables stationed by us basically to make sure that reasonable discussion was had rather than hurled abuse or shouting. I've seen myself people walk past the blown-up images and their reactions, some disturbed, some outraged. Those who stop however, would be able to talk to a woman happy to share her own experience of having had an abortion. Or perhaps a young man who was told by a passing Social Worker on Wednesday that abortion prevented children from being "unwanted"... he knows all about unwanted childhood having endured one, but he is grateful at least to have experienced it and to be alive!

    1 comment:

    AndrewWS said...

    This is an organisation of which I was previously unaware.

    Your efforts in this respect are quite admirable.