As far as European politics go, the British right wing politicians (“Tories”) are considered to be a reasonable lot and not as socially conservative as a lot of their political chumps in other countries. For example, David Cameron, the Tory prime minister, is in favour of gay marriage (although this is not a view held by all of his party members). When you compare that to your average Republican presence in the media, you almost feel like hugging the guy, right? Well, hold your horses and don’t book that plane to London just yet. The coalition (Conservative Party + Liberal Democrats) government currently in power in the UK is trying to chip away hard won abortion rights. For now, they are having a go at pre-abortion counselling, but we really shouldn’t be fooled.
Gloria Feldt, among others, has shown how time and time again regressive baby steps in reproductive rights are the start of a flood of regressive laws. Believe me, I know what I’m saying – abortion was legal in Poland prior to 1993 and now it can be hard to get one even if you’re potentially going to die without it.
If you live in the UK life is pretty good in terms of access to abortion, for all those insured (the majority in the UK is). It’s not perfect (it’s the only medical procedure for which two doctors need to give written consent and that can be a problem if you live out in the sticks and there’s no one with medical training in your area) but it’s safe, high-quality and generally accessible.
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? Wrong – enter Nadine Dorries. [Read more...]