The tactics of this anti-abortion lobby - the cavalier distortion of research and the inflammatory use of neonatal images - obscure important truths and pervert the course of debate from more thoughtful channels.Showing pictures of babies certainly does obscure the "truth" of their non-personhood. Actually it is generally pictures of babies in the womb that are used "neonatal" is a rather revealing slip of the keyboard, I think.
The article completely ignores the question of the personhood or rights of the unborn child in stating blandly:
No society that respects equality and individual autonomy could force a woman to maintain an unwanted pregnancy.And in a summary of current secular orthodoxy it can make a risible statement such as:
We know why many women conceive accidentally: inadequate sex education and substandard contraceptive services.One has to wonder what contraceptive services would meet the author's "standard": perhaps the school nurses need to make sure that children actually have a condom in their schoolbag to take home. That'll stop all those regrettable accidents!
In the meantime, David Steel, says that the debate has not changed over 40 years. It is true that the question of the rights of the unborn child is still ignored in most pro-abortion rhetoric. One thing that has changed, however, is the quality of the pictures of babies in the womb, especially the "walking in the womb" scans which presumably "obscure important truths" even more in the eyes of the Guardian's leader writer.
Sadly, the routine ultrasound pictures that mothers-to-be now carry around ensure that many people now know full well that abortion is the killing of a human baby but have to convince themselves that it is justified. This smooths the path for a more general acceptance of the logically impeccable corollary of abortion rights in the mind of Singer and others; namely infanticide. (Cf. Peter Singer, Taking Life: Humans)
How long before politicians are telling us that of course they are against infanticide, nobody wants it to happen, it is the fault of substandard abortion services, but regrettable though it may be, it is wrong to condemn a woman to a lifetime of caring for an unwanted baby that she only gave birth to by accident.
David Steel also threw in a random insult against Catholics which even the Guardian interviewer referred to as a "sideswipe". He alleged that Catholic opposition to contraception "is actually contributing to abortion." That's right. In a country that is swamped by contraception-promoting sexual health services and explicit sex-education, the 200,000 abortions per year are the fault of a Church that promotes chastity. (Incidentally, there is an excellent article by Diogenes which addresses the closely related allegation that Catholic teaching spreads AIDS. Cf. Catholic World News: ransomed)