Conservative British MP Calls America "The Abortion Capital Of The World"

Illustration for article titled Conservative British MP Calls America "The Abortion Capital Of The World"

To quell the rising rate of abortion in Great Britain, Tory MP Nadine Dorries has begun a campaign to reduce the limit for late-term abortions from 24 weeks to 20 weeks. Dorries' snappy marketing campaign to push this piece of legislation is called "20 Reasons for 20 Weeks." The right-wing Daily Mail published all 20, and most of Dorries' tactics include the display of the sad-teeny-feet of babies born before 24 weeks. Zoe Williams of the Guardian pokes holes in these 20 Reasons, calling them "so flawed, often so illogical, so savagely misogynistic and so repetitive." Here's just one example of Dorries' and the DM's tenuous handle on the truth: they say that "two-thirds of GPs support a reduction in the time limit," but Williams points out that 77% of the British Medical Association voted to keep the limit as is. Dorries argues that "If we don't [lower the time limit for abortion] there is no question that we will overtake America in the next couple of years, making us the abortion capital of the world." But is America really the abortion capital of the world?

Dorries' calls America "The Abortion Capital of the World" because the rate of abortion per 1,000 women is 19.4 to Britain's 18.3 (Australia's is the highest in the world, at 20.0). The Daily Mail has a chart comparing abortion laws in 9 different countries; in it, the newspaper lists the "Upper Limit" of legally-acceptable abortions in the U.S. to be 26 weeks. But the reality is that getting an abortion after 12 weeks in many states is outright impossible.

According to NARAL, the pro-choice organization, "23 states have unconstitutional and unenforceable bans that could outlaw abortion as early as the 12th week of pregnancy, with no exception to protect a woman's health." In addition, "15 states have unconstitutional and unenforceable near-total criminal bans on abortion." Zoe Williams points out that "If you really wanted more abortions to take place earlier in the pregnancy, then you would work towards improving access to terminations on the NHS." Similarly, if Americans really wanted fewer late term abortions, they would provide better sex education in public schools and easy and cheap access to birth control. As we said earlier, 87% of counties don't even have access to an abortion provider. And anyway, Dorries is just picking on America because we're so loud and crass and angsty over the abortion issue. If she were really being accurate, she'd go after those abortion-happy Aussies, who "kill babies" even more than we do.

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Britain Is 'Becoming The Abortion Capital Of The World' Claims Tory MP Fighting To Lower Legal Limit [Daily Mail]
Fact, Fiction And Foetuses [Guardian]
Abortion Bans After 12 Weeks [NARAL]
We Had Our Babies Under The 24-week Abortion Limit - And They All Survived [Daily Mail]

Earlier: Pro-Life Teen Says "I Feel Like We're All Survivors Of Abortion"

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DISCUSSION

ASmallTurnip
A Small Turnip

@tscheese: Did you really not get any sex ed in school? My mind, it is boggled. How does that happen? I know, logically that some people don't get the info they need. But the synapses fire and fizzle out when I think about that for too long. Jesus. Good thing you're a reader, eh?

On that note, I'd like to send out a jolly big thank you to Mrs. Heuman, who taught my class everything we needed to know when we were twelve. I still weep with laughter at the day she demonstrated using spermicide, and that shit went everywhere. Including the ceiling. She also blew up condoms and tied them together with pretty ribbons and decorated the classroom with them. She answered every single question in the secret questions box with scrupulous honesty, great humour, and NO JUDGEMENT. Even the really disgusting joke ones. God bless her.