Monday, June 11, 2007

thou shalt deceive the vulnerable

When the UK reduced the age of homosexual consent, there were a lot of bigots who opposed it. An argument that came up repeatedly in the House of Lords was the idea that someone young might be tempted to experiment with homosexuality and get drawn into a life of it, whereas if it remained illegal until later it wouldn't happen.

There are a number of hilarious assumptions here. Illegality prevents people engaging in sexual activity. Sexual orientation isn't to do with inner desire but with habit. Your sexuality is something you choose as a teenager like a career. Once that's done, it's set in stone and never alters or develops. Homosexuality is some later aberration from the earlier, more natural state of heterosexuality. People are snared by homosexuality from a life of the more proper straightness.

As if there wasn't endless heterosexual propaganda everywhere and queer people being made to feel confused and ashamed of their orientation.

If they really believed that peer pressure influences orientation then they should be arguing for the age of homosexual consent to be lower than hetero; people, irrespective of what they feel, grow up being encouraged to be straight. That's where the pressure is, thus it would be wise to make them abstain until they've had a go at the other options. But logic doesn't hold any sway over the fervour of the bigot.

Why am I going into all this? Because I see the same pattern of thinking at work elsewhere.

As the previous post discussed, MP Ann Winterton (who voted against equal ages of consent, by the way) argued that women are pushed into taking a decision to have an abortion. The truth of the matter is that many women get the opposite pressure.

For all her talk of needing to defend 'girls' being railroaded into abortion, there's an orchestrated campaign out there to trick and coerce women into not having abortions.

You want to talk about the abuse of vulnerable pregnant women? A friend of mine was referred by her doctor to Alternatives Crisis Pregnancy Centre. There are a lot of these kind of places, offering free pregnancy testing and free counselling. Groups like Life and CARE, and in Eire there's CURA. They are actually Christian anti-abortionists, though they like to imply that they're just kind, impartial advisors.

Life Pregnancy Care Centre say the give 'non-directive counseling'. The offer comes just underneath their logo of a foetus and the slogan 'pro-woman pro-child pro-life'.

Most of them aren't that blatant. My friend wasn't told in any way - either by the GP or the people at Alternatives - that they were anti-abortion. She believed she would be getting practical information about how to get the abortion she had thoroughly thought through and wisely decided to have.

Fortunately, she's a kickass intelligent woman and saw what Alternatives was about. How many others are less aware, more confused (again, I mention the hormones) and are pushed into a bad decision to have a baby?

At the Association of Presbyterian Churches' 2003 conference, Catherine MacInnes spoke about her work in the Crisis Pregnancy Centre.

we must remember every abortion involves a mother, father and child who are made in the image of God

If your counsellor not only believes the foetus is a human equal to you or indeed themselves, but that the Good Lord is telling them to save it and may well punish them in the afterlife if they don't, do you think you'd get helpful non-directive advice? From someone who gives speeches to the Association of Presbyterian Churches, people who talk about 'the holocaust of abortion'?

MacInnes explained that Crisis Pregnancy Centre also go into schools to talk to children and 'give them correct information and encourage them to abstain from sexual relationships outside of marriage'.

Right at the bottom of CARE's About Us page they say they're 'helping to bring Christian truth'.

If they want to believe in God and that every foetus, sperm or indeed hazelnut is a life equal to a person's, fine, let them get on with it. But, as God himself has said,

'the whole point of believing in God is to have a higher standard of behavior. How obvious can you get?'

That higher standard should surely include not lying to people. The deliberate absence of their anti-abortion stance in their promotional material is deeply deceitful. It preys upon the vulnerable and ruins lives.

Until they've found a happy home for every miserable unloved unwanted unadopted child on earth they should shut the fuck up and let women choose abortions.

Ann Winterton is glad that 'the United Kingdom is still, thankfully, a predominantly white, Christian country'. The colour of someone's skin is a non-issue for most of us, but if the lying anti-abortionists are her kind of Christianity, I'd call it a curse that need curing.

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