ON Tuesday, officials of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service began lobbying the government to reinstate its plans, announced but then rescinded on Monday, to permit doctors to prescribe abortion pills over the telephone, and women to take them at home. BPAS also wants the government to allow a single midwife, nurse or doctor to authorise an abortion (currently two doctors are required).
We know, of course, that women are often coerced into abortion. A recent poll suggested that one in seven women in the UK had been forced to undergo an abortion, and, in a US study, 64 per cent of women presenting at abortion clinics admitted that there was an element of coercion in their choice. Sadly, many doctors are already disinclined to raise any alarms about such things, lest they question the received narrative that every woman seeking an abortion is a strong, independent person who actively wants one. But telephone consultations and home abortions will make it even less likely that anyone will notice coercion, let alone raise the alarm. Nor could there be a worse time for such measures: women are surely more likely to be pressured into having abortions when jobs are being lost.
But then it isn’t as if the worldwide abortion lobby will worry about that. More customers mean more profits. That’s why they’re so keen to get them young: the major abortion provider Planned Parenthood recently announced plans to build 50 (non-surgical) clinics in schools in Los Angeles.
Still, it’s nice to know that, in the midst of all this death, some people’s natural response is to ensure that we can go on killing babies. Because of course the natural response to coronavirus’s striking demonstration of our human frailty, our helplessness, and our embodied nature, is to go on trying to live at war with our bodies, pretending that we can manipulate and suppress their natural capacities, and ignoring the moral laws written into them; all the while believing that we can do this and yet still be well-rounded, well-adjusted people in a rational, flourishing society. Or maybe not? Perhaps coronavirus will make people think again about the value of life.
Reference:  Rue VM, Coleman PK, Rue JJ, Reardon DC. Induced abortion and traumatic stress: a preliminary comparison of American and Russian women. Medical Science Monitor 2004; 10(10):SR5-16.