Today I was again reminded of the extent of the hostility shown towards abortion rights by many in our society – both at a personal level and from letters in the newspapers. The letters were in response to yet more of the same old sexist pronouncements made by Cardinal Keith O'Brien several days ago. Mr O'Brien himself has compared abortion in Scotland to “two Dunblane massacres a day” – as if a woman deciding to exercise her control over a certain part of her body is somehow equivalent to a psychopathic serial killer gunning down children. This is a truly sickening statement and one which serves to severely devalue the pain and horror of Scotland's worst ever act of mass murder.
Recent news which the church didn't hesitate to comment on is that the number of abortions in Scotland over the last year has risen from 12,603 to 13,081. So what? Why do media outlets like the BBC even bother to mention the fact that another 500 women decided to have an abortion? Of course we remain a deeply misogynistic, deeply patriarchal, society and so you could say it's hardly surprising that such attitudes remain. Yet I still have difficulty comprehending just how twisted the logic of some of the people who oppose abortion really is. Do those who constantly rant about women being personally responsible really believe that men have no role in regards to the pregnancy?
The question is not, as some people suggest, whether or not we should allow the bigoted Mr O'Brien to express his views. It is whether or not he's talking shite and if we believe so then let's make our opinions loud and clear. Let's denounce the insane hypocrisy of an organisation which calls abortion “anti-child, anti-women and anti-person” yet did nothing to prevent the systematic sexual abuse of children at the hands of its own priests.