Thursday, April 08, 2010

Cameron on abortion

Party leaders tend to shy away from abortion and leave anything that comes before Parliament to a free vote. The basic necessity of this is that all the parties contain both pro-choice and anti-abortion supporters and the trick is to keep both sides on board to maximise your support.

However, Cameron has decided to come out in favour of reducing the term limits on abortions and restricting the woman's right to choose. Brave, very brave Dave. Actually I mean stupid. Stupid and wrong.

In fact he had a whole raft of reactionary policies designed to suck up to the most illiberal sections of the Christian communities.

So we have a commitment to allow faith schools to handle sex education as they please, leaving teenagers at greater risk from sexually transmitted disease and unwanted pregnancies. This comes hot on the heels of preventing legislation ensuring that schools are required to provide sex education as a matter of course.

Speaking to the Catholic Herald he said he would defend faith schools saying that “I think parents who have chosen a faith-based education for their children should have that decision respected. I’m a big supporter of faith schools and I think it’s really important that their rights are protected".

What's so puzzling to me is not that a Tory has reactionary views, one look at My Gay Vote (h/t Bob) shows which way the wind blows in the Conservatives. No, it's all the time and energy Cameron has spent trying to convince everyone that the Tories were no longer the nasty party, that they had left their bigotries behind, and then in the space of the few weeks around the election he has gone out of his way to remind us that they cannot be trusted when it comes to issues like abortion, gay rights or sex education. He's undoing all that good work covering up their reactionary instincts and just because his reactionary instincts couldn't be held in check.

It looks like, if the Tories win this election, we'll be fighting the same old battles all over again - and it's not a prospect I relish to be honest. However, if we have to fight to maintain a woman's right to control her own body then fight we will.

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