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birth rates etc

By ATWadmin On January 3rd, 2007

Germany has followed France’s example to encourage birth rates.  As of yesterday mothers are entitled to payments of up to e1,800 (£1,200) a month for up to 14 months, depending on previous salary.

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It has worked well in France.

French fertility rates are increasing. France now has the second-highest fertility rate in Europe — 1.94 children born per woman, exceeded slightly by Ireland’s rate of 1.99. (The U.S. fertility rate is 2.01 children, hardly a huge difference)

Which does make me wonder whether all this fear mongering on Europe’s declining birth rates is unfounded since it appears Germanys is now set to change.

‘France heavily subsidizes children and families from pregnancy to young adulthood with liberal maternity leaves and part-time work laws for women. The government also covers some child-care costs of toddlers up to 3 years old and offers free child-care centers from age 3 to kindergarten, in addition to tax breaks and discounts on transportation, cultural events and shopping. A new law provides greater maternity leave benefits, tax credits and other incentives for families who have a third child. During a year-long leave after the birth of the third child, mothers will receive $960 a month from the government. A century ago, France was one of the first European countries to face a declining population. Since then, almost every elected French government — regardless of party — has instituted laws that encourage bigger families and make it easier for women to keep their jobs while raising children.

Under French law, a woman can opt not to work or to work part time until her child is 3 years old — and her full-time job will be guaranteed when she returns.

Its interesting how its usual to cite those much lambasted ‘career women’ on these issues as they have here – it is a relatively small nos in relation to the workforce as a whole who make it to such lofty heights. After all, there are a large number of women who are not classed as exactly low income but for whom giving up work financially is either not an option or in an age where you need a triple mega income to buy a cupboard sized house it is more likely to ensure you put it off til you can afford it.   A guy in our office, non management non high flyer project role private sector type worker, has had his first kid.  He is busy working out how to split his pitiful 2 weeks paternity leave between flying off for work and balancing his natural desire to spend a few solid weeks with his new born baby and wife. The equally non high flyer non career driven private sector mother will be back to work in a year – a requirement, not an option for them though she feels otherwise.  So baby gets to spend more time with a bunch of strangers from the age of 2. Im sure many women feel similarly eg they would prefer to stay at home for the first few years of their childrens lives. 

Three-fourths of all French mothers with at least two children are employed – so they are paying for their ‘time out’. And with such a focus the inevitable result is big business has to ensure it provides real facilities – with many large companies catering properly for working parents. Really – if we are so concerned with falling birth rates to sustain our economies then shouldnt we equally be concerned with work family life balance? And wont the one in turn assist the other? This French system seems to me to create a proper establishment for a family work life balance, something we should surely be striving to achieve in the 21st century.

Why not? Big Business needs the manpower in the long run to turn profits and we need them to keep the global economy, we have created, ticking over nicely. Why shouldnt the emphasis be about work and children rather than work or children? Any why shouldnt private sector workers benefit.

 

192 Responses to “birth rates etc”

  1. Alison

    I’m sympathetic to your general point, but you omit any reference to small businesses which employ most of the private sector workforce.

    I’m an accountant with mainly small-business clients and they are swamped with employment regulations as it is. Statutory paternity pay and leave are fine in principle, but if one of your four employees is now entitled to this you can imagine the disruption to the business, even if government foots the bill. The same goes for enhanced maternity pay and rights to return on a part-time basis. Fine in principle, but mightily disruptive to small employers. And, yes, I agree that work-life balance is important.

  2. I thought small business employed only half of private sector workers? This is one mandate that is important enough to insist on. Other regulations affecting small business can be relaxed or incentives made. But I dont think that is reason enough for us not to start thinking about how we balance work family life. It isnt about looking at it as a luxury. It should be about how we in the 21st century approach this to make it better for all. having a family is a massive disruption to a family aswell. But ultimately without a healthily growing population small business wont even exist in decades time or be staffed by competent willing staff – most of whom already give up enough of their time to make them function. Ive worked for small business and seen how much the employers bleed their staff dry to turn a profit. Most of the employees were willing to go above and beyond – working unpaid overtime and weekends.

  3. Work-life balance? Does that mean that you aren’t living when you’re working?

  4. Which component of the populations on French and German territory are reproducing most quickly? I think that a point the size of an elephant has been missed.

  5. Allan

    Since the 1980s France’s North African immigrant fertility rates have dropped. They now average about 2-3 children per family which is the national average for France. I conducted some research into French muslims and Islam at university in the mid to late 90s and this seemed about right. Most had a one or tow max brothers or sisters.

    Added to which France assimilates its populations, promotes Frenchness above evrything else, is secular, mostly xenophobic and has successfully dampened down immigration in general.

    It might also be interesting to note that the north african immigrant rate of inter marriage across lines rather than within their own community alone is above 40%. And that 50% of French muslim women supported the headscarf ban.

    It isnt an elephant. Its a different kettle of fish.

  6. Allan I think you are missing the point! Britain needs to encourage child reproduction to sustain the economy, as the other way is mass immigration.

    France & Germany should not be allowed to lead in these areas!

  7. Germanys birth rate is amongst the lowest in Europe. In spite of having the second-largest Muslim population in the European Union. So these muslims (mostly Turkish) who arrived in the 60 and 70s cant be at it like rabbits really can they. And its still a popular destination for these immigrants in spite of the economic status of the country which looks set to pick up. Given the recent hostility towards even the moderate amount of immigration to be expected from the new European Union member states, it’s unlikely that very many more well get in. The idea of the new programme is therefore to boost birth rates.

  8. Yes, well. Let me be the one to break the obvious news that a high proportion of le baby boom is also exactly the cohort that would trash the French nation and see it emerge under the black flag of Islam. Nice little earner for the jihad boys.

  9. Here’s the point. France and Germany are experiencing both mass migration from Turkey and the maghreb respectively in addition to high birth rates of the non-indigenous populations. If we are looking to sustain our own birth rates, couldn’t we possibly have a closer look at recreational abortion as a life-style choice? That’s where you’ll find our missing millions.

  10. Er, and I’d be glad to see the evidence for your view of reproduction among the Islamic population of France, Alison. Last time I saw such a debate it was stated that statistics such as those aren’t kept by the French state. Without those figures I’d say it’s just likely to be the rose-tinted spectacles at work again.

  11. Recreational abortion! Don’t be silly Allan.

    And anyway you can’t force women to have children they don’t want. If you want women to have more children you have to provide an environment where they are happy to do so, not crack the whip.

    We need to encourage and educate the British public – it’s either mass immigration or more kids!

  12. Obvious? No I dont think it is. Most of France’s ‘muslims’ dont even attend the mosque. They are already "secularized."

    70 percent of France’s Muslims fast during Ramadan which i recall the students doing more as a family cultural (diet in some cases!) thing than religious – but only 30 percent of them perform their prayers and all of them drink smoke openly. 70 percent of French muslims do not go to any of the mosques. I was hard pressed to get any motivation for the idea of a prayer room at the uni when asked to ask them!

    A majority of magrebin students at universities supported the veil. Can you imagine that here ? Our universities are far more successfully promoting the black flag of Islam that they are in their banlieues.

  13. Ed. Yes it is tricky but Braudel’s The Identity of France tracked it. As does the INSEE report. I also did my own research in one of France’s most high density immigrant areas in the mid 90s as i mentioned. Mostly conducted among university students and having spent some time researching this and conducting interviews with a nos of families. You can google insee. I cant link to my own it but i have blogged on this before and recall you commenting. By all means paint me as absurdly delusional if you want. I mean im always the first to worship at the feet of Islam after all.

  14. >>Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center, said: "British Muslims were the most radicalised."

    The French Muslims were the most temperate, he said.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/5111248.stm

    "Is France Doing a Better Job of Integration than Its Critics?"

    http://pewresearch.org/obdeck/?ObDeckID=50

  15. If we are looking to sustain our own birth rates, couldn’t we possibly have a closer look at recreational abortion as a life-style choice? That’s where you’ll find our missing millions.

    OK so how do you mean? Proposing what? Why are women aborting or disinlcined to have children? Women who decide to have abortions are mostly in the 20-24 age range, unlikely to be married – so this isnt about families and encouraging family mentality for them or a work like balance that encourages family life and allows you to work. Women are having babies later when they are married. Perhaps you could encourage a few more of your own gender to get over their marriage and commitment fears then?!

  16. Thanks for the link JOnz. Very interesting.

  17. This isn’t the dark ages. Debates on abortion are irrelavent. You cannot force women to have babies.

    You need to create positive social conditions between both potential fathers and mothers. And they need to understand what not_having_babies means for society.

  18. It’s simple. Abortion rate of > 200,000 per year over 30 years = 6 million missing britons plus all the kids they would have had in their turn – guess 9 million britons eliminated since 1960s.

    (Not including losses due to blanket contraception.)

  19. Some 5.5 million Brits have left the UK. Of those a good chunk would be young people and their potential offspring, unlikely to return and happily adding to Australias economy. Perhaps we should have forced them to stay aswell.

  20. Dummy – excellent. A plan. Force women to have babies. Force people to stay and work in the country too dont forget. A happy society all round. Something to aspire to in the 15th, i mean, 21st century. Yay! And who says Islam is backwards.

  21. Alison, the Braudel book you refer to dates from 1989. If that and your anecdotal research is all you have to go on, then why are you attempting to convince us that those pushing the demograhic concern are just fearmongerers? What kind of a mongerer does that make you? The likes of Mark Steyn don’t quote 18yr old research (a whole generation ago- how many of the lively "youths" would even have been born then? If they are the product of the levelling off, it doesn’t bode well) but freely admit going into Muslim-dominated areas and checking out the natality. So why don’t you admit that it’s their word against yours, but that the carbeques don’t argue well for your pov.

  22. No. But don’t allow them to indulge in ‘recreational abortion’. As the man said.

    What right have women got to expect that ?

  23. Btw, I do agree that the UK is far too complacent. Abortion should be more difficult, but I tend to think that a freer economy and tax incentives, rather than baby bribes or guilt tripping, are the way to go.

  24. Ok Dummy well done! Why don’t you just move to a bible-belt American state that has banned abortion if you feel like that?

  25. Oh, and that wasn’t really just BTW- it’s a very serious problem and a sad fact for the UK as a whole that we’re so sluggish in reproducing and so inclined to cull the foetuses produced.

  26. Now that the discussion includes abortion, where is Frank O’Dwyer?

  27. "recreation abortion" straw man if ever I heard one!

    Dear oh dear. Come on you are avoiding the issues. We are talking about Britain here. It’s not going to ban abortions. Get over it!

  28. JONZ. And your answer to my question is ….. ?

  29. So, JONZ, let me help. What right does ,for sake of argument, a well-off married woman have to go to an abortion clinic and get a healthy baby taken out ?

    Illegally of course, since it’s against the law. But who enforces the law ?

  30. Jonz,

    For your information, no "bible-belt American state … has banned abortion." The locals just shoot the doctors or blow up the clinics, and the problem magically takes care of itself.

  31. It’s not illegal.

    And she may have been raped. But you think she should be forced to have the rapists child and risk it being despised ?

    Healthy baby is one that has passed 24 week gestation period, and is born healthy. Not a bunch of replicating gamete cells after 4 weeks.

  32. Hehe yes thats right Allan! The right-to-lifers and their muderous ways remind me of the animal rights extremists who dont respect human rights.

  33. Dummy

    Woman have a right to do anything with their bodies, feckwit. Unless a baby has been born then that is completely different.

  34. I do agree with Alison that many women are obliged to consider abortion because the men in their lives are unwilling to commit to fatherhood, and that is why it is a problem beyond simply banning abortion – we’ve discussed this elsewhere. But, as shown above, the numbers are simple, easy to understand, and a dreadful indictment of our western secular societies whereby it indicates that we are unwilling to continue ourselves. Aborting 5 million of us and replacing those aborted with 5 million from Pakistan or Africa is not the same – they are not us!

    The first step must be to restrict abortion to cases which are genuinely dangerous to the mother. The second step must be to impose real financial responsibilities on the fathers of the new-born: the CSA must be made to work and the ‘hard’ cases should be pursued. It is typical of the NuLab public sector that the CSA was not allowed to pursue dead-beat dads – they have National Insurance numbers and bank accounts, don’t they?

  35. "The first step must be to restrict abortion to cases which are genuinely dangerous to the mother."

    You mean go back to the pre-1967 days of the back-street abortionists? Never!

  36. It’s all out about cracking the whip ain’t it Allan?!

    Jeez. Lets not americanise britain anymore. Let’s have carrots rather thank sticks.

  37. "Jeez. Lets not americanise britain anymore"

    You should be so lucky! 😉

  38. An interesting article, with much food for thought.

    More child-friendly employment laws would be reasonable *if* other forms of regulation were reduced such as health and safety, anti-discrimination, the ban on smoking in private places etc., and if levels of taxation on businesses were reduced.

    Ultimately, if Westerners won’t reproduce, they will be replaced by people who do.

  39. JONZ. Lovely bloke I’m sure. Abortion is illegal in the UK except for cases of danger to mother’s health.

    This is interpreted by the medical trade to include , by way of example, the voluntary abortion of healthy human foetuses, being carried by married women in perfectly happy marriages. (and who haven’t been raped).

    It is also interpreted to include abortion after 24 weeks for minor problems like hare-lip.

  40. "You mean go back to the pre-1967 days of the back-street abortionists? Never! "

    Actually, if the provisions of the 1967 Abortion Act were truly enforced, then Allan’s wish would be fulfilled.

  41. JonZ – your more general point is gibberish too –
    "Woman have a right to do anything with their bodies,<expletive>"

    No, they don’t. No more than anyone else. For example, there is no absolute right to injure it or do it harm.

  42. Dummy

    And those who have attempted suicide should be locked up right? . Nice compassion there.

  43. There are now so many no-go zones for native Frenchmen in France that their government has taken action – they’ve put out warning maps for whitey. Integration a la francais!

    http://www.lesechos.fr/regions/atlas/atlas_06_08_2004.htm

    Peter, do you know what ‘back-street abortions’ actually meant? These were abortions carried out on women who entered the doctor’s surgery via the back door instead of through the front door, that’s all. Yet the term is used to invoke such fear and dread – all myth. The abortions were carried out by the same doctors who do them now.

  44. JONZ – you can’t address the point – so you set up a diversion and presume my position on it. Then condemn my presumed position.

    Smart /sarcasm_off

  45. Efd the research i referred to and linked to covers the 80s through the 90s. My research covered the mid to late 90s. Whats your problem?

  46. Dummy

    ‘What right does ,for sake of argument, a well-off married woman have to go to an abortion clinic and get a healthy baby taken out ?’

    What right have you to assume you know that womans circumstances so much so that you can dictate to her in such a way.

  47. "The abortions were carried out by the same doctors who do them now."

    So there was no real need for the 1967 act?

  48. JonZ. It’s a ‘what-if’ scenario.

    How do you answer the question ?

    I can tell you for a fact that such a person would have no difficulty getting an abortion at an abortion ‘provider’ (aka ‘Charity’)

    As for me, I may know someone in that position, or I may not. Whether I do is not relevant to the debate.

  49. Allan and Ed – The UK has a helluva lot bigger problem than La France. As much as you would love to take Steyns ‘The self proclaimed leading authority on Islam in Europe’s’ word otherwise. I love the way when i cite some references they get dismissed as ‘anecdotal’ and then you refer to Steyn and France Echos and your own povs as authorities (less so Allan admittedly!). Meanwhile the Pew research cited above somewhere gives a pretty good indication of the realities. Les banlieues and no go zones have more to do with unemployment and smack of 70s Britain. Remember Toxteth? At least the French have a starting point to sort themselves out.

    The UK ballsed it all up years ago with multi culturalism. There is no going back.

  50. Ask me Dummy. Ive had one!

  51. Allan, Very interesting French article. The map of France suggests that their major cities are becoming less French. No surprise there. Same could be said about Detroit or Birmingham.

    Interesting how Pas-de-Calais seems to have such a concentration of foriegners. Wonder why!!??

  52. Alison. The question is open to all. I’d like to hear your argument.

    Scenario – perfectly healthy happy married woman wants abortion cos well, she just doesn’t want to have a baby just now. Everything straight forward – healthy baby/foetus, not been raped etc.

    What right does she have to get one. Note that it is supposed to be illegal in these circumstances – but we all know that’s a joke.

  53. Dummy, don’t be side-tracked by the bizarre cases which constitute less than 1% of abortions in the UK. Most abortions are carried out on normal, healthy women who simply don’t want the baby, and there are many reasons why but abnormal risk to mother’s health is not one of them.

    Women have the right and the means not to get pregnant; men have the responsibility and the means not to get a woman pregnant if he doesn’t want her to. But once the test shows blue, it’s time to accept adult responsibilities.

  54. "The UK ballsed it all up years ago with multi culturalism. There is no going back. "

    That’s certainly true. The French have been sensible in avoiding that.

  55. Im rather sick to death of the likes of Dummy specialising in abortion rights and wrongs when he knows nothing about the individual circumstances that can and do lead women to make this hideous decision.

    Dummy seems to think he can lecture from a viewpoint of caring for the unborn child whilst utterly dismissing any notion of care for the woman who will carry that child and whose life is also up for consideration. Whoever dreamed up the expression ‘recreational abortion’ is a pretty sick minded individual. Please ask any questions you care to about just how lovely a process it is that might help you understand how the idea it is a ‘recreational’ habit is so appalling. Please do.

    The scaremongering that abortions are carried out for harelips and other such might be carried out by a minute nos of parents whose reasoning is warped but hardly constitutes an argument for removing the ‘option’ -if you want to call it that-completely. And the number of abortions if the option is removed will continue via back street abortions where you so called pro lifers can rub your hands in glee at the nos of women who will no doubt die from blood poisoning to boot but feel better because it is thoroughly outlawed.

    Quite why the responsibility for an aging generation is one about taking away abortion ‘rights’ (crap term)without any thought given over to all our responsibilities in this respect is quite bizarre.

    It was my FIANCEES ovewhelming indignant attituide to settling down and having kids that influenced me – and my desire to not lose him as a partner and face the future alone. Him or kid. As it has been for a nos of women ive spoken to since who go through the guilt that is your punishment for the rest of your life. I cant think Mr Ex/Recreational Abortionist suffers anything like the same feelings. Id like to think my honesty on this issue would give those so dismissive of this issue a bit of helping hand in understanding the problems. But I expect its anecdotal and subsequently somehow insignificant! Or playing the victim etc etc etc. But you are using this illustration Dummy so since its similar to mine there you go. It was a hideous life decision caught as i felt between a rock and a hard place and too frightened to raise a kid alone. It isnt something im remotely dismissive of nor is it something i can forget or like to ‘feel a victim’ over. In fact it led to a quite massive bout of depression. But eventually I went on to get myself into ap osition where i can have kids and raise a legion with someone who actually isnt afraid of marriage as most GQ and FHM men are wont to be nowadays.

    But honestly at least try to understand that those stats relate to a majority of women making sensitive and HUGE decisions. Whilst there will always be idiots who approach like too casually in all respects.

  56. On ‘recreational abortion’, we had a thread here a couple of weeks ago which discussed women who had multiple, or even serial, abortions. For them, the term ‘recreational abortion’ is apt – just like nipping out to the shops for one.

  57. just like nipping out to the shops for one.

    Whoever these women are and as i said there will always be nutters in life they arent a majority- there is no such thing as it being anything like ‘nipping out to the shops’.

  58. Alison, thanks.

    The woman in my what-if is happily married and wealthy with no problems. So she doesn’t even have the lifestyle argument that you propose.

    You haven’t addressed the question that arises – does the lady in my scenario have a right to an abortion ?

    certainly no legal right in the UK.

  59. That’s interesting . Alison said –
    "Quite why the responsibility for an aging generation is one about taking away abortion ‘rights’ (crap term)without any thought given over to all our responsibilities in this respect is quite bizarre"

    Quite so. But the figures speak volumes. 9 million (est) missing britons solely due to abortion. It’s a hard one to talk round, or finesse away. Never mind small families, or mass contraception. Just that number gone through abortion alone. Amazing.

  60. How would you know she doesnt have that lifestyle issue dummy? You missed the point. And because of that yes absolutely she does. Always.

    So are the millions leaving the country in droves but i dont see you too bothered about that!

  61. *waves to Alan MacD* 🙂

    Dummy,

    "You haven’t addressed the question that arises – does the lady in my scenario have a right to an abortion ?"

    Yes.

    "certainly no legal right in the UK."

    The law says otherwise. How come you people cannot make your case without resorting to such falsehoods?

    "9 million (est) missing britons solely due to abortion."

    Since most abortions are natural, it’s more like 27 million abortions, but since abortion is safer for woman than childbirth, the result is a net gain of a few hundred Britons.

    You may as well argue that billions of Britons are missing due to celibacy and masturbation.

    Who cares anyway? If you want women to churn out citizen-units for you why don’t you try a novel tack and get her permission first? Indeed why not pay her? She’s not your slave, after all.

  62. Alison, you are delusional if you think the UK has a bigger problem than France. The numbers and the actions tell a different story. I’m not saying that having a hard core of Islamofascist haters isn’t a problem (and qualitatively it could be a more urgent one), but a permanent intifada is not an indication of health.

    Really, I checked on Google the book you quoted (Braudel) and found it had been reviewed in 1989. It’s old research, as far as I can see (very old). Can you show me a link to where the at least part of an updated version or reports of it can be found? If it hasn’t been updated then it’s practically useless.

  63. Can you read French otherwise i honestly didnt think it useful to link to it but i can dig it out – but really for an even better starter please try the Pew Report, very relevant which sort of backs up what i said without me knowing about it – i think jonz linked to it earlier. It honestly examines issues i think. We will have to disagree. The UK without doubt has a much much bigger problem. France is facing its Toxteth equivalent vis a vis french magrehbin unemployment – largely down to their entirely xenophobic attitude. But it has a chance to sort this correctly. We blew that and are now back peddling and muddled. We are even segregating swimming pools on religious grounds (sure you read in Times) and championng the veil as ‘right on’.

    My own research isnt so anecdotal. It interviewed a very large nos of people and covered a range of topics over a good 2 years work. More than Mr Steyn has ever bothered to do himself im sure. Unlike Steyn i dont hold myself to be a world authority but i have eyes in my head aswell. That doesnt render my opinion irrelevant to his. What worries me about him is that all Steyn wants to do is doom monger – the only people he is helping are the hard core islamists who no doubt take enormous pleasure in his trumpeting their cause. He isnt influencing a damn thing where it matters. We can only work with what we face not change the past. So shaping a somewhat more positive attitude to Europe as a whole would help. And that Pew report has some good take homes in it. Im not saying it is all rosy. I suppose if im looking at it through rose tinted specs then Steyn is looking at through very dark blinkered ones. It is right to point out where we are going wrong but his broad sweeping brushtrokes are way too …well ..sweeping.

  64. Alison I think you’re trying to palm me off. If you’re so good at French why not try un peu de translation?

    Braudel died in 1985. His "Identite" appears to have been published posthumously. A fitting commentary in itself. I’d say it’s another example of the "heritage" research which explains why France is so far from knowing herself.

  65. i also wrote up my thoughts here on the riots and issues last year:

    http://atangledweb.squarespace.com/tangled-articles/france-era-of-self-doubt.html

    It was only in 1998 that i got on a bus with a good french friend of algerian descent and heard him called a ‘dirty arab’ by a young french woman. In spite of this his determination to be seen as French hasnt changed. And his younger brothers around 18 or 19 who live in banlieues themselves arent out rioting. Yes that is anecdotal but relevant to the point in the above article i think. He helped me conduct the research and interview various people and was a terrific source of conversation and sources relevant to the issues.

    im afraid ive left the link on my notepad at work for the recent french research but can link it in tomorrow. Ill try to find a translation.

  66. "How would you know she doesnt have that lifestyle issue dummy?

    – Because that’s part of the hypothesis, do know what that is ?

    – The other part of the hypotheis is that such a person can walk into a state-funded abortion centre and get an abortion, quite against the law, but with the connivance of the ‘doctors’ that work there.

  67. Frank says – "Since most abortions are natural, it’s more like 27 million abortions, but since abortion is safer for woman than childbirth, the result is a net gain of a few hundred Britons. "

    So 6 million abortions, since they’re safer (to women) than givimg birth, so you say, you say that this has actually resulted in a net gain in lives ?

    What are you, an idiot ? What do you think the death rate from childbirth is ??

  68. On your other points, Mark Steyn doesn’t claim to get every prognostication right, but to point out where the danger lies and sound alarms is really something that somnolent Europe should be grateful for and scarcely deserves.

    Now’s my turn: have you actually read America Alone, source of the recent Steynmania? I have, and there’s a lot more to it than (allegedly) reductionist demographics. I recommend you engage with it closely- I’d warm to that approach. If there is blame to be apportioned, Steyn represents a poor target for it. The French kleptocracy would be a much haughtier and more arrogant, and thus worthier target.

    On your research- may I ask if you carried it out in some kind of academic capacity, or just casually and out of your own interest? Can I really believe that you went to great depth when the issue was so much less prominent than it is today? It would be like me taking seriously the rise of Islam in East Africa while I was living there eight years ago. I noted it, but that is all. There was nothing especially general about my observations- just a few personal notes and feelings that I got from talking to people and watching social life unfold through.

  69. Hmmm. No not really Ed. Why the insistence on this one point i made rather than examining the pew report may i ask? Or taking into account any of my own information on the issue so far? After all you accept Steyns willingly. That seems a bit odd. I will link them in tomorrow. But may i ask what the point is? You seem quite unwilling to take on board anything i had to say so what difference this other report? It seems to me that nothing will convince you other than Steyn much less someone with an interest in french affairs or an at least pretty well personally researched pov. Why is that irrelevant? If thats anecdotal then what use another link?

    Like most Brits i have a love hate relationship with France. But ‘France is so far from knowing herself’. LOL (sorry). She is a lot further on than the UK. Arent we still trying to figure out what it means to be British? And we have a widely regarded more ‘robust’ economy by all accounts we should be quite self assured. We have no ‘declin’ excuse to fall back on.

  70. It was academic. I chose the topic personally out of any because of my concerns about fundamentalism. Because i did so pre 9/11 isnt a reason to dismiss it out of hand as being in some way not in depth enough. It looks at the right issues. I would discuss Steyn with more relish if i felt that you were in turn returning the complement and taking me seriously. Id warm to that approach also. Can i assume you have read the counter arguments to the europe is doomed steyn theorie that have circulated recently?

  71. I notice that you responded above in more detail about your investigations. I appreciate that sometimes a specific insight can represent a cornerstone for understanding. That said, I think it’s dangerous to rest on one dimension of an issue- ironic considering that’s what you’re accusing the "fearmongers" of. I think though that the reason we keep fearing is that the cars keep burning, the police have no-go areas, the population of muslims is large and growing and young. That’s what I’d call a several cornered argument. I’d not dispute there is another story, but I think that you ignore the possibility that the girl calling your friend a name could have experienced being called an "infidel whore" herself, and thought your friend looked an easy target for verbal satisfaction.

    I still think that, however true it might "deep down" be, France objectively faces at least as big if not a bigger problem than the UK. Believe it or not I’d be pleased to hear that France really isn’t in trouble- they might then help us out for once in a blue moon.

  72. So 6 million abortions, since they’re safer (to women) than givimg birth, so you say, you say that this has actually resulted in a net gain in lives ?

    What are you, an idiot ? What do you think the death rate from childbirth is ??

    Frank has answered the first question in the affirmative several times on this subject and we’ve been down this alley with him before. He actually does believe that the more abortions that Britons have, the more of us there will be because none will have died in childbirth.

    Back to reality and surely it is evident that the British population of Britain is several million lower than it would otherwise have been simply because those several million were aborted. It really is that simple and I don’t see why the morality and ethics of abortion need be debated here: we’re only talking arithmetic, and simple arithmetic at that!

  73. What are you proposing Dummy? No abortion no contraception and enforcing women purely into baby making machines to sort out birth rates from your pov? Cos thats how its coming across. Youll be veiling us all and insisting we stay home for our own protection next. What about all those people leaving the country, think we should take away their passports? Its hard to see your point.

  74. I now notice that you respond in still more depth. That’s all to the good.

    Maybe a part of my reaction arises from the fact that you quote the Washington Post, whose article did not even mention the immigrant let alone muslim dimension to fertility. I know very well that it is a factor- and such a report would fail even the Ladybird book test of comprehensive study. As such, quoted approvingly and with pejorative language for your targets, it appears a vacuous provocation.

  75. Ed – well then please have a read of that pew report i was certainly happy to. Plus have a read of the article i linked to above or read some of the counter theories to Steyn. Im not ignoring that possibility you mention but i think having spent such an amount of time with them it was plain to me that the French simply didnt want to integrate and the issues of the time in the media were largely tackling this issue. You must accept the French are hostile to foreigners after all the Front National is one of France’s largest parties.

  76. "the British population of Britain is several million lower than it would otherwise have been simply because those several million were aborted."

    Which is still lower than it would have been if all women of child bearing age were rounded up in camps to be raped and denied contraception as well as forced to give birth. After all since you obviously view them as cattle why stop with forcing them to give birth?

    The reason you may not do any of those things is that women are not your property. You need to find willing ones. Too bad for you.

    "He actually does believe […]"

    Allan is lying. But then it is impossible for the "pro-life" to make their case without resorting to lies, hypocrisy, or denying women’s human rights.

    Indeed Allan often manages all three in the same post.

  77. I was really trying to see if the pro-abortionists have a moral bone in their body.

    I gave a hypothetical case, which under no circumstances could be considered acceptable for a legal abortion in the UK and invited you to give your answer. Your answer is go right ahead .

    Say no more.

    As for leaving the UK – millions of Brits are leaving the UK. Many I know personally and they have young families. They’re replaced with an equal or greater number of third-world immigrants, most of them illegal aliens.

    It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this is a geometric progression which will result in native Brits being outnumbered here in a short number of years. Could be less than 20 years.

    But that is not even a big problem compared to the birth-rate of non-native babies. In terms of births London is now 49% British and 51% foreign. The rest of the country is 20% foreign Births, the rest assumed British.

    Do the sums if you like. Even with no immigration London will be majority foreign in 10 years, rest of Britain a few years after that.

    I think a lot of the Brits going abroad can see that pretty clearly, so they’re going to countries like Australian and the US, that don’t have this problem.

  78. Frank wrote:
    "Since most abortions are natural, it’s more like 27 million abortions, but since abortion is safer for woman than childbirth, the result is a net gain of a few hundred Britons."

    and I wrote:
    "He (Frank) actually does believe that the more abortions that Britons have, the more of us there will be because none will have died in childbirth."

    I’d say that the second paragraph is an accurate rendition of the first, which means that Frank is the idiot which ‘Dummy’ instinctively considered him to be.

    As far as I’m aware, very few of the women who have abortions claim to have been raped so I’m not really sure which depths Frank plumbed to find his offensive remarks.

  79. Dummy,

    "I gave a hypothetical case"

    Wrong spelling for hypocritical.

    After all you stand idly by while walking talking children die all the time.

    What’s your excuse?

  80. Your point about abortion and contraception.

    The abortion figures speak for themselves, and we’ve been over that.

    Contraception – well I suppose if the background to most marriages is continual contraception, it gets quite hard to start making babies. It always seems like a big chore and has to be planned round careers and so on. Easier not to bother. If there’s an ‘accident’, just get abortion. So families stay very small, so there’s less Brits. Meanwhile the population of Yemen goes from 5 million to 160 million in less than 40 years. (and on whose dollar ?)

    It’s easy to make a general point about where it leads, particularly with open borders.

    Maybe the question should be – what is the purpose of marriage ? If it doesn’t really exist for making children, then what’s it for exactly ?

  81. The Pew Report is quite interesting. It all depends on your interpretation. There was the old notion of France being a Muslim power, evolved from the era of Napoleon and developed through the Maghrib colonisation- the Muslims are so at home in the South of France, why bother looking to Iran? Why not set yourselves up as a Muslim nuclear power?

    Why support Osama when you can twist the French government into pretzels just by donning a few scarves. What waste of French energy over a little piece of cloth.

    Sorry, Alison, if that sounds ott- the point is that the history and demographics of France put them in a different category- their problems are so internalised they look sometimes like moderation; if that is you come to it from an anglocentric perspective.

    I quote Pew: "Muslims in France do not seem to see themselves as surrounded by hostile natives"

    No indeed- but they think little of having no-go areas for them, and declaring turf rights. I think the notion of being surrounded connotes defense. Muslims in France just aren’t defensive. And that’s France’s problem in a nutshell.

  82. Well my goodness Ed that IS patronising and im at a loss as to know why. Given my attempts earlier to give you some of my own pov with at least some decent reasons for me formulating them you dismissed them as irrelevant and anecdotal straight off the mark. No reason to at all. You STILL havent commented on the pew link which is fascinating and was linked to much earlier on. Vacuous provocation? Funny thats how i think about Steyn. And of course i link approvingly. It isnt just the minority muslims with their average birth rate that benefit from Frances attempts to successfully improve their birth rates. It is also about the attitude that is generally fostered vis a vis Islam. To focus uniquely on the banlieues would of course suit your pov but that pew report looks encouraging as does an upcoming french presidential elections – frankly whoever wins – certainly in terms of clawing a way out of leur declin.

  83. Nope Frances problem is le declin.

  84. Allan,

    "I’d say that the second paragraph is an accurate rendition of the first"

    Because you’re dishonest or because you’re stupid?

    "offensive remarks"

    Like "recreational abortion", moron?

  85. Why support Osama when you can twist the French government into pretzels just by donning a few scarves. What waste of French energy over a little piece of cloth.

    Eh?!

  86. They moved swiftly and largely supported by students on this issue. No messing. Very simple. Job done. It is THE UK (Ed!) that is twisting itself into knots on this issue!

  87. Frank. For all you know I may be a clinic-bomber.

    Or I may even be the abortionist, fed up pandering to political correctness.

    Or maybe I’m the woman of my hypothesis.

    It doesn’t make any difference to the debate.

    What I do know is that I can’t follow anything you say. Over (and out, Frank)

  88. I think everyone should stop having children right now!! Until we can all start acting like adults who don’t demand things be handed to them when they want it, how they want it.
    We should start taking resposibility for the world we will be leaving to the children already born into this mess.
    I don’t know how the topic turned into an abortion argument? It is a choice, and one that is not to be judged by others. My own mother had one, as have several of my friends, I hold nothing against them.
    Personally I chose to not do it, pregnant at 17 with no family support or intrest or help from the father.
    I sacrificed my life for his!
    But there comes a time for every parent to realise what they gave birth to is not a child. Which is hard to explain. I am ashamed to send him out into this world … no matter what I tried to teach him … cause it’s fucked up out there and it’s not his fault or resposibilty to fix it, it’s mine and everyone elses.

  89. I wasn’t, referring to the scarf issue, suggesting the Her Majesty’s Government as a model- heaven forfend!

    In its own way that’s beyond pathetic.

    But look at it this way: French Imams have repesentation at high levels in France- they dance the dance of politics. The French politicians act clumsily with the full force of the state to enforce a simple dress code issue that could be devolved were it not for the power of Islam in France. The energies of the French state are drained and the Imams have one more bargaining tool by which to show their "moderation". And meanwhile the cars burn, 400 over New Year most recently.

  90. Dummy,

    "It doesn’t make any difference to the debate."

    Sure it does. You propose that pregnant women be held to a different standard than everyone else.

    "What I do know is that I can’t follow anything you say"

    Then perhaps you’re not smart enough to make decisions for pregnant women.

  91. Lone Star. It’s not a choice. It’s a privilege supposedly granted under very particular circumstances.

    That’s a fact.

    We do have a gigantic pharmacological and surgical industry that agitates contnually to make it a ‘right’.

    It is up to us, the citizens, to decide if that is acceptable to us. So we can and we should judge it.

    Your peronal history or mine doesn’t matter. There are bigger issues at stake.

  92. I wasn’t, referring to the scarf issue, suggesting the Her Majesty’s Government as a model- heaven forfend!

    In its own way that’s beyond pathetic.

    But look at it this way: French Imams have representation at high levels in France- they dance the dance of politics. The French politicians act clumsily with the full force of the state to enforce a simple dress code issue that could be devolved were it not for the power of Islam in France. The energies of the French state are drained and the Imams have one more bargaining tool by which to show their "moderation". And meanwhile the cars burn, 400 over New Year most recently.

  93. The topic became directed towards abortion because we were discussing the arithmetic of population dynamics: low indigenous reproduction rate vs high immigrant (muslim, African) reproduction rate. One of the reasons why the apparent fecundity of the native Britsh is so low is because 200,000 pregnancies are terminated each year and that cannot be ignored from the equation – a bit like designing an aircraft and not considering gravity. However, there are people here who would do just that.

  94. http://www.nypost.com/seven/11262006/postopinion/opedcolumnists/the_eurabia_myth_opedcolumnists_ralph_peters.htm

    When Europeans feel sufficiently threatened – even when the threat’s concocted nonsense – they don’t just react, they over-react with stunning ferocity. One of their more-humane (and frequently employed) techniques has been ethnic cleansing.

    The notion that continental Europeans, who are world-champion haters, will let the impoverished Muslim immigrants they confine to ghettos take over their societies and extend the caliphate from the Amalfi Coast to Amsterdam has it exactly wrong.

    The endangered species isn’t the "peace loving" European lolling in his or her welfare state, but the continent’s Muslims immigrants – and their multi-generation descendents – who were foolish enough to imagine that Europeans would share their toys.

    Don’t let Europe’s current round of playing pacifist dress-up fool you: This is the continent that perfected genocide and ethnic cleansing, the happy-go-lucky slice of humanity that brought us such recent hits as the Holocaust and Srebrenica.

    Al Qaeda and its wannabe fans are the worst thing that could have happened to Europe’s Muslims. Europe hasn’t broken free of its historical addictions – we’re going to see Europe’s history reprised on meth.

  95. the cars burn, 400 over New Year most recently

    Toxteth

  96. Today there is the likes of Celebrity Big Brother, Eastenders etc to keep the population anaesthetised while its country is stolen. A report using the Govt’s own figures shows the net resultant benefit to be 4p/month/person.

  97. Has France won a fight anytime in the last 200 years ?

    Even with the Foreign legion..

  98. Do you know the French spend more time open mouthed at our issues over the veil and our issues with extremists featuring a recent British muslim demo segregated by sex with veiled beauties in attendance. they think were all mad. So do i. We even had a French philosophe on the BBC telling US to wake up re 90 day legislation recently. In France its indefinite. Whilst the Brits on the sofa all around him nodded their disapproval and tutted ooh no. Hilarious.On tv they intensely muse over our issues with muslims on their news programming with far more wide reaching views than ive heard discussed here – apparently blissfully ignorant of their own problems?? I dont think so

  99. Dummy – lol. pretty useful quote ‘when a third of French voters have demonstrated their willingness to vote for Jean-Marie Le Pen’s National Front – a party that makes the Ku Klux Klan seem like Human Rights Watch – all predictions of Europe going gently into that good night are surreal’.

    Allan – what of the people leaving the country and the economic fertility they take with them? why was that left out of the equation

  100. Well, Alison, you’re resorting to Ralph Peters, a far more broad-brush iconoclast than Steyn, but still- that argument has been faced down by the great man himself (yes, I really do admire Steyn; can’t afford not to). The basic thrust was that geriatric Frenchmen may not be nimble enough to round up the vigorous "youths", and I’d add that the French army may well be too muslim to enable any such crackdown- at least that’s if Paul Belien’s analysis of the French military is to be believed.

    As for Toxteth- for me that’s the weakest point in your general thrust. For you France’s problems today are Britain’s yesterday’s. That’s surely way too simple, and, moreover, I don’t think France is so primitive as to lag 20 years behind- she’s just differently evolved, and not necessarily at all in a good way.

  101. Alsion – are you sure ? How many people have le Pen’s they murdered ?

    re. all these kids leaving the country – that was discussed. But it was pointed out it’s not the only area of worry – there are even worse problems (51% foreign births in London).

    What do you think we should do. Is having more kids part of the plan ?

  102. I don’t dissent that we’re all mad- but I don’t think that indefinite detention doth healthy nations make.

    I must have missed it when the French supported Guantanamo…

    ah nuance.

  103. *Alert*

    Relevant to the debate. Don’t want to get into the argument at the mo but:

    BBC2 Newsnight: Migration Watch challenges the assumption that net immigration brings economic benefits. Also the opposing side have a film on the subject as well.

  104. 10.30pm

  105. This thread is so depressing. Modern Europe sounds really like its lost its way. Wandering in the wilderness, suicidal.

    Doesn’t an unborn baby have any rights? Do you not believe that life is sacred?

    Does the biblical saying "Go forth and multiply" mean nothing to you? Is God not lighting your way forward, giving hope? Have you no faith?

  106. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh More christian absolutist-moralists!

    My head is going to explode.

  107. I linked to him as i mentioned i would earlier Ed in a slew of my own opinions to counter your singular Steyn approach. Yes he makes some ‘astonishing’ observations this fella – such as Le Pens National Fronts victoires in the past decade. Fairly accurate rather than sweeping id have thought. Though i disagree with him entirely on some of his assertions and more especially re America doing a better job on assimilating a better approach to immigrants. Parrotting Steyn a little bit.

    ‘Weakest point in my general thrust’. Ed – are you a teacher? This is a debate not marks out of ten. im thinking for myself here rather than leaning on one mans arguments so give me credit for that – even if its clear to me you arent interested in any other pov but Steyn as you indeed say! So really – what is the point?! But in closing please do refer to the Economist on the issue of Toxteth. I posted on some of this in April last year. Someone else way smarter than me im sure youll agree echoes my terribly weak argument somewhat and also refers to Toxteth later with some interesting observations. I dont generally suggest their issues are entirely ours of yesterday. For a start the whole country isnt out on repeated general strikes with a need to raid the IMF.

  108. Erm Dummy – we could start here:

    This week Hutton, the Work and Pensions Secretary, said this country was blighted by at least 100,000 scroungers (my word, not his), who are locked into a culture of "can work, won’t work". Wouldnt it be radical if more chavs contributed to the economy? We breed them well enough.

    Quite Jonz. Depressing isnt it.

  109. Alison

    That would be a good start – if there were more than 100,000 of them.

    But did you know chavs don’t breed much ? Even though they’re much less likely to have an abortion ?

  110. NOTME.

    See you propose traditional values. You must therefore be an idiot according to some here.

    See the content doesn’t matter to some – just the label.

  111. Notme – what has Europe got to do with it? Or isnt abortion both legal and illegal carried out worldwide. Among countries where abortion is legal without restriction as to reason, the highest abortion rate, 83 per 1,000, was reported for Vietnam and the lowest, seven per 1,000, for Belgium and the Netherlands figs date from late 90s but im wondering if europe will have ovetaken as the worlds biggest sinner?

  112. Chavs have kids Dummy. They just have them when they are still kids and then they go straight onto benefit. So we need more immigrants to pay for pensions in that over inflated public sector since the chavs cant be arsed.

    You could always add that figure to the people we must at all costs prevent leaving the country (as we are into curbing free will) and their potential offspring. Then you wouldnt have to ressort to statements like this:

    It is up to us, the citizens, to decide if that is acceptable to us. So we can and we should judge it.

    Nope. You judge other ways of improving fertility rates Dummy. Because if you remove abortion as a legal practise claiming your moral authority over individuals supercedes their own then you will force them to do it illegally. Google the estimated nos of abortions prior the British act. You wont stop it and it isnt the answer to birth rate issues.

  113. No. Looking at it as a whole, if some people are relying on other peoples’ kids to provide for their old-age needs, and not having enough themselves, then the citizens have a right and duty to look at the issues.

    And that’s only an economic argument.

    20% of pregnancies in the UK are terminated through a trip to the abortion clinic. Who is going to take up the slack ? You ?

  114. Alison: I mention Europe because this thread is about birth rates in France, UK, Germany. And the discussion seems depressing to me because some commenters seem to have no Godly relationship with birth, and, by extension, with life. Maybe Steyn is right and Europe has lost its will to live.

    I came of age in Berkeley, Calif. and when I was young I firmly embraced my "right" to have an abortion. I am thankful that I never exercised this "right" but I do not judge others who have. I feel that abortion is a very, very personal issue and the State, as far as I am concerned, can take a hike – It wasn’t until I was older that I came to realize that the unborn have rights, that life is sacred, and that I believe in God.

    I think there would be less abortion if people spoke of the unborn with respect and awe. And this would be a good thing.

  115. I’m struck by the huge-ness of that estmate – 9 million lost to abortion in one little country.

    That’s more than the world total of all war dead on all sides put together in World War 1.

    It’s about the same as all people killed by the Germans in WW2.

    And borne by just one country.

  116. Dummy,

    "20% of pregnancies in the UK are terminated through a trip to the abortion clinic. Who is going to take up the slack ?"

    What slack? Aren’t you the same one who just complained about 51% of London births being "foreign"?

    You complain about births and you complain about abortions. Obviously you don’t know what you want and it would be better to leave the decision to the women involved.

    "It’s about the same as all people killed by the Germans in WW2."

    Except that those were actual people.

  117. This might be stupid, but I am american ….
    I noticed in the comments someone quoted 51% foreign births? What do you mean by that? Living in a country built by immigrants from all over the world, the children they had here were called americans and their children are called americans. How many generations does it take to earn the rights to be called british? Maybe this is some of your problem.
    You see children from foreigners as foreigners too? his 51% was attached to london …. what about the rest of the counrty? I also see muslims mentioned alot? are they the only "foreigners" having children?
    What if 10% of that was arab, 10 was african, 10 was asian, 10 was some white european group? Do you feel better? I try to be an outside observer to these arguments and try not to be to involved. But When I think about what you are all saying I understand less instead of more. I’ve seen other british debates over british culture turning into some drunken free for all … that might be a reason for the high abortion rate.

    Like it or not dummy, as long as people have sex there is a chance they will get pregnant no matter what protection they use. And there will always be those who do not want to or are not ready to have a child…. if so it is probably better they don’t … for the child. I do think it is a choice a very hard one at that, and one you can not take back. Abortions have been going on forever in every culture. I do not feel it should ever become a common solution. but there are other ways to end an unwanted pregnancy now days and I’m sure better methods will be offered in the future.
    To argue it as a moral issue is unrealistic and unfair.

  118. "Weakest point in your general thrust"

    Whatever I do, Alison, and I do various things, I try to be kind. But really, I’ve critiqued all of your sources and I’d observe that the reason we’re (certainly I’m) here at all is the spectacular deficiency of our MSM. I don’t trust reports that leave out salient facts (as though they were ad campaigns for Gaullist protectionism). I don’t trust awfully old research when the issue is current. I don’t trust the kind of incredibly hidebound interpretation Pew offers. I don’t particularly trust the French or British authorities. The thing about Steyn is that he surfs the breakers of all this partial revelation and ties it together with the hard facts that present themselves- ie. the violence, the threats, the lawsuits etc etc.

    No, I don’t believe in relying on single sources. You obvious have a low opinion of me and good luck to you, but Steyn has got to be the most eclectic "single source" going. Most of his anecdotes and reports are easily checkable, and I simply believe that if someone’s right you don’t need to repeat their insights or redo their thinking, and acknowledging a debt is the surest way to appropriate an argument- it’s not that I had none of the ideas, thoughts or insights prior to reading him, just that it incarnated much that was vaguer to me than to him. He’s certainly not all right, in every detail, but at least he makes non-truth-speak sense.

    But anyway, read America Alone.

  119. No I dont Ed. But you cite all those sources as rubbish and include mine oddly – when i too have a very very low opinion of the msm in general. I thought the pew research fairly reasonable as it fits with my own interpretation and not the MSMs – so when you refer to this as anecdotal and then think Steyn the master on these issues i have to say i think that very very odd. If his views are checkable and im suggesting they arent all perfect – with a reasonable and researched (at least) experience of the situation myself then i dont see how that constitutes knee jerk rejection on your part. I think possibly the tone of your comments was such that i thought your opinion of me to be low and im not sure why really. I hardly ‘worship’ France and see it as perfect but i recognise inaccuracies in his work and there are a bunch!

    America Alone. Yes I will read it. LOL. Yes isnt it wonderful he chooses to p1ss all over British troops dying in Afghanistan and Iraq for starters. Tasteful. It was dear old Condie first out the pen condemning the cartoons as i recall whilst France was busily printing them and stirring up the hornets nest. Considering its vast muslim armies i wonder the fallout wasnt twenty times worse. But it was the UK that bore the brunt of the murderous reaction. We can all watch that case with interest. This would be the same France that was also seriously concerned about islamic fundies in the 90s (when i did the research) preaching on the streets of London. Long before the US really understoood what islamofascism meant. I believe the US thought terrorism akin to freedom fighting at that point perhaps Clinton vcould remind us. Styen may not be an american himself but he certainly has found a willing audience that would rather divide up the west with America Alone on his basis than see this as a fight for the West in general. Hardly helpful.

  120. >>>[9 Million] It’s about the same as all people killed by the Germans in WW2.<<<

    not even close.

  121. Logic a la Frank.

    Frank wrote:
    "Since most abortions are natural, it’s more like 27 million abortions, but since abortion is safer for woman than childbirth, the result is a net gain of a few hundred Britons."

    and I wrote:
    "He (Frank) actually does believe that the more abortions that Britons have, the more of us there will be because none will have died in childbirth."

    I’d say that the second paragraph is an accurate rendition of the first, which means that Frank is the idiot which ‘Dummy’ instinctively considered him to be.

    And in the internet age, where what has been typed is visible to all eyes, Frank disputes the above.
    _____________________________________________

    Allan,

    "I’d say that the second paragraph is an accurate rendition of the first"

    Because you’re dishonest or because you’re stupid?

    "offensive remarks"

    Like "recreational abortion", moron?
    Wednesday, January 3, 2007 at 09:40PM | Frank O’Dwyer

  122. "This thread is so depressing. Modern Europe sounds really like its lost its way. Wandering in the wilderness, suicidal.

    Doesn’t an unborn baby have any rights? Do you not believe that life is sacred? "

    Notme,

    There are fewer abortions per capita in the Netherlands than any other country in the world, including the USA.

    Many in America talk God and the unborn up while in reality they do nothing to stop abortion happening apart from sweeping it under the carpet.

    Morally reprehensible if you ask me. Thinking they are creating a Garden of Eden by ignoring all the snakes.

  123. "Frank wrote:
    "Since most abortions are natural, it’s more like 27 million abortions, but since abortion is safer for woman than childbirth, the result is a net gain of a few hundred Britons.""

    Indeed I did write that. Allan@Aberdeen’s mistake is he forgets to pretend to believe his own bullshit.

    Remember, in Allan@Aberdeen’s fantasy land a pregnant woman is anything from 2 to 7+ people even before she gives birth! Giving birth doesn’t change the numbers (apart from killing a few women, but this doesn’t bother Allan), just the location. Thus in Allan’s world giving birth reduces the population.

    Meanwhile back in reality, "Britons" are born. Thus the result of the pregnancies that have been terminated so far has been to save the lives of on the order of hundreds of women, and to kill nobody. A net gain of a few hundred.

    Sure, if those women gave birth things would be different, especially for the women killed. However we are not obliged to consider hypothetical births in the equation any more than we need consider all the babies that haven’t resulted from all the women who refused to sleep with Allan@Aberdeen.

  124. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4883462.stm

    From the link, it is stated that the UK’s maternal mortality rate is between 6 and 10 per 100,000 pregnancies and that most of those are as a result of traffic and other accidents. Now, if ‘most’ means over 50% then the maternal mortality rate owing to pregnancy is something like 3 per 100,000. And if there are 200,000 abortions in the UK, then that is a notional 6 deaths in pregnancy avoided, and that is at the top of the scale.

    Meanwhile, on this link:

    http://www.cmf.org.uk/literature/content.asp?context=article&id=1784

    can be read (with references):

    However an in-depth Finnish study of deaths within a year of delivery, miscarriage or abortion from 1987-94 gives a more complete and disturbing picture. Compared to women who gave birth, women who aborted were 3.5 times more likely to die within the year.[6,7] The risk of death from suicide was seven times higher than the risk of suicide within a year of childbirth.

    References:
    Reardon DC. Abortion is four times deadlier than childbirth. The Post- Abortion Review 2000;8(2)
    Gissler M et al. Pregnancy associated deaths in Finland 1987- 1994. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica 1997;76:651-657

    So, Frank. How many women do you think committed suicide because of post-abortion depression? Would there be more than four? And where did you get the ‘hundreds’ from – were you obviously performing ‘mental’ arithmetic?

  125. Frank: "Thus the result of the pregnancies that have been terminated so far has been to save the lives of on the order of hundreds of women, and to kill nobody."

    What!?….the abortions killed unborn babies…how is this even arguable? What kind of hippie brainwashing have you undergone?

    As long as I’ve been labeled a traditionalists, I’ll add that recreational drugs kill and divorce is bad for the young children involved.

  126. notme,

    "the abortions killed unborn babies…how is this even arguable?"

    Indeed, why do you argue such nonsense? Babies are born. As long as you pretend that every stage of pregnancy – even a single cell – is the same as a baby, then people who are familiar with the facts will simply ignore you. For a start, if babies were really involved then they could simply be handed to someone else to look after and there would be no problem.

  127. You seem to be playing on words, Frank. Are you implying that there’s an inherent contradiction in the expression "unborn baby"? The mere cutting of the umbilical cord and the initiation of lung function is too minor a change to constitute the newborn baby as a person by itself so it’s obvious that the personhood of the baby began a goodish while before the cord was severed.

    But when?

    Scientifically it is impossible to pinpoint the exact moment when a foetus or baby becomes a person because the very concept of person is a philosophical and theological one and not a scientific concept. Scientifically even you are not a person and are thereby worth around one pound or whatever we can get for your lipids and proteins.

  128. Adrian,

    Welcome back and happy new year! Is it a flying visit or have they let you out early for good behaviour? 🙂

    "Are you implying that there’s an inherent contradiction in the expression "unborn baby"?"

    Yes.

    "initiation of lung function is too minor a change to constitute the newborn baby as a person by itself"

    Why? Because you say so? Even the Bible speaks of the breath of life, doesn’t it? Profound physiological changes occur at birth, there is nothing minor about it.

    "the very concept of person is a philosophical and theological one and not a scientific concept"

    Personhood is a legal concept. For thousands of years societies have had no difficulty in establishing when a person’s life begins: live birth.

    Now that does NOT mean that a foetus’s life is of no consequence, especially in the later stages of pregnancy. It does however mean that referring to it as a ‘baby’ or a ‘person’ all throughout the pregnancy – most especially from conception – is misleading and counterfactual nonsense.

    We can also see that when it is an emergency choice between the life of the foetus and the life of the mother (indisputed person) even the pro-life would almost(*) invariably pick the mother. Why would this be if they were both persons and therefore of equal value?

    (*)Amazingly there are some ‘pro-life’ who would not.

  129. By Frank O’Dwyer:

    "Meanwhile back in reality, "Britons" are born. Thus the result of the pregnancies that have been terminated so far has been to save the lives of on the order of hundreds of women, and to kill nobody. A net gain of a few hundred."

    Frank, I’m challenging your ‘few hundred’ on my most recent post. Where do you get your ‘net gain of a few hundred’ from?

  130. We can also see that when it is an emergency choice between the life of the foetus and the life of the mother (indisputed person) even the pro-life would almost(*) invariably pick the mother. Why would this be if they were both persons and therefore of equal value?

    Bloody excellent question Frank id love to hear the reponse.

    Please can any of you indignant ‘pro-lifers’ explain why one in 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage and whose fault that is? Nature or Gods own selection process? Surely if babies life needs to end then so should mothers by default – as they are one in the same apparently.

  131. Alison.

    The standard survival argument, is that a mother , as an adult, does not have to survive infancy, and can also make more babies; but a baby in the wild has fewer chances, especially with no mum.

    But women seem to have another point of view. The ones I know would rather their baby survived, if
    there has to be a choice.

    Your last paragraph sounds a bit un-hinged. So I’ll ignore that.

  132. You sound unhinged generally Dummy so shall i ignore you? You argue that birth rates would be improved if we dispense with abortion – what kind of a dummy are you? At what point will you answer my question on your wonderful God (?) or Natures own abortion tehcniques meeted out on women who are trying for a baby and really want to have one – otherwise known as miscarriage? Wouldnt they have benfited birth rates a tiny bit? Do you think?

    The point i made above is that you wish to choose to decide for a woman whether she can carry on a pregnancy rather than allow her that choice. About as unhinged as you can get.

  133. I’ll assume you’re not unhinged.

    You seem to be suggesting that the unavoidable loss of a baby/foetus through miscarriage somehow equates, or makes legitimate, the intentional destruction of a pegnancy through abortion.

    As if to say, we have one so why not the other ?

    Let’s play with that a bit. eg.
    It’s a bit like saying a concrete block once fell on someones head, so why not just stick my own head under a steam-hammer instead.

    That’s insane, and in the Frank O’Dwyer category of nuttiness. Please reconsider.

  134. LOL! So abortion is destruction and miscarriage is ‘loss’ now is it? Miscarriage is mostly down to the quality of sperm, Dummy. So by your logic that insists on women not having abortions to somehow save the planet lets also now insist that young men quit fucking around settle down and have babies earlier shall we? Since the situation is now so desperate and the simpler and effective means of encouraging childbirth in couples that want babies and ensuring children grow up wanted and in the best environment by establishing a better economic frame work for them to do so is so clearly lost on you. You see, sperm is healthier in under 25s and less miscarriages are recorded in pregnancies by males of this age – so we have the means to also reduce miscarriages and natural ‘loss’. Nature seems to be dishing men out a bit of advice. They actually have a responsibility in child raising! Care to start insisting on enforced reproduction? We could set up reproduction factories or something since you view it as such an unemotional experinece and would have women churning out babies ad infinitum.

  135. "Women who become pregnant by older men are at far greater risk of having a miscarriage, new research suggests.

    A new study found that the risk of miscarriage to expectant mothers was 60 per cent higher when the father was aged 40 or over compared to when he was 25 to 29 years old.

    The risk of losing the baby was also about three times greater when the man was aged between 35 and 39 years of age than if he were younger than 25.

    The research by American scientists appears to confirm that men have biological clocks as well as women, and that their chances of producing a healthy baby reduce as they get older"

  136. That’s an interesting point. Ignoring the ad-hominem stuff, I mean.

    I’d like to know what these exact figures are, if you don’t mind. Because 3 times the risk if the risk is only 0.1%, for example, doen’t necesarily make the project ‘risky’.

    The reason I ask is that it’s obvious that the fertility of women (and men) in their 30s and 40s, dwarfs the fertility of the younger age groups, so I think your point is a bit bogus.

    I can see the evidence at the school gates.

  137. How is it bogus. I think you are arguing from a very strange vantage point. To argue against abortion on the grounds of declining birth rates is a nonsense since you are arguing singularly against it. If you have a problem with abortion on moral grounds then by all means go ahead. However. Natural abortion or miscarriage can be avoided and you seem to be saying we can ignore that now. If you are in favour of improving birth rates by reducing or wiping out abortion then we cannot. You cannot focus singularly on abortion and ignore other means to improve birthrates Dummy. That doesnt make any sense. In for a penny in for a pound. If natural abortion can be reduced then you should follow your logic through to its natural conclusion and also agree we should do everything in our power to avoid it for the sake of humanity.

  138. I’m against abortion for a range of reasons, not just to save the nation, as you think.

    I think you’re charging off down a blind alley. Of course it makes sense to encourage earlier settling down and having children. One reason families are small could be that by the time people start, then they only have time for one or two before they start getting ‘knackered’. (Speaking for myself, I assume there are others like me).

    That doesn’t make your point about sperm quality anything better than a red herring. I know myself that’s it’s perfectly feasible for the older dude to father healthy and happy children, and the mums are quite able to carry them without miscarrying.

    I think you’ll find as well, that the party lifestyle and particularly smoking and heavy drinking messes a bloke’s potential much more than being 40, say, or older.

    And it’s not necessarily the man’s fault. The pregnancy has to start somewhere in the womb and if it starts in the wrong place through bad luck or having damaged tubes, then that’s nothing to do with the man’s contribution.

    It’s all a bit hit-or-miss, so I take the view that a successful pregnancy is even more valuable than it would be if we didn’t have miscarriage as an affliction.

  139. Let me just add my two cents here, and this is my opinion and mine alone.
    My female friends and I have all reached our thirties and forties without ever having had an abortion. How? Responsible birth control. It’s not really that difficult and it elliminates the need for abortion. Conversely most of us know someone who has had an abortions, and guess what was the cause? Lax birth control, drink, missing a pill, taking a risk, condom breakage. Who gets to pay the price of this clean up? Why the unborn of course.
    As far as I can see most abortions are not the result of rape or feotal illness or danger to the mother’s life, but down to inconvenience and unfounded fear.
    Frank’s assertion that a baby is not a baby until birth is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard too. What, is the vagina a magic lane? ‘No no nearly nearly, whooop , you’re through! Now you’re a baby! I don’t know what the hell you were earlier, but now you’re a baby, congratulations!’
    Rubbish. Call into any day care clinic and have a quick chat to the expectant mothers there, you’d be lynched alive for suggestion to them what they are carrying is some kind of…what ever it is Frank think pregnant women carry, puppies perhaps.
    Women demand abortions, women demand the right to have an abortion, let’s call it what it is. A form of birth control. Unsavoury though it may seem to say it, many women are disposing of perfectly healthy unborn babies dues to lifestyle.
    It’s a sad reflection on our lives that human life, or the beginning of it at least is so viewed as so cheap a commodity.
    I’m not an anti- abortionist either, but rather a drummer of personal responsibilty. Don’t want to get pregnant, fine, this is not the dark ages, there are so MANY options out there to avoid it that there is no excuse in this day and age to find yourself in a position of needing an abortion.
    You may now throw rocks at me if you wish.

  140. Dummy – you can argue against abortion for your own reasons or if you are say a religious (islamic or christian both the same) fundamentalist by all means but please dont argue that it is responsible to force women to have a baby to support declining birth rates. That is im sorry to say a nonsense argument. Of course if you make it illegal women will choose to self abort or seek it elsewhere. In Ireland women leave the country. You would have to be pretty desperate to do that i would think. And in country which offers no abortion i imagine you would do all possible to prevent a pregnancy in spite of any rules on contraception but NEWSFLASH it fails! Including the almost percect pill which in my case also did. We have this funny thing called ‘free will’ and you cannot legislate for that. Equally you cannot argue for birth rate revival purely on the idea of banning abortion. If you wish to choose a pro life option for your own moral reasons then that is up to you but as i said it makes no sense to argue against abortion and then disregard miscarriage prevention.

  141. My female friends and I have all reached our thirties and forties without ever having had an abortion. How? Responsible birth control

    Good for you FatMammyCat. Can you suggest how i mamaged not to when responsibly taking the pill (and properly) then please?

  142. No Alison I cannot, perhaps you were ill. Perhaps you were takig antibiotics, perhaps were just the unfortuate tiny percentage of women for whom the pill fails. Do you genuinely not accept that most unwanted pregnancies are through lack of responsibility?

  143. Ive just read that more Irish women have abortions per head of population than Dutch or Danish women. So, whatever the legal situation, abortion is very much a need for Irish women faced with an unwanted pregnancy. And I would rather expect that given the lack of a facility they would be far more likely to ensure 150% they dont get themselves into trouble. How does that happen then?

    The current nos of abortions in the UK is not too far off the figure pre the abortion law. All those risky backstreet abortions when the condom was available and furthermore i would have expected women to be less likely in those days to be horsing around outside of marriage given the strict social norms. So what gives? You mean to say women can and do get pregant despite all the attempts to dissuade them otherwise?

    Contraception isnt failsafe. A friend of mine got pregnant using a condom with spermicide and taking the morning after pill within 12 hours. It happens. Get real people.

    Id like to survey those having abortions and find out how pleasant an experience it was. Mine wasnt. noone seemed to be having the time of their lives in the clinic that day and look like they would rush to do it all again. I wonder how many would have reconsidered if the apparently non counting male stood up to be counted and offered some support. Or is that too radical?

  144. Nobody said contraception was 100% foolproof. I said most unwanted pregnancies are due to lack of personal responsibilities, that is my opinion. What is yours?

  145. I’m with you on miscarriage-prevention, whatever that is, it gets my vote.

    I’m also in agreement that perhaps we should encourage people to settle down earlier, and give up the extended adolescence that many adults now take for granted.

    I don’t believe I’m arguing for forcing women to have babies. I am arguing that voluntary abortion of the child, for no good or legal reason, is wrong, and also against the statute law. That’s not the same as forcing women to have babies.

    Abortion as contraception – is a fact. In the first year after the abortion act 50,000 abortions were carried out. Now it’s about 220,000 per year in the UK. Our population hasn’t changed much since the sixties, so therefore 170,000 of these abortions can safely be presumed as not for medical reasons. ie. contraception after the fact. Which is even more outrageous nowadays that we have morning-after pills the results of which do not enter the abortion statistics (but they are in fact abortions too).

    One sad side-effect is, many of these women will come to regret losing their baby, either right away or some time in the future. In other words if they’d had the child regardless of their immediate wishes for an abortion, they would have cherished the child and looked forward to it’s birth just a few more weeks into the pregnancy. It happens all the time thanks to the propaganda and arm-twisting of the abortion trade. Remember it’s a business out for a profit, just like any other.

  146. You think being pro-life is about being a fundamentalist ?

    What do you think about murder. screwing around, or stealing. or lying. For or against ? Fundamentalist or not-fundamentalist ?

  147. I think some women are unlucky. You dont have to guess FMC, the pill failed and not due to anti bios or being sick which im well aware of and was ever careful with. It just did because well it can and does! It isnt failsafe. As do condoms and as does PCP. I just cant stand people lecturing as if it was a walk in the park and a good old laugh where the majority of women are heartless cruel idiots. Of course women make mistakes and young women in particular are irresponsible. Sexual behaviour is such that people end up in situations where they might take risks. It is designed to make us all act like idiots and submit to our sexuality. Id just rather not be on the side of those who feel they can lecture and insist you pay for that mistake with the rest of your life and screw it all up in the process causing in some cases shame and hurt to those around you. I am not FOR abortion as a free for all wonderful option. It is a painful and hard decision and lesson and one with enormous consequences. Im not sure where people with high standing christian beliefs (not necessarily you of course i just mean generally the pro lofers are fundi nutjobs)) get off condemning and labelling people. Im sure Christ for example was againt that. Cast the first stone and all that.

  148. Dummy – as i mentioned earlier the same nos of abortions (recorded that is as it was shameful to get pregnant) occured pre the abortion law and occurs now. You cant and wont stop women having abortions. So. You need to ensure that the majority do so safely.

  149. "Im not sure where people with HIHG STANDING CHRISTIAN BELIEFS (not necessarily you of course i just mean generally the pro lofers are FUNDI NUTJOBS)) get off CONDEMNING AND LABELLING PEOPLE. Im sure Christ for example was againt that. Cast the first stone and all that"

    – uh huh

  150. Are you saying then that in the first year of free-and-easy abortions, people still went to the tried-and-trusted back street abortionists for an off-the-books abortion ?

    You mean the horrible disgusting NHS with it’s legions of surgeons and operating theatres was playing second fiddle to the one-man bands running the business out of a shed ?

  151. I’m not lecturing. I did say it was just my opinion. Clearly you have been deeply affected by your own decision and quite obviously it was no picnic and I think-although I might be wrong- you are probably still torn over what you did. It was very probably the best decision you could have made for yourself at that time in your life and I would no more condemn you for it than I would condemn anyone, but I’ll be willing to bet you have day when you wonder about that too, about whether you might have coped, and was it really right for you. And that Alison is why I am not talking about you at all.
    I am talking about the new more casual attitude to abortion that is prevalant these days.
    You mention Ireland, well here a growing mumber of younger peope-not just women, because it takes two to tango- are taking unbelievable risks with sex. STDs are climbing rapidly as are unwanted pregnancies. A free for all abortion notion is exactly what we have at the moment. Get pregnant, not a problem one flight and quick consult and a over night stay, problem solved, with little thought to the action, the reprecussions, the pyschlogical effects years later, none. Again I say, not everyone, but it is becoming more and more common and that I find it worrying.
    I’m not trying to upset you or even argue the toss. Abortion is here, that’s it, but we can question it and wonder about the attitudes towards it, especially in the younger generation.

  152. "Contraception isnt failsafe. A friend of mine got pregnant using a condom with spermicide and taking the morning after pill within 12 hours. It happens. Get real people."

    why does this bad fortune give you a right to kill a helpless baby ? is the veil of a few inches of belly really all that’s needed to save your conscience and compassion from being stimulated ?

    there is a very simple way to not get pregnant / impregnate someone, keep your dangly bit in your pants and cross your blummin’ legs !

    is the need for self indulgence so great, the ability to either abstain or accept the risks and responsibilities so out of reach that the only answer is to murder a person you are responsible for creating ? do you fancy that being mother also gives you the right of executioner ? when I think of my own early memories : tears being wiped, warm hugs, good slaps and endless love…………… oh folks what cruel creatures we are that these capacities can exist simultaneously with our capacity for murder, have we not all experienced kindness ? do we not in our hearts know right from wrong ?)

    abortion will always exist. if it is illegal people will go and get butchered in alley ways.
    but that does not mean that I or society have to fund or facilitate it, ex-vetro murder and rape will always exist to, does that mean we need to nullify the rights of the victim and provide hygienic facilities ?

    if you find yourself in the sh!t after an illegal abortion you deserve about as much sympathy as a terrorist who blows his own arms off.

    (which of course means you should get all available treatment and be returned to as full a health as possible before trial.)

    alright here’s juans big question to every body,
    your pregnant, you have the wee ones room done up, teddies, treats and baby monitors, your glowing (as mothers do) with the life inside you, you cant wait to hold the wee thing in your arms, sing it wee songs and watch it laugh and giggle…… suddenly some dirty git jumps out of an alley, pushes you over and boots your belly hard as he can,
    did he just commit an act of assault or did he murder your baby ? is it your due attention and acceptance that gives the right to life ?
    the fact that ‘mammy’ is in full compliance in a sanitary environment is possibly even more disturbing than the above scenario.

  153. Alison, I have to go back to work, to was lovely to talk with you. Again I did not wish to be seen to be lecturing, rather to have just given a voice to my genuine concerns and thoughts.
    Later. FMC

  154. FMC – I actually didnt mean you at all re the lecturing – sorry if it came across that way! I think you are more thoughtful on this than most and id rather a debate with someone who has an opinion but is more willing to accept abortion as ‘necessary’ if you take my meaning. Actually i described my own situation above but i would also add that of the women there that day the majority were not flippant or using it as a form of contraception. I felt so sorry for them all.

    Of course I did feel that way and for a long time afterward it affected me hugely. I recall an hysterical woman calling the nurses when i was there and asking when the depression would go. The nurses explained she had been raped.

    It isnt something you forget. But i now realise it was definitely the right thing to do. The thought that i would have been tied into that uncaring man for life is hideous.

    Nice to talk to you too.

  155. Are you saying then that in the first year of free-and-easy abortions

    eh? No im talking about the nos of abortions carried out before it was legal.

  156. I see. So before abortions were legal they were running at >200,000.

    And the year they became legal, they went down to 50K ?

  157. ‘if you find yourself in the sh!t after an illegal abortion you deserve about as much sympathy as a terrorist who blows his own arms off’

    And presumably a legal one. Well juan. I do hope you dont call yourself a christian though i accept people think that way. I forgive you.

  158. dummy,
    "I see. So before abortions were legal they were running at >200,000.
    And the year they became legal, they went down to 50K ?" – the introduction of contraceptive education has more to do with this than the bizarre idea that premission was some sort of detterant.

    Alison,
    read the brakets section in my little post after your quote.

    i think youve mistaken christianity for flower power.

    "their blood cries to the Lord for vengance…."

    i know i sound harsh, theres no point in being against something but "oh no not if i offend anyone" –
    abortion is murder. no child needs to starve in the uk, even if they did they should still get a shot.

    it is not necessity that drives abortion, the woman and the kid could get by, its ambition and convenience. only in situations where the child / mother could not survive (i think any mother worth her salt would pick the life of the child) should it ever happen.

    it is the desire for the good life, pride and fear that drives abortion, the same thing that drives all murder all over the world

  159. Juan, well said. I take it you would agree then that since the advent of contracepive education, abortion has exploded by a factor of roughly 450% ?

  160. and as for legal abortion we are all rsponsible for that. I help pay for it.

    still im not going to be purposly mean, ive done some bad stuff in my time and when i consider the noughts i get in my belly over it, the sweating and the panic, im glad i dont have something like this sitting on my shoulders.

    i feel sorry for anyone who has done this, it is not nice to be the one who is responsible, but my compassion and my voice will always be for the victims.

  161. "Juan, well said. I take it you would agree then that since the advent of contracepive education, abortion has exploded by a factor of roughly 450% "

    actually i was saying the opposite. i think abortion has become a casual option in recent times, for all sorts of reasons.

  162. What’s bizarre is not the notion that permission was a deterrent to abortion. Clearly there are law-abiding people around.

    Nope, what’s bizarre is the belief that prior to free-n-easy abortion, 200,000 backstreet jobs were being done annually.

    Would a woman really choose a back-street one over a nice secure and CONFIDENTIAL one in an NHS clinic .

    I’m challenging the assertion that the number of abortions that were done before the abortion act equals the number that were done after the act. It’s total nonsense.

  163. Like i said juan. In a totally unique situation where the reasons are as varied as they are desperate I am not going to judge someone call them a murderer or sit on a moral high horse over the issue because it is quite unlike murder given its uniqueness of circumstances. Its legal and im fortunate to live in a country that whether right or left are in power considers it so. I accept that people will always feel strongly about this issue. Its an emotive one. But to force someone to do something against their will is also wrong and there is name for that too. In accounting my own situation it was more to give an understanding of what actually can and does go on rather than the abstract pictures some people have in their head of the majority of women who take this decision. The purpose of this post was not to discuss abortion.

  164. Alison, it pains me to say this. Abortion is not legal in the UK for lifestyle reasons.

    Therefore you must have been asked to give a different reason for needing one.

  165. The estimated number of abortions carried out before the legalisation of abortion was in the hundreds of thousands. Therefore they were carried out illegally and in what is termed a back street abortion clinic.

    Before the 1967 Abortion Act was passed most women who wanted to end their pregnancies would have had to resort to self-induced or backstreet abortions.

    Accurate figures for women injured by illegal abortion before 1967 are not available, as many women would not admit that their injuries resulted from abortion for fear of incriminating themselves and the illegal abortionist. In 1959, however, it was estimated by a parliamentary committee that the treatment of abortion accounted for as many as 20% of gynaelogical admissions withing the NHS. In 1966 the Home Office estimated that 100,000 abortions were being carried out each year. Other estimates put this figure at 150,000.

    Widespread injury and infection often led to infertility and other permanent health problems, and death by septicaemia (blood poisoning) or haemorrhage (bleeding) was not uncommon. In 1966 up to 40 women a year in the UK died from the complications of unsafe abortion.

  166. Correct Dummy. Most could have figured that out themselves so i dont think it pained you to say it all.

  167. mitigating circumstance is the warm friend of the pleading guilty all over the world too, I imagine, what is unique is the utter helplessness of the victim and that the primary group around the victim are the perpatrators, and therefore there is no one to agitate on their behalf. the carers were the killers. I could cry.
    similar circumstances underpin honour killings.

    "But to force someone to do something against their will is also wrong and there is name for that too"

    if someone is forced to get pregnant then I would suggest adoption, whoever I can see how that could render someone resentful enough to kill, that does not make it right, to suggest that in engaging in procreation is not asking to get pregnant to my mind reinforces the comments of ‘dummy’ that it is motivated by the indulgence in a selfish life style and out look. if I fathered a child to a prostitute I would be prepared to claim it and raise it.

    " In 1966 up to 40 women a year in the UK died from the complications of unsafe abortion".
    imagine all those poor stick up men who died when their gun backfired, clearly, we need endorsed facilities here.

  168. anyway, this is leaving a bad taste in my mouth, i am very sorry for anyone who did this.
    but i must raise my voice for those who have no use for compasion, those, who for someone else’s reasons, were murdered.

  169. Alison wrote:
    "In 1966 the Home Office estimated that 100,000 abortions were being carried out each year. Other estimates put this figure at 150,000.

    Widespread injury and infection often led to infertility and other permanent health problems, and death by septicaemia (blood poisoning) or haemorrhage (bleeding) was not uncommon. In 1966 up to 40 women a year in the UK died from the complications of unsafe abortion."

    So from these numbers, 40 women died from say 100,000 abortions. That is a remarkably low rate for self-operated procedures? Are you sure that these procedures were done with knitting needles in back alleys? As far as I’m aware, prior to 1967 the abortions were carried out by the same personnel who carried them out in 1966 except that the women went through the front door of the clinic rather than the back door (whence, ‘back street’ leading to the back door).
    I’m now reading that there may be a link between abortion and breast cancer, the hypothesis being that hormones from the pregnancy start changes in the breast tissue which are suddenly arrested by the termination. I’ll get back on this but, when one considers the suicide rate and this (possible) link to cancer, it looks like the ‘hundreds’ of women saved by abortion is a fantasy and that nature’s way is best.

    Frank, where are you?

  170. Allan – why self operated? You mean in illegal clinics where it would thus be harder to find accurate figures. Which you go on to cite so im not sure your point other than to suggest 40 women a year dying is ok in your holier than thou world. You are rather missing the point regards the desperation that must ensue to take such a risk and die for it.

    Would it make you feel better if i told you that The World Health Organisation estimates unsafe abortions cause the deaths of at least 200 women each day, over 70,000 women each year. Or that between two million and seven million women each year survive unsafe abortion, but sustain long-term damage or disease. Or say that 95% of unsafe abortions take place in developing countries where they must really be a selfish old bunch worried about risking cancer. In many African countries, up to 70% of women treated for abortion complications are under 20 years old.
    Unsafe abortion is responsible for one in eight maternal deaths. Feel better?

  171. This post was not about abortion and judging others.

    It was about globalization so allow me to try to bring it back on track.

    The calculations on birth rate are dependent on things staying as they are now and more often than not predications are not correct. These don’t appear to count in eastern Europe for example. Poland experienced a baby boom in the 1980’s when youth in western Europe is a vanishing resource. An abundance of young people free to work within the EU and settle in the UK. Many of them coming to the UK.

    The same demographic problem that Europe faces is also faced by America. The native US population is below the replacement rate in fertility. This is partly true in all of the industrialized countries of the world where globalization spreads.

    Perhaps we should be being critical of the system of pace industrial nations move at and balance this but to put it all down to contraception and abortion is a bit fucking daft. For a start controlling nos of children reduces endemic poverty and cost of living IS also a factor as to why people don’t have 2, 3 or 4 children which is what would be required to reverse the trend in depopulation. With women in the workforce now contributing to a two income based salary out of necessity rather than luxury the lack of their contribution isn’t sustainable now for many families.

    Added to which frankly the number of single women unable to find a bloke even willing to commit to a relationship let alone have kids is on the rise. Bridget Jones is culturally popular for a reason. Why dont you rattle those cages eh?

    Parts of Europe are using welfare state to support women at work and in family life and encourage both. They are successful. Whatever the obvious lack of success of protectionism as a rule they recognize at least that we live and work in global economies that put enormous pressures on family lives and the point at which we can start a family. To seek to provide for a family life is no bad thing. To raise a child to succeed and do well which is every parents desire requires an amount of stability not everyone is able to afford or provide immediately which is why they put it off. Mostly those people who face these issues are the kind of hard working people who have a good idea of how to contribute to an economy,and not sponge off it like dole scum. They work and pay for the stability they deserve.

    In a 2004 Journal of Population Economics paper, Alicia Adsera provided an insightful explanation for the variation in birth rates: the structure of labour markets:

    During the last two decades fertility rates have decreased and have become positively correlated with female participation rates across OECD countries. She uses a panel of 23 OECD nations to study how different labour market arrangements shaped these trends. High unemployment and unstable contracts, common in Southern Europe, depress fertility, particularly of younger women. One comment on this report examined this and summised that Southern European countries abandoned one sort of social security (informal, religion, family, and neighbourhood based) but did not put into place practices which can replace that stability. To increase lifetime income though early skill-acquisition and minimize unemployment risk, young women postpone (or abandon) childbearing.

    They are not to be blamed for what is a social set up thrust upon them which leading economies greatly benefit from and bigots then curiously deplore.

    Further, both a large share of public employment, by providing employment stability, and generous maternity benefits linked to previous employment, such as those in Scandinavia, boost fertility of the 25–29 and 30–34 year old women. And even in countries without a stable employment track record such as France the same is occurring.

    Fertility rates are improving in some euro countries and according to recent figures at least half of those are born by couples out of wedlock. Which makes me wonder how many could possibly be Islamic as that is hardly the acceptable norm is it.

    The purpose of this post was to highlight this success and with no adulation of Europes overall systems to any huge degree point out that it is worth considering. There is nothing so wrong with focusing on creating an environment where people want to have kids. My view is a marriage is better. But id settle for an environment where a family work life balance was achieved. Even marriage is undervalued whereas you used to benefot from tax breaks at least.

    The idea that we can stop globalization from turning at the pace that it does or ban abortion to improve fertility which was *bizarrely* introduced to this thread earlier on is for a start a much tougher route to follow and something of a red herring. Clearly desperate women will seek abortions no matter what.

    Isnt the world dancing to the tune of globalization at the moment? So who are you to condemn the very women contributing to it only a tiny % of whom are these much maligned ‘high powered career women’ a few of whom opt out of child raising. For fuck sake so do nuns! We aren’t the same as we were 200, 100 years ago. That my friends is the price of the progress that you all enjoy.

  172. It pains me all right. But if you’re going to go round mis-representing that abortion is legal or a right for lifestyle reasons, that wants challenging.

    As you know anyone wanting one for lifestyle reasons is going to be passed through the system until they fall into the hands of the kind of people who want to do this ‘work’. And you’ll have to lie through your teeth at every stage.

    But the figures you suggest don’t add up. If abortion was so popular before 1967, how come the numbers dropped to ‘only’ 50,000 that year, the first year it was legal.

    Could it be that the abortion lobby inflated the figures ? Or is it your position that 50000 is only a small percentage for that year and the rest were done on the ‘back-street’ ?

  173. Alison, you cited the death rate in the UK before and after 1967 so I queried them. Now you’ve diverted to the third world where you quote death rates from ‘unsafe’ abortion. Would it not perhaps have been safer to have given birth? Are any medical procedures or interventions ‘safe’ in the areas of the world which you have diverted yourself to?

    Now, back to the figures which you cited:
    up to 40 deaths from 100,000 (or up to 150,000) abortions, carried out in back alleys using self-induced methods in 1966 is a remarkably low death rate. 40 per 100,000 – and under such dangerous conditions. Hmmm.
    I have to come back to this term ‘back street’. Were abortions pre-1967 actually carried out in the middle of a back street, near gardens and bike sheds, or did women whose pregnancies were to be terminated enter the clinic through the back door, from the ‘back street’, to be treated by the same practitioner both pre- and post-1967?
    I’m only asking so, if you don’t know or don’t want to answer, just say so. Then I’ll ask Frank.

  174. "With women in the workforce now contributing to a two income based salary out of necessity rather than luxury the lack of their contribution isn’t sustainable now for many families. "

    That’s crucial. All that money chasing goods makes the prices go up so the couple is no better off in the end. The only beneficiaries are the people who need labour – can now get two for the price of one.

    "Fertility rates are improving in some euro countries and according to recent figures at least half of those are born by couples out of wedlock. Which makes me wonder how many could possibly be Islamic as that is hardly the acceptable norm is it. "

    No that fits. I think in Islam they practice polygamy. You get a minimum 4 official wives, plus I believe short -term marriages of maybe 2 days’ duration (ie mistresses)
    And of course you own your female non-muslim servants and I think they’re fair game. Happy to be contradicted by someone who knows better.

  175. Dummy. I never intentionally implied much less stated it was legal for all and any ‘lifestyle reasons’. I do know the process. The figures quoted are the Home Office figures, perhaps it coincided with the more widespread and better use of the pill for unmarried women? An interesting time for birth control as a whole during that period. I dont have time to check that. The point is surely that abortions OCCURED illegally Dummy, or are you saying they didnt and dont because that would certainly be a nonsense.

    I will look into those figs because im sure there is sense to it somewhere. At any rate we wont ever agree on this issue so it is becoming somewhat pointless. It was interesting arguing with you on this one Dummy, but im off to do some work. My only further contribution here is above.

  176. It wasnt a diversion Allan – it was an attempt to point out that women will seek to terminate pregnancies out of desperation wherever you are in the world. In other words there are reasons that affect the decision to not have the baby and take such drastic measures.

    Some of the backstreet abortionists were unqualified, some were midwives and some were struck-off or foreign doctors. The term back street meant illegal clinic or back room. Some women though of course practised abortions with knitting needles to puncture the embryonic sack. In any such practise without proper medical facilities and you could die of septacaemia Allan.

  177. For Allan a better explanation from the women who expreineced them – and UK women not Africans to help keep it relevant. Taken from The World of Vera Drake

    "I had an abortion in 1960…two Harley St psychiatrists, a doctor in a seedy surgery in Half Moon Street then the abortion in Ealing. Parents in 1960 were not willing to discuss such ‘disgusting happenings’. I was on my own, you were made to feel dirty by the doctors etc, my father would not speak to me for 5-6 months, and I was forever made to feel unclean. How everything has improved. I would never wish this to happen to anyone"

    JG, Portugal

    "I had a "backstreet abortion" back in 1965 and it wasn’t a very pleasant experience. However, I think there’s a lot of myth about what backstreet abortions actually are. They were not performed down some dark alleyway but by professional doctors. Also, from my experience at least, the associated deaths and complications weren’t from the abortion being carried out unprofessionally but by poor medical equipment"

    Anonymous, UK

    "In Portugal all women still live with guilt, shame, sense of loss and the burden of a trials and maybe prison… Above all they still face tremendous health problems due to illegal abortions, almost forty years after it became legal in Britain. It is for this and many other reasons that I deeply sorry to say that we are still in the very far end of Europe" ( it is estimated that some 10 000 women come from Portugal and Ireland to the UK)

    T, Lisbon, Portugal

    "It’s also important to note that pregnancy out of marriage carried much more stigma than today, even in the so-called "Swinging 60s." Women who had babies outside of marriage were subject to dismissal from their jobs and thus, their livelihoods. Many who were pregnant and abandoned by the father had difficulty finding jobs and supporting themselves"

    D, USA

    "I am now 50 years old and have never been in the position of having to make the choice of abortion or not. When I was a child I lived in a village and my mother told me of a woman in our village who went to a back street abortionist to get rid of the baby, her 4th in four years to her husband. He came home from work that afternoon to find she had bled to death in the house after the "procedure". That would have been in the late 1950’s. I got pregnant at 17 while still at school and unmarried, my mother was there for me every step of the way, my son is 32"

    Denise Wilden, Maidenhead, UK

  178. fatmammycat,

    "Frank’s assertion that a baby is not a baby until birth is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard too. "

    Why? Perhaps you can share your less ridiculous assertion as to which things are and are not babies?

    Before you answer here are some facts about babies that would be totally uncontroversial if we weren’t talking about abortion:

    – You can leave the baby in its cot while you go answer the door
    – You can dress the baby up in baby clothes (blue for a boy, pink for a girl)
    – You (or the father, or anyone) can feed baby food to the baby.
    – The mother can visit New York while the baby stays with a relative in London
    – You can drop the baby off at the creche
    – You (or the father, or anyone) can change the baby’s nappy
    – If you were to put a baby inside a woman, it would suffocate. The woman would probably be killed.

    Notice how none of these are true before birth.

    Now if someone wants to claim that shortly before birth there is a moral equivalence to be drawn, I won’t quibble. But it remains a simple statement of fact that even seconds before birth it is not exactly the same thing as baby. Earlier in the process it is not remotely the same as a baby. There are important biological, legal and even moral differences that cannot be ignored. Of course that doesn’t stop the ‘pro-life’ from trying.

  179. "In any such practise without proper medical facilities and you could die of septacaemia Allan."

    Septicaemia? Blood infection? Seems to be a lot of that happening now, what with poor hygiene in hospitals. It appears that the point made about infection is applicable across the full range of medical interventions, including abortion and birth.

    Now, on the matter of desperation to rid oneself of the foetus, had the foetus gone to term, was there not a very good adoption system functioning up to 1967?

    I know of three women who have had abortions:
    1 married one of my best friends. She had a late-term abortion twenty years ago when she was 17 – pregnant by her first partner who offered to support. Since termination, she has been unable to teke a pregnancy to term, all IVF has failed, and she and my friend have since divorced (he has children by a woman who did not have previous abortion(s)).
    2 is the sister of my partner and had two abortions when she was younger. She regrets them both enormously and has been unable to work for the past four years owing to depression. She’s now 40 and is unlikely to work again.
    3 is a former friend of my partner – she has three children and has had three abortions. For her, abortion was a convenience to be used as a means of birth control. One of the abortions was at 22 weeks and she had already had one child three years previously so – abnormal risk to health? I doubt it.

    Those are the abortions of which I am personally aware, and two women out of three deeply regret the fact; the other sees abortion as a recreation.

  180. Frank – your numbers. Where do you get them from?

  181. Frank,
    India has one of the world’s worst sex ratios of 931 females for every 1000 males. The newspapers tell us that there are around 80 million "missing" women. My question to you is are they really missing, since most of them were never born in the first place? If they aren’t missing, what should the Govt. do about it? Nothing?

  182. Allan,

    "Those are the abortions of which I am personally aware, and two women out of three deeply regret the fact;"

    Anecdotes, selection bias and recall bias.

    How many women do you know who deeply regret getting pregnant and giving birth?

    Also how many women do you think will share that kind of information with you?

    ‘Hello my name is Jean, I’ll be your waitress tonight, I recommend the shrimp and I feel just fine about the abortion I had 3 years ago’.

    "the other sees abortion as a recreation."

    Oh stop making it up. Nobody is having abortions as some kind of deranged entertainment at parties.

  183. Allan – How many women suffer from post natal depression?? Do stop talking crap. I can accept that people feel strongly opposed to the idea but only when they are rational. Recreation? Like you actually know. Fortunately noone has to listen to you – abortion is available to women here and will remain so no matter how evilly you make women out to be or how sick your own delusional fantasies are.

  184. Adrian,

    "The newspapers tell us that there are around 80 million "missing" women. "

    Argument from idiom. If the newspapers tell us that a celebrity has a bun in the oven, does it mean that Jennifer Aniston’s uterus is at 200 centigrade? Should we warn the midwife to wear oven gloves? Should the child be left on a wire tray to cool down after birth?

    Allan,

    "Frank – your numbers. Where do you get them from?"

    If you mean the mortality rates I provided cites for these before. Alison has also provided some cites, I see.

  185. Adrian asks:
    "If they aren’t missing, what should the Govt. do about it? Nothing?"

    The answer is yes, exactly. "Whatever you do, do nothing" should always be the rule whenever the government is concerned.

  186. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4883462.stm

    From the link, it is stated that the UK’s maternal mortality rate is between 6 and 10 per 100,000 pregnancies and that most of those are as a result of traffic and other accidents. Now, if ‘most’ means over 50% then the maternal mortality rate owing to pregnancy is something like 3 per 100,000. And if there are 200,000 abortions in the UK, then that is a notional 6 deaths in pregnancy avoided, and that is at the top of the scale.

    Meanwhile, on this link:

    http://www.cmf.org.uk/literature/content.asp?context=article&id=1784

    can be read (with references):

    However an in-depth Finnish study of deaths within a year of delivery, miscarriage or abortion from 1987-94 gives a more complete and disturbing picture. Compared to women who gave birth, women who aborted were 3.5 times more likely to die within the year.[6,7] The risk of death from suicide was seven times higher than the risk of suicide within a year of childbirth.

    References:
    Reardon DC. Abortion is four times deadlier than childbirth. The Post- Abortion Review 2000;8(2)
    Gissler M et al. Pregnancy associated deaths in Finland 1987- 1994. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica 1997;76:651-657

    So, Frank. How many women do you think committed suicide because of post-abortion depression? Would there be more than four? And where did you get the ‘hundreds’ from? Please respond.

    Alison
    "Fortunately no-one has to listen to you – abortion is available to women here and will remain so no matter how evilly (sic) you make women out to be or how sick your own delusional fantasies are. "
    What ‘fantasies’ are you talking about? I gave the three instances of abortion of which I am aware within my circle of acquaintances and I consider none of those women to be evil. You are doing your utmost to make abortion appear as a procedure which has little effect upon the recipient but it just isn’t so.

  187. Frank, hallo! Frank, where’s your ‘hundreds’? Are you there, Frank?

  188. Allan,

    "And if there are 200,000 abortions in the UK, then that is a notional 6 deaths in pregnancy avoided, and that is at the top of the scale."

    And 6 deaths x 40 years is on the order of hundreds of women. As I said.

    By the way do you think killing 6 women a year is OK? Just curious. That would put you in the company of a few serial killers maybe, but few others.

    "Compared to women who gave birth,"

    (the ones that survived, anyway)

    "women who aborted were 3.5 times more likely to die within the year.[6,7] The risk of death from suicide was seven times higher than the risk of suicide within a year of childbirth."

    Correlation isn’t causation. Women with unwanted pregnancies may be at risk from other factors which share a common cause with the unwanted pregnancy. including for example socio-economic status, crime (possibly including the original rape that produced the unwanted pregnancy) and not least of all indoctrination and guilt trips from the likes of you. Were these controlled for?

    Here is a study with a different take:

    "A group of 360 black teenage women of similar socioeconomic background who sought pregnancy tests from two Baltimore family planning providers was followed for two years to determine if those who obtained abortions were adversely affected by their abortion experience. After two years, the young women who had terminated their pregnancies were far more likely to have graduated from high school or to still be in school and at the appropriate grade level than were those who had decided to carry their pregnancy to term or those whose pregnancy test had been negative. Those who had obtained an abortion were also better off economically than were those in the other two groups after two years. An analysis of psychological stress showed that those who terminated their pregnancy had experienced no greater levels of stress or anxiety than had the other teenagers at the time of the pregnancy test, and they were no more likely to have psychological problems two years later. The teenagers who had obtained abortions were also less likely than the other two groups to experience a subsequent pregnancy during the following two years and were slightly more likely to practice contraception. Thus, two years after their abortions, the young women who had chosen to terminate an unwanted pregnancy were doing as well as (and usually better than) those who had had a baby or who had not been pregnant."
    http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0014-7354(198911%2F12)21%3A6%3C248%3AWUACAE%3E2.0.CO%3B2-E#abstract

    Abortion is about 10 times safer for women than is childbirth, and early term abortions are even safer again. Also AFAIR that is INCLUDING suicides deemed to be due to abortion (which are tracked in the US) and EXCLUDING suicides due to maternity, which are not tracked. Despite your claims, no health authority has ever deemed abortion a public health risk because it plainly isn’t.

    Notice also that death is just one of the harmful effects of pregnancy/childbirth that a woman may be less than thrilled about and quite reasonably wish to avoid. Nobody ever got gestational diabetes, episiotomy, hours of agonising labour or £100K of child raising costs from ending their pregnancy, to list just a few obvious examples.

  189. So what to do about it ?

    It seems that if you isolate people from the consequences of their actions , through cradle-to-grave welfare funding, then they think they only have to live for themselves, to the extent that they don’t have many kids.

    There’s also the fact that if you want to have kids, especially more than two, then the economics are horrific. (Since the cost of a 4 or 5 bedroom house at the moment is about 12 times the average wage.
    In real terms that means that the housing cost is about 3 times as much as it was a generation ago.

    How do you pay for it ? Then there’s tax. about 60% of income is confiscated by the government to provide lavish salaries in the public sector and to support Asylum seekers and other wasters. That money comes from the people in jobs trying to raise families.

    It’s an impossible situation and the falling birth rate is the inevitable outcome.

    I mean what kind of government takes more money from a married man trying to raise a family than it takes from an equivalent couple of singletons intent on a selfish life of pleasure ? That’s exactly what Tony’s tax policy does.

    Oh, and we need a sensible abortion policy – .ie the 1967 act needs to be enforced. That’s all. A few doctors in prison for illegal terminations should see the problem go away.

    /rant_over

  190. No Allan it is you doing your utmost to make out it is a recreational sport that is a bizarre fantasy – or downplay the deaths of (at least) 40 women a year through illegal abortion as acceptable or suggest the majority of women might undertake one flippantly. What hogwash. (Not to mention the 200 a day outside the UK btw…) Your moral compass goes somewhat askew at that point. It is fine to argue against abortion on the grounds that essentially you dont like it or think it is morally wrong but to go off at a tangent like that makes anything you argue morally thereafter look daft. Having experienced one and knowing many who have i can cite as many to stack up against your own examples that support that fact that women do not have abortions for fun, convenience or undertake them without being quite quite desperate. Most that i know did so for fear of being alone. Perhaps you could spend some time working out educational programmes for boys on how to be supportive of pregnancy and stand by the women they knock up. If less women feel it is going to be a massive lonely struggle they might be inclined to see a pregnancy full term. Responsibility cuts both ways but seems to have been grossly neglected in this debate.

    That you will be happy to hear is all from me on this subject. G’night.

  191. Alison. It’s a mystery to me why women find these guys so attractive.

    If you’re not sure he’ll support any outcome, why do you let him knock you up in the first place ?

  192. Trust. Moreover you dont ‘let’ someone knock you up. I assume that wasnt a personal question btw since i answered that one hours ago. ‘These guys’? That will account for how many men then?

    OK. Winding up on this Dummy. We disagree but i can see this thread going haywire with emotiveness (if thats a word) so im calling it a night. We can all argue til we are tired it isnt an argument you can always win people over on. I hope to make people think about how they refer to women in these situations. At least I had hoped. I would say ref your comment above that I am opposed to any further attempts by womens pressure groups to make the law more lenient. I would be opposed to this. It is fine as it stands.

    & I am NOT coming back to it! That is IT! LOL