31 Aug 2011

Dear Nadine Dorries

 This is something I've written for A Thing @Stavvers is doing. I sort of ended up severely digressing and probably missing the point of the Thing, but here it is (note: I wholly intend to send this to Nadine Dorries, hence the first paragraph although I'll remove the footnote at the end for obvious reasons This is now an open letter since I'm a coward and I've realised that this probably won't sway her and will probably just  cause her to be annoyed, (I'm not really into annoying people who aren't my brother)). I am aware that Downing Street has apparently forced a u-turn, but that's just The Guardian going for Mail-style headline.

Dear Nadine Dorries,  

For starters, I'd like to apologise for writing to you as a non-constituent, but since this letter is about an amendment to an important bill you're involved with I suppose it's best you let this slide (well, it certainly is from my perspective).

I'm not going to bore you with the details about what my uterus is doing. Mostly because aside from the monthly bleed, which isn't even happening right now (stopped two days ago thank God, I swear it goes on an unreasonable amount of time...) it isn't doing a lot at all. This being a state of affairs I'm fairly content with, although periods are a right pain (literally) at times.

Let's face it, this whole Thing (with the capital “T” since it's really that important) is about your amendments to the Health Bill. I'm not really sure I agree with this Thing, but it has to be said you certainly have an undue interest in what my uterus is doing, especially since I'm a teenager, and thus the target of whole other bill, that being one I'm fairly certain you're behind (you'll note that I'm a lot less civil there, possibly due to me probably having a case of PMS at the time, sorry about that, although the general gist of it does actually kind of fit with this as well (a revelation, you'll be interested to learn, which came courtesy of a high-rated comment on... your Daily Mail article from today of all places)).

But back to the Amendment. Given that, until you and the Labour MP Frank Field - who I suppose we should all be having far more truck with, since he really will never be in a position to have to consider abortion (whereas you do, I assume, possess an uterus) not to mention it stops us being able to blame your party (Not that I mind having a go at Labour (they are really just as bad as the Tories) or anything, but things are a lot easier when it's only one party doing it) – added it the Bill had precisely naff all to do with abortion, it's not clear that this will be getting the debate it needs, and if it does it will simply detract from discussion about the biggest changes to our healthcare system since the NHS was set up. Not cool, Nadine. Not cool at all. Or democratic really. Mind you, I'd argue that the political system is inherently undemocratic, but this is just plain egregious.

Of course, I probably wouldn't mind this that much if I agreed with the Amendment. I'm not sure I do; the BPA is a non-profit organisation, I'm willing to assume the best and that there is, despite their function as an abortion-provider, actually no vested interest in them getting women to have abortions, heck something like 20% of women chose not to have an abortion following advice from there. It is probably mostly balanced, which is more than I can say if, say, a Christian pro-life group was doing the counselling (it is ostensibly a pro-life organisation). And that is a possibility since there is precisely naff-all in your amendment to guarantee that stuff like that won't happen.

Admittedly, you probably don't view that as a bad thing. But if someone can regret an abortion, what happens if they regret not having an abortion having been pressured out of it? I know from personal experience that mothers can be abusive even if they want a child, I imagine an unwanted child would get even worse. And, as I'm sure you'll agree, every child deserves to be wanted. And your own experience with a relatively late-term abortion should make you understand why it is perhaps best that women do not put off the decision, especially since, if they're seeking counselling, they may well have put a lot of thought into it. People won't make that sort of choice lightly.

So your amendment to a Bill which has naff-all to do with it has naff-all to stop it from doing something which you said it wouldn't do. Really not cool, not cool at all.

Also, neither is the obsession with what happens to my uterus. I'm 15, I am mature enough to know what it does, and what I want it to do (naff-all), most, if not all, women who seek an abortion are. It's not really your place to decree who we ask for advice. From what I can gather, there isn't anything stopping women from seeking advice from “independent sources”, they can go to them if they choose to. You say you're pro-choice, well, that's probably one of the choices you should support.

Yours sincerely,


*Side note: referring to myself using my full first name feels really weird. 

EDIT: Corrected a couple of typos ("I f" and a missing ")", thanks to @latentexistence for pointing that last one out). Also, looks like I dropped a "u" at the end of "you", now fixed.

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