Thursday, September 12, 2013

New Role with FIEC

From November I'll no longer be Greenview's full-time teaching elder but taking up a role as Scotland Director with FIEC. Obviously it's a wrench to step down from serving in a church as good as Greenview - but it's with excitement that I'm moving on to serve the FIEC family of churches in Scotland.

See here for more details.

bye bye baby blue

Last week the UK Crown Prosecution Service decided not to take to action against doctors in the UK who offered to carry out abortions on the basis of gender . This decision was taken, not because there wasn't enough evidence or because the law isn’t clear, but because the CPS deemed such a prosecution ‘not to be in the public interest’. Now to be fair there has been considerable condemnation and unease expressed since in the media and political circles – and with the matter now being reviewed it may well be that action will be taken in the light of this pressure.

However, the moral confusion and double standards around abortion have been starkly highlighted by this case. For a start  the controversy has not been generated because people are concerned about on-demand abortions being carried out on an industrial scale in the UK (that is just accepted), rather what has upset people is the thought that sexism could be a factor (the phrase, ‘Straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel’, does come to mind!).

Now, of course, to say abortion on the basis of gender discrimination is unacceptable cuts both ways – that is, it should protect both sexes. But we also know that the big driver for such gender based abortions is that in certain cultures, for economic and cultural reasons, boys are more valued than girls.  So let’s not be naive in recognising that globally this is largely an issue about girls and hence why it is so politically sensitive. 

David Cameron at PMQs (11/9/13) stated that abortion on the basis of gender was unacceptable. The question that assertion begs, and which no-one in public life seems to want to ask, is why? After all if it is unacceptable to abort a human life on the basis of gender discrimination - why is discrimination in the womb acceptable for the disabled, the poor, the inconvenient, and the unwanted. 

The whole basis of abortion is that foetuses are not really fully functioning human lives and thus can be disposable. But if so, what exactly is the relevance of gender?

It leaves us with the bizarre, indeed grotesque, situation where it seems the only defence to life in the womb (that our society actually cares about) would be because you’re not a boy. Sorry boys but the reality is that any protection you will get because of your gender will largely come because of a concern for girls.