The abortion issue has always seemed to me to be a straightforward matter of personal privacy.
On one side there is the autonomy of the individual (in this case a pregnant woman) competent to decide what should happen in respect of their own body; and on the other side are those who seem to resent and deny the competence of that person to make their own decisions.
Accordingly, the job of the anti-abortionist is to make it as difficult as possible for the woman to make her own decision to terminate a pregnancy, whether it be by the spurious involvement of "independent counsellors" or the use of primary legislation.
No sensible person is "pro abortion" - the question is really who makes the ultimate decision: the woman (in consultation with her doctors) or the legislature.
Parliament has enacted that abortions are (generally) unlawful after 24 weeks.
But if a woman seeks an abortion within the first 24 weeks of her pregnancy, it is surely then a matter for her alone, subject only to medical advice and approval.
This general proposition is, for me, the starting point of any current debate in respect of abortion.
Any attempt to frustrate or remove her access to an abortion within those 24 weeks appears to me to simply have the whiff of misplaced paternalism; it implies that the woman does not know her own mind.
To seek an abortion within those 24 weeks cannot be an easy decision for any woman in any circumstance; but it can only be that woman's decision.
And, by implication, any decision to seek advice or counselling is also for the woman alone; it is illiberal for a woman to be obliged or expected to take advice or receive counselling, should she elect to terminate her pregnancy; again, any such obligation or expectation implies that the woman does not know her own mind.
The heart of the matter is that any woman is - in principle - fully capable of making the decisions for herself as to have an abortion, and what support she requires in doing so.
For me, it is a matter for the woman, and her doctors: a private surgical procedure which is none of your (or my) business.
No purely anonymous comments will be published; always use a name for ease of reference by other commenters.