I just feel the need to make a couple of points in regard to this, which I wrote just after the votes on the abortion limit and access to IVF were cast (both, surprisingly, to my satisfaction). I want to clarify a couple of things, and it also gives me an opportunity to have another go at Cameron.
It is frankly ridiculous that in this day and age our MPs are still obsessed with heteronormative parenting - "Father, father, father!" says Duncan Smith, but I did that last time - and still convinced that abortion is really a bit icky. We're not America, so we don't even attempt (at this stage, anyway) to outright ban it, but enough MPs are willing to go on record whining and crying about the poor little dead babies. That sentence makes me wish I weren't allergic to LOLcat speak, but I just cannot write "teh p00r ded baybeeez" as though it's a reasonable journalistic or literary device. Even after the Bill was defeated, they just can't let it lie and have to get up and hurl themselves at it again. The original Bill offered MPs the option to vote for: no change, limit lowered to 22 weeks, limit lowered to 20 weeks, or limit lowered to 12 weeks. The Times helpfully printed a guide as to which members of the Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet voted for which (and I will try and find it), and the three Labour MPs who voted for 12 weeks were all Catholic. Even most of the Tories shied away from voting for 12 weeks. I just want to make clear that there is a HUGE religious motivation behind this. David Cameron, the Tory leader, voted to lower it to 22 weeks. He also voted for the stupid "father figure" bill.
Now, there is no real reason to vote for this. It is not a medical issue. It is not something our doctors have a problem with, unless they're religious doctors. Since a vote for a lower limit would also be counted as a vote for the 22 weeks, we can rule out Cameron as a religious man hedging his bets. I suspect, too, that Cameron has a smiliar position to Blair on religious PMs (i.e. that we the British public will cease to trust you because you're a nutter, which is true). There is only one message that a vote for a 22-week limit from an aspiring Prime Minister sends out: I Am Willing To Be Persuaded. He won't vote for the very low limits because that will turn off the young women, but it also says to the nutters with their overblown rhetoric and emotional blackmail, as we can see here, that he might be talked into seeing things their way. Reason 20, by the way, is a picture of a foetus-face. I will make a couple of comments on these "reasons": several involve extremely isolated cases of one or two, and one involves surgery in the womb, which must be fucking awful for the woman (yes, there's a woman. The foetus is inside her). Babies can survive at 24 weeks in TOP NEONATAL UNITS such as fucking MINNEAPOLIS. Oh, that's a good idea. Let's just send every pregnant woman to Minneapolis! Fucking hell, this is about British law. Don't bring in bloody Minneapolis. Several reasons are "oh, but it's a baby!" crap, and one of them is that David Cameron supports a cut. Let me explain why.
David Cameron has absolutely no opinions on anything, because opinions are not politically expedient. He certainly has no opinions when it comes to this sort of equal-rights stuff, because some people don't like that and he doesn't want to alienate them. Mmmm... precious votes. My opposition to Barack Obama becoming US President is precisely because he reminds me so much of Cameron, with his vague language and refusal to vote on anything contentious. I once saw a post in support of him comparing his position to that of John McCain, and the first two pro-Obama points were "he has stated no position on this". Classic Cameron. He wants us to believe that he cares about the imaginary babies, but also about the women, which is a fucking lie. Back when he first became leader, he did an interview with Cosmopolitan, in which his reply to all the journalist's questions about women's issues was basically, "I sympathise, but I'm not going to do anything about it." He informed us that he supported the reduction of the abortion limit to 22 or 20 weeks, and that he wasn't planning to do squat about rape crisis centres (my city doesn't even have one) because "we don't have the budget." Look, asshole, if Boris fucking Johnson can find the budget for THREE new ones in London, you can do something about cities without any, OK? Since then, Cameron has not made abortion or equal rights any part of his agenda, waiting instead to jump on the bandwagon of someone like Nadine Dorries. This way, he's not pushing for women to give up control of their bodies, but it slyly shows folks like Cardinal Arsehole that Cameron and the new Caring Conservatives could well be brought around to his point of view.
Ever since Brown took over from Blair, I've been wondering what the hell I'm going to do when an election comes round, because I really don't like Brown. He actually creeps me out, and I don't really trust him. Lies and war and all, it was a reasonably easy decision for me to cast my first ever General Election vote for Blair. Brown? Not so easy. I feel like he thinks of us as being in his way. However, Cameron has made up my mind for me now. I will vote Brown because HE DOESN'T CAST BIGOTED VOTES. He doesn't vote for bizarre throwback amendments demanding that some sort of man be around to help out. He doesn't put himself in this sort of company. He doesn't vote to demand that women give up control of their bodies. Cameron, on the other hand, seems willing to be persuaded that the ownership of a woman's body should transfer over to a foetus until said foetus is done with it. I will not vote for that. It's not even his conviction that that's the right thing to do; he's just happy to allow someone else's convictions to govern his decisions if he thinks it'll get him through that big black door.
Cameron, listen up: I will never, ever vote for a bigot. I will tell everyone I know what a bigot you are, and they won't vote for you either. Your votes have been homophobic and misogynistic, and I cannot and will not support that. If you want any hope in hell of getting my vote, and the vote of young women like me, understand this: It's not a baby, it's a foetus. Until it is no longer living inside the mother, it isn't and should not be considered a baby, from either a legal or political standpoint. Sure, emotionally, it can be a baby, but you are not here to deal in emotional reactions. You are not here to legislate personal ethics. You are here to represent and protect the best interests of the people in your country, INCLUDING WOMEN and not including bloody foetuses (foeti?). My uterus is not a pawn for you to risk in the political chess game. My uterus is not a small sacrifice you may make in order to win more seats. YOU WILL NOT DO THIS. I WILL NOT LET YOU. Last time I wrote about this, I offered the assumption that you were just a nice guy who loves his kids and couldn't imagine not wanting them. I'm still willing to believe that - I'm sure you're basically a nice guy. But you cannot make political decisions based on that sort of fluff. You cannot assume, as I said before, that every man is like you and every woman is like your wife. You cannot think in the sentimental terms of "oh, but it's a baby! Aren't babies lovely!" You may be swayed by technological advancements which can keep premature babies alive, but you're then assuming that any woman who doesn't want said baby can just pop it out at 24 weeks and carry on. No, she can't. She has MONTHS left to carry that thing around. It's painful, it's uncomfortable, it's emotionally devastating for someone who doesn't want a child, and she's stuck with it. Don't chirpily tell her she can just have it adopted. Don't tell her just to hold on when what she really wants to do is scrape it out with a coat hanger. You think she won't? Have you ever known desperation?
When it comes to your vote on the "Father figure" bill, you are out of touch at best and seriously homophobic at worst. A child needs loving parents, but why on earth do they need one of each gender? From what I know of this bill, it comes in part from straight-up gay-bashing and genuine, irrational fear of Child Seeing Gays (stand up, Sir Patrick Cormack), and in part from this strange idea that men are this and women are that. A child needs a woman to give it cuddles and a man to play sports with it, or something. I know it would make things easier for the government, but even if you stretch to name all qualities either masculine or feminine, you will find that in a sample of men and women, none will have all of these qualities and most will have a significant proportion of the other gender's qualities. People don't divide into boxes like that. If you're pro-cute babies, why not allow a couple that really wants one to conceive, instead of forcing a child on a woman who doesn't want one? I assume that as an intelligent man who hopes to run Great Britain would never dare tell a woman that she should have been more careful and must now deal with the consequences. Why can't two women have a kid and raise it together, if they're fully committed to parenthood and the wellbeing of their child? Why not? Why do they have to prove there's a man around somewhere? What is the logic? Seriously, tell me. Then come to your damn senses, you whacking great bigot.
Wow, that was longer than I planned. Next entry will not revolve around my uterus, honest.