|Pensions and pay: Something worth getting really worked up about...|
The first thing I'll say is that the vigil is very low-key. It really is two or three people with some magazines, leaflets and some courage asking if they can give passers by, any passers by, some information about abortion. Because it was 40 Days for Life, rather than Abort 67, there were no graphic images of dead unborn children on display. In the hour that I was there, women, alone or in a couple, came and walked in and out of the clinic.
I saw my role there as someone who prays, maintains a blog and who wanted to write a blogpost on 40 Days for Life's activity in Brighton. Of course, I don't come at this issue without my own opinion on abortion which is informed by what I see as the natural injustice of abortion, a view also informed by the Church's teaching on the innate dignity of the human person. However, I'd also maintain that, whatever way you look at abortion through the 'kaleidoscope' of the modern lens, it always looks rather ugly. Indeed, even those who maintain a pro-abortion stance regularly call the procedure 'highly regrettable', in a similar way to how the IRA used to call the loss of life in Northern Ireland after another bomb blast 'highly regrettable' even though they admitted to planting the bomb in the middle of a shopping centre and exploded it during the day when everyone was out shopping.
I asked one of the 'activists' there whether they had received much coverage from the local press. I wasn't quite sure how The Argus would take this issue on and was even considering writing a piece and sending it in after what I saw. Now, I realise just how pointless that would have been because not only do I come to this issue from a perspective which sees abortion as a grave injustice to women and children, but The Argus clearly come to this issue believing that the rather low-key vigil outside the clinic is a grave threat to a woman's natural 'right to abortion'. Welcome to the culture clash of 21st century Brighton and, indeed, Britain.
Taking a clearly different slant to that of The Telegraph (otherwise known as a proper newspaper) and biding their time, The Argus have finally run a 'special investigation' into Wiston Clinic. Instead of investigating the abortion industry, however, the local newspaper decided to investigate the people outside the clinic. Quite why a 'special investigation' is required into the vigils is anybody's guess, since those who publicly stand against the abortion industry do so in the light of day in clear view of everybody. In fact, unlike the BPAS, they want people to see what they are doing.
The Argus paper ran with the headline: 'Protesters 'Intimidate' Rape Victim'. It is alleged that a woman complained of being filmed and 'harangued' by the activists. I don't know whether that is true. Personally, from what I know of 40 Days for Life and even the Abort 67 people, the vigils are really very 'hands off'. Most of the day I spent with Abort 67 a while back was literally asking people if they wanted information, being told 'No' and then me looking down at the ground. The simple reason and need for some 'information' is that BPAS are notorious for not providing women with particularly objective facts about abortion. Why would they? It would be like From what I've seen, that seems to be par for the course. From what I have seen of the vigils, the video camera was only whipped out by Abort 67 when the cops showed up for protection. Nobody was filming on the occasions that I visited for an hour to pray and see what was going on. If that is happening then that is not good, but all I can say is that I've seen nothing of the sort. I'll tell you what I did see though.
Only five minutes on my arrival at Wiston Clinic, I saw a woman walk past a woman handing out information on the facts of abortion who took one look at the woman handing out leaflets, said 'No, thank you', to the information, and told the woman handing out the information, "I think you're absolutely disgusting." Charming, eh? Anyone would have thought the woman handing out the information was advocating the mass slaughter of children or something.
During the hour that I was there someone came out of Wiston Clinic with a bag of 'medical waste' and dumped it in the bin outside the clinic. The three or four of us there all knew what was inside the 'medical waste' bag that had been dumped outside the clinic and it is not pleasant to think about because whatever you think about abortion, you know that your funeral will be a great deal more dignified than that, even if your relatives end up playing 'Life is a Rollercoaster' by Ronan Keating or something equally as awful as your corpse lays in the Church and your Soul awaits prayers. Still, even that is more dignified than 'the bin outside the house'.
As I say, no matter how you look at abortion, it doesn't look good and it doesn't look good when unborn children are dumped outside a house in a bin. More than anything else, it is really depressing. And, for each woman that comes out of the abortion clinic skipping down the road in liberated, radiant glory, there will always be another who goes home with a sense of great unease, sadness and ends up writing letters to her deceased unborn baby and drowning out her memory with vodka and paracetamol years later.
Of course, Councillor Mary Mears (who aborted the Open Market in Brighton, along with the livelihoods of some of its traders, so that it could be turned into flats), local Council leaders and our very own Green MP, Caroline Lucas (who aborted my common sense when I damnably voted for her - don't ask) added their concerned voices to the chorus of disapproval of the protesters in The Argus's 'special investigation', as all and sundry basically called for this behaviour which apparently makes those who enter the clinic, both workers and clients feel 'distressed' to be stopped, if not voluntarily, then by force.
Kindly, The Argus allowed one box in the two page spread to the 'view of the anti-abortionist', but, aside from that, you would have thought that the 'special investigation' might uncover great corruption, intrigue and devastating evidence that the campaigners were doing something diabolically evil, wicked and, above all, unlawful. Unfortunately for the BPAS, who run Wiston Clinic, these are now charges being levelled at them all over the British Press. It's a shame that The Argus couldn't go so far as to walk inside the clinic and do some undercover reportage on what the abortion process is really like. For example, what kind of counselling, before and after abortion, is available from BPAS? Hey. Here's an idea, all you 'roving reporters' at The Argus, you who are so great at 'special investigations' with regard to abortion. Why not get someone to open those bins, grab a bag of medical waste and take a look at the contents? No? I can't blame you. After all, that would be a little too 'distressing' now, wouldn't it, especially for Brighton's readers? To the powerful of this World and to those who live in darkness, there is nothing so distressing as the light of truth.
The Fourth Estate has a moral duty to speak truth to power, to defend the weak and innocent and to uncover injustice as the mighty wield power over the vulnerable and defenceless. The Argus seem to actually believe that in this case that description is fitting for a couple of guys and ladies in rain macs outside an abortion mill, rather than the huge 'charity' making loads of cash out of killing unborn babies at the taxpayer's expense. The clinic itself, according to The Argus, re-opened in 2008 following a £2 million refurbishment. Gosh. The BPAS aren't short of a bob or two are they? That must have been quite some re-opening day. A real treat for all the family. The Argus reported the fact that this new refurbishment meant that the clinic could perform over 1,500 abortions a year as if this was somehow something for Brightonians to celebrate.
Welcome to the culture clash of 21st century Brighton. Welcome to the culture clash of 21st century Britain. Welcome to the sickening neutralisation of the Fourth Estate and our local newspaper which has been co-opted by the powerful abortion lobby of the BPAS and their very wealthy and very influential supporters.
Clearly, in modern Britain, with all the cruelty and barbarity of the modern age, there is really only one thing worth protesting about at The Argus. And that is, yep, you guess it... pensions and pay. Tell you what: The day I see The Argus siding with the weak, the innocent, the poor, the defenceless, the downcast, the outcasts, the cruelly and unjustly treated and oppressed of this World, and against the powerful, the rich and the big businesses that make money out of despicable injustice in the city of Brighton and Hove, then I'll stand up for these shoddy excuses for journalists and their pensions and their pay. That day seems a long, long way off. The ironic thing is that inside paper in the centre spread 'investigation' piece is a weekend magazine with Joan Baez, the famous 60s protest singer, on the front. I don't know what Joan thinks of abortion. I think though, that this song, could be dedicated to the innocent unborn babes who we pray and hope reign in Heaven with Christ forever and forever young.
Still, if or when the Council create a bye-law decreeing that you can't loiter with information outside an abortion clinic, at least the new law on 'approaching people', causing people 'distress' and 'haranguing people' will mean I can walk down the street in peace without getting approached by someone wanting my debit card details for their obscure rainforest charity and, unlike pro-lifers, not taking the word 'No' for an answer. Maybe politicans and their workers will stop coming to my door asking me to vote for them as well. Hope springs eternal...