When Jacob Rees-Mogg was interviewed by Piers Morgan and asked for his views on abortion, he was condemned, stigmatised, mocked and reviled for opposing it in all circumstances – even when women have been victims of rape or incest. He was called ‘bigot‘, ‘misogynist‘, ‘backwards‘… “extremely rightwing and reactionary“… “He belongs in the 18th century“…
Except according to an ICM survey for the BBC, he belongs foursquare in the 21st century, because only 46% of people support abortion in cases of rape, and just 41% in cases of incest:
Not that the BBC told you that: they suppressed ‘inconvenient’ statistics from their programme ‘Abortion on Trial‘ because it’s important for them not so much to convey facts impartially, as to inculcate the necessity for liberalising abortion laws further while persuading the public that the BBC are mere facilitators of an impartial debate.
Fatima Salaria is the BBC new head of Religion & Ethics (tweets protected – no response to ‘follow’ request in over six months), and according to the Mail she promised an impartial programme. Yet “No experts were filmed giving alternative viewpoints…”
“It is completely wrong to suggest that the BBC suppressed the results of the poll,” protested a spokesperson. “They were released to the press prior to transmission, were referred to throughout the programme and have been published in full on the ICM website.”
Which may be true, but the medium is the message: in a visual age where films are truth and the telly is a guru, people aren’t much bothered by academic footnotes. The point is that ‘Abortion on Trial’ failed even to mention that less than half of respondents to the ICM poll favour abortion in cases of rape.
So the bigoted, misogynistic, backwards, right-wing, reactionary, 18th-century Jacob Reees-Mogg is actually with the majority on this. But don’t expect the left-liberal media to report that.
Perhaps more significantly, only 13% support abortion for Down’s Syndrome:
And perhaps even more significantly, the proportion of Roman Catholics who advocate abortion in certain circumstances is not significantly different from the proportion of Protestants, which will come as rather a shock to a great many. Is that a result of the lack of episcopal leadership on the issue over generations, or the ubiquity of Professor Tina Beattie?
Either way, the takeaway fact from these stats which needs trumpeting and blogging to the four corners of the United Kingdom is that the ‘pro-choice majority’ which the mainstream media keep banging on about simply doesn’t exist.
But don’t expect the BBC to tell you that.
This Friday (27th October) marks the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Abortion Act 1967. Among commemorative events, the Life charity will be holding a minute’s silence at 11.05am – the precise time at which the Act received Assent – to remember the 8.8 million souls lost to abortion since that day. There will be a large Abort67 display in Parliament Square, so those who wish to reflect will be gathering in Old Palace Yard by the statue of King George V at 10:30. Lord Alton will be among speakers. All are welcome.