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Abortion and the left

Apparently, all discussion on the topic of abortion with intent to restrict, in any manner whatsoever, current abortion provision is merely the reactionary impulse of a bigoted right-wing elite. Or, put rather differently, you can’t be left-wing and prolife.

Which must come as some news to John Battle, Celia Barlow, Stuart Bell, Joe Benton, David Borrow, Des Browne, Ronnie Campbell, Tom Clarke, David Crausby, John Cummings, Tony Cunningham, Claire Curtis-Thomas, Parmjit Dhanda, David Drew, Bill Etherington, Frank Field, Jim Fitzpatrick, Michael Jabez Foster, Paul Goggins, John Grogan, Andrew Gwynne, David Hamilton, Tom Harris, Meg Hillier, Lindsay Hoyle, Huw Iranca-Davies, Helen Jones, Ruth Kelly, Peter Kilfoyle, Ivan Lewis, Martin Linton, Andrew MacKinlay, Gordon Marsden, Eric Martlew, Shahid Malik, Gordon Marsden, Thomas McAvoy, John McFall, Jim McGovern, Chris Mullin, Paul Murphy, Mike O’Brien, Albert Owen, Nick Palmer, James Plaskitt, Greg Pope, Stephen Pound, Bridget Prentice, Andy Reed, John Reid, Terry Rooney, Frank Roy, Chris Ruane, Geraldine Smith, Gerry Sutcliffe, David Taylor, Paddy Tippin, Don Touhig, Derek Twigg, Kitty Ussher, Keith Vaz, Claire Ward and Ian Wright, all of them Labour MPs (though some no longer) when the issue was last put to the House, all of them deciding that the law needed tightening, that the age limit for abortion should be brought down, be it to 22 weeks, or to 20 weeks, or to 16 weeks, or 12 weeks.

Which rather suggests that being prolife is not at all antithetical to being on the left. Even in philosophical terms, one would have to assume the current dogma of the ‘progressive’ New Left is the arbiter of orthodoxy for left-wing thought, something which is neither sociologically nor historically true.

None of which, of course, will come as news for those who live their lives outwith that small but vociferous activist core currently inhabiting the professional left.

Still, we should pause once in a while to remind ourselves just who the extremists *really* are.

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