5/20/2008

When you exaggerate or tell lies you've lost the argument

On the topic of abortion rights I am firmly of the opinion that as a man my rights have no real validity as it is a woman's choice whether she does or does not have a termination, so I will not be joining other bloggers in lecturing women on the issue.

However, I take issue with Nadine Dorries, the Tory MP who is proposing that abortions from 20-24 weeks should be stopped. Her key argument, and she raises this over and over again on the radio and in other media, is that more and more premature babies are surviving prior to 24 weeks. This is simply untrue. The current statistics show a small rise in survival rates, but it is considered to be statistically insignificant because of the tiny number of babies born at this point. Using dodgy statistics might be something politicians use in leaflets, but it is not something to use when debating something so serious.

I have a friend who is a nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Norfolk and Norwich hospital, which was also the unit my son was in when he was born prematurely. My friend makes clear that the chances of survival before 24 weeks is tiny, but jumps markedly in week 25 and 26. And those that do survive prior to 24 weeks all have health problems that will be with them for the rest of their lives ranging from breathing problems, eyesight and hearing loss and slow development and learning difficulties. Put simply, the rosy picture that Nadine Dorries paints is not a true one.

I've always worked by a general principle that the facts prove themselves and don't need exaggeration in order to prove them. When you start telling lies you've lost the argument.

3 comments:

Paul Pinfield said...

Thank you for raising this issue Nich. It is very disappointing to hear people with agendas, such Ms Dorries, distorting the argument in order to further their no doubt strongly held views.

Johnny Norfolk said...

I have just seen on the news a young boy who survived after being born at 23 weeks. With the ammount of contraception now available that is where a woman should choose not after 20 weeks.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Why don't you actually read what I wrote ?

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