The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
And there was more....
Posted Tuesday, 16 October 2007 at 10:21

Yesterday's Guardian carried an article claiming that a number of the witnesses called to give evidence were members of faith based organisations.

Digging my deepest I would say that out of the 18 witnesses, you could claim a maximum of five of having some form of faith - the rest are overwhelmingly pro-choice, which is in itself an ideological stance.

Unfortunately one member of the committee appears to feel it is appropriate that if he is aware that a witness has a faith that it should be disclosed. This appears to me to be rather ridiculous, as from now on I will ask every witness whether or not they are pro-choice.

However, there is more. I wanted to share with you one of the many e-mails I have received over the last week. It came from Dr Paul Clark.

If you wish to see the various attachments he refers to, please click on the various links at the end of this blog.

The person discussed in this e-mail is Dr Sam Rowlands, who was one of the witnesses called to give evidence at the committee yesterday. I was aware of the case but didn’t have enough information in time for the meeting yesterday to bring it up.

Without doubt the fact that if a twenty three week old baby is born into the right unit and put into the care of the right hands it would stand an excellent chance of survival was established yesterday.

The email from Dr Paul Clark is as follows:

Dear Nadine (if I may),

I was fortunate enough to hear you on the Simon Mayo show today. I was full of admiration for your eloquent and lucid arguments in the discussions.

I am a consultant neonatologist and routinely care for babies of 23–24 weeks and beyond. I completely agree with everything you said, and completely disagree with everything that Dr Kate Paterson said in relation to fetuses not feeling pain until probably 28 weeks. She should come to my neonatal unit, or that of any other tertiary neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in the UK and simply ask any of the doctors or nurses who care for infants below 28 weeks’ gestation whether they agree with her or not. She would be isolated. All staff would describe pain and discomfort in any baby below 28 weeks, whatever the early gestation, who happened to be cared for on the NICU. We are all mindful of the pain and discomfort these tiny babies experience and all strive to do our utmost to make their passage through intensive care as pain-free as possible.

I was especially interested to hear you mention about the baby that survived abortion and that your committee was going to hear from a doctor who attempted to abort a baby 3 times who was then born alive and has lived. I am especially interested because I believe it is probably the same baby that I and colleagues cared for at Hope Hospital Neonatal Unit from November 2002. You may or may not be aware that I wrote the case report up in a medical journal. I attach my article in case you did not see it. I also attach a reply from the BPAS clinical director in response to my article. From this it will be clear that a total of 4 different drugs were administered to that lady to attempt to get her to abort (not 3 as I had initially been led to believe, and had initially reported in my case report). To my best knowledge this child remains a long-term survivor and is now aged almost 5 years.

After hearing you speak on the radio today, I am extremely glad to hear that you are on this scientific committee and wish you well.


The doctor I was in discussion with on the Simon Mayo Show said that many of the women who came to see her for terminations at twenty three weeks had compelling reasons to do so.

I put it to her, if we are aware that a baby of twenty three weeks gestation in the womb who is about to be aborted would be viable if born, does that baby not have a compelling reason to ask for it’s life?

Infant who survived Abortion (PDF)
Rowlands 2005 (PDF)
Rowlands Reply 2005 (PDF)
A.L said:
Responded: Tuesday, 16 October 2007
Dear Nadine, Your determination to keep chipping away at this until the wider public are fully aware of the facts is nothing short of amazing. A number of MPs have had their ten minutes of fame. I know, I worked for one. This was always followed by a flurry of quotes to journalists and was always in response to a request from a pro-life group. I also heard you on the Radio yesterday and was moved to tears by your very last comment. You are obviously truly committed to something you believe in. I, of no particular faith, wish you well.
Anonymous said:
Responded: Tuesday, 16 October 2007
The committee meets again at 9am on Wednesday morning.
Annie said:
Responded: Tuesday, 16 October 2007
On this subject, I have come across such phrases as 'viable', 'meaningful life' and'capable of being born alive' All the evidence I have seen points to viability below the current 24 weeks. Surely we must,if we respect human life, make the cut off point well below that figure. Eleven committee members, but if I am correct, you are the only one to experience the joy and pain of childbirth.I can see why the subject is close to your heart.
Deborah said:
Responded: Tuesday, 16 October 2007
It's good to see a politican with values at work. This is such an important issue. Good luck.
akiv said:
Responded: Wednesday, 17 October 2007
It's hard to beleive such barbarity is allowed in the 21st century. 'Unplanned' pregnancies are uneccessary and it would seen easy abortion has made people lax about contraception. This is wrong and the abortion time limit should be drastically reduced. If the people who are so loud about pro-choice showed some responsibility this problem would be greatly reduced. I wish you every succes in your campaign and thank you for not letting it go. Whatever happens now I hope you will continue to campaign.
judge for yourself said:
Responded: Wednesday, 17 October 2007
It is so good to see a politician taking a principled and moral stand on what is literally a matter of life and death instead of playing party politics. I wish you all success in your endeavours.
Julia Manning said:
Responded: Wednesday, 17 October 2007
I am amazed that a member of the committee was allowed to ask which of the witnesses have ‘a faith’. This is a shocking display of intolerance that seems to have gone unchallenged. This Committee is supposed to be looking at the evidence to support a reduction in the time for abortion. This is a scientific assessment considering the process and mechanism – why would having a faith [I presume religious faith implied, as we all have some ideological source for our worldview] have any impact on this? If the inference is that someone of faith will try to impose their values, well, the person who asked the question is trying to impose their values on everyone too! They might claim that they, or others, as non-believers, can be open minded and relativist. However by picking on people who have a faith they are imposing their own moral absolute – so much for being open minded. Certainly it is faith that we look to when thinking about our meaning and morality. Either there is an objective morality, true universally and invariably, irrespective of our background, beliefs and culture, or there is moral chaos! But it’s my understanding that that is not the question to which the Committee are looking for an answer.
Contact Nadine
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
via e-mail at:
or Telephone on 020 7219 5928

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