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For those of you who have been living in a cave for the past week or so, a few days ago the Secretary of State for health declared that he was such an expert in the fields of medicine, psychiatry and obstetrics that his word and his word alone should be good enough to have the time limit for abortions dropped from its present 24 weeks to a mere 12 weeks.
The reality of course is that Jeremy Hunt is a prize tosser with a less than spotless reputation whose only claim to the job he now holds is his privileged education in the same establishment that "educated" Cameron and his Bullingdon Club Side Kick Boris Johnson, and his arse kissing while in opposition in support of Cameron's bid for the top job at the expense of less photogenic but far nobler men. A brief glance at his wikipedia entry will show you his attitude to tax and tax avoidance too.
The more worrying reality is that Hunt is a religious bigot only too happy to see pain and suffering heaped upon anyone not of his "faith". Mohammed would be proud of you my son.
But what is his zealotry going to achieve?
Absolutely bugger all. Apart perhaps from an increase in the suicide and accidental death rate in the female population. For the fact is that a number of women never realise they are pregnant until pretty near that 12 week deadline this tosspot wants to impose.
But there is another, and far more repugnant side to this "fatwa" from this odious man and his odious bigotry.
And it is a side that I speak about from the less than enviable standpoint of both professional expertise and personal experience.
Let's deal with the professional expertise first. I worked alongside men (and strangely it was predominantly men, there was only one woman on the team in question) whose research into lung function led to the advances which today routinely mean than a woman who finds herself unexpectedly in the labour ward some three months ahead of schedule can look forward with realistic expectation to the survival of her child where in the years before those men donned their lab coats all she could realistically expect is tea and sympathy from the vicar after dropping a little white box down a deep dark hole.
So I can speak, and I did lecture professionally on these matters and I know exactly what is involved in giving a child born three months prematurely the chance of making it out of the Special Care Baby Unit in a cot and not a coffin.
Which is why I heap professional contempt on the witches coven in westminster who seem hell bent on dropping the limit to 20 weeks "to take account of advances in medical science in the last couple of years". Hunt doesn't deserve my professional contempt as his religion-driven rantings don't deserve professional consideration.
Although now I mention Nadine Dorries's Bizarre 20's Plenty Coven it strikes me that Hunt is actually playing the oldest game of all, running a scare story so barkingly mad that when he is "beaten down" by that coven and forced to retreat to 20 weeks we will all heave a sigh of relief and the bastards will have achieved most of their goals.
Including the unkindest one of all, a huge boost to the undertaking business.
Well let me enlighten you. For as I said earlier, I can speak personally about this subject too.
Mrs JoG and I recently celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary. An event that came about largely because I've been freelancing all over the country for decades, so I have only lived with her for about 16 of those 31 years.
One of the main reasons I keep my mouth firmly shut whenever the topic of artificial insemination and related matters hit the headlines is that it was both ridiculously easy, and bloody good fun, to "acquire" the two daughters we have. So I keep my own thoughts to myself whenever I hear some journalist ripping lumps out of some woman driven to all sorts of lengths by the knowledge that when it comes to matters of procreation she is at the far end of the see-saw than Mrs JoG and me. I feel I have few grounds to throw my hat into that particular ring and argue my 2p worth on the subject.
The same cannot be said when dealing with matters such as Hunt The Tosspot (Hands Up who thinks that is a really fun Westminster Party Game) has raised.
Because on that subject, I think I can sum my experience up in the title of one of the tracks on Meat Loaf's "Bat Out Of Hell" - "Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad"
For while we have two daughters, we should have had three. In some ways we have, she's in bits in a series of pickle jars, some in the very research lab I used to don my white coat to enter.
In 1988 my wife found herself pregnant for the second time. Two and a half years earlier ultrasound was state of the art rocket science only given to the lucky few - ALL of whom had to sign a consent form agreeing to be counselled over termination if the scan showed any of a number of abnormalities, because what was the point of stressing the mother by telling her she is carrying a broken child is if she is ideologically - or worse still religiously - opposed to the very idea of ending the matter.
Two and a half years earlier signing that form was a passport to being handed a couple of blurred polaroid images that frankly could have been a radar scan of loch ness showing the monster tap dancing on the wavelets but whose ability to reduce hardened wizened coven leaders into cooing blubbering mounds had to be seen to be believed.
This time round things were going to be different. Not that we knew it.
The first inklings of trouble were when the radiologist left the room carrying the scan results and wearing a frown. They came back with the consultant who made all the right sorts of noises to set my senses to overload and my alert readiness to bikini state red. They suggested that we ought to come back for a second scan in about four weeks.
So we knew something was up. We just did not know how bad it was going to be. And four weeks later, we got the answer. It was bad.
Breathe in. Deeply. Go On. Do it. Feel that chest rise. Feel the stretching inside you, above your stomach. Feel the tension. A nd breathe out and notice the relaxation.
Your lungs inflate and deflate largely because a sheet of muscle at the base of the ribs, a domed sheet of muscle that stretches the full diameter of your insides, pulls taut, forcing your lungs to suck in air, and then falls limp, blowing their contents out.
How do you think you would manage without that sheet of muscle ?
Trust me, you would not. Well not for long.
The second ultrasound scan showed the infant had a well developed internal structure, lungs, liver, stomach, kidneys.... the only problem was they were all in the wrong places.
The reason was that at the "blastula/gastrula" stage the ball of cells that are next to nothing - and will be nothing if they do not find a nourishing tissue structure to embed themselves into in order to grow - start to divide. They start to line themselves up and the round ball of cells stops looking quite so round. It is at this stage that crucially a clump of a few cells must migrate in order to grow and develop into internal organs and structures.
In the case of my wife's second pregnancy, some failed to do that. As a result the foetus had no means to develop a diaphragm. Inside the body, there was nothing to differentiate the chest and abdominal region and the internal organs moved round to grow where they could.
It was a disaster waiting to happen. The consultant made noises about the possibility of delivering the baby prematurely and whisking it away for emergency surgery, but he thought I was just a computer geek. He did not know I was skilled in microsurgery myself from my scientific research, and I knew better than he what the chances were, for the team I worked with routinely and regularly worked on subject materials smaller than that which he was talking about.
So it was a no-brainer. My wife had an abortion at 24 weeks. I was there to watch, for such a procedure is actually carried out by administration of the very same drug they use to induce labour in overdue cases. I saw our second daughter emerge and I saw her die. It did not take very long, the cord broke during delivery, it was not really strong enough yet to withstand the process, so she was already hypoxic and close to death, and with no diaphragm to inflate her lungs, it was mere seconds before she lay blue and still.
We had already thought up a name for her. And when the consultant asked us if we had any objections to her corpse being used to research the condition, that too was a no brainer. Anything that might help avoid someone else going through what we just had was just fine by us.
With me being a decided non-believer, and my wife, though "keeping the faith" never belonged to one of those bizarre cults that believe the mortal remains play a vital - or indeed any - role in "the afterlife", it was the easiest decision we ever made to tell the research community that had sustained my scientific curiosity, and had both educated and employed me, that here was an opportunity to get to grips with one of life's bloody tragedies.
There was not even any paperwork. Below a certain stage of development the foetus in utero is both practically and legally defined as not viable and no legal record of the "birth" is made. And unless you feel it necessary (but if you do they are more than willing to accomodate you) there is absolutely no need to involve a bloke in a cassock, a white box and a deep hole in the ground.
Which for me at least was a bloody good thing. For two years ago I had helped my brother lower just one such box into just one such hole. It was such a small box, and such a long way down.
And now perhaps you will see why I feel Mr Jeremy Hunt is such a fine example of a piece of cockney rhyming slang.
For this religious bigot is demanding that any woman who finds herself in the same sorry state my wife was in, through any one of a few dozen or maybe more medical conditions that spell out inevitable death for the child she is carrying, will be forced to carry that child to the point of natural birth, witness its pretty much instant death and then go through the business of paying money to get a series of papers filed at a registry office and then pay for a man in a cassock to recite an incantation to his sky fairy.
Some may think that a good thing.
When David Alton tried to pull off the same stunt a mere few months after we went through this particular hell on earth, a number of pompous oafs in striped suits stood up the the House of Commons and told the world - well those who could stand and hear it without rushing to find something to vomit into - how good it made him feel to go through that palaver.
I suppose it might just be possible they were telling the truth.
But I had a very different idea. I wanted the whole business quietly dealt with and as little fuss as decently possible. Which is why I told my MP at the time if I ever got the opportunity I would punch David Alton squarely on the nose for having the arrogance to think he could force my wife to go throught that.
And if I got the chance tomorrow, I probably still would. For while life is not the rose tinted picture most politicians and most religious zealots would have us accept, the reality of life is something you either "man up" to or go mad over. Your choice.
But the arrogance of politicians who think they have the right to reduce the number of ways you have available to deal with the curved balls life tosses at you is eternal. And like "The Believer's" war on Satan, the war on arrogant and particularly religiously bigoted and arrogant politicians is also never ending.
It also highlights why I feel it has no place in government.