Pro-life? Or just Pro-lies?

(Previously published in the McTavish Opera blog 18 July 2013)
Anti-abortion lobby exposed in web of deceit.

It does not surprise me when some Christians are willing to lie when they think the ends justify the means. No matter what the Bible says on the Ninth Commandment, not to bear false witness, and other verses telling them clearly that lying is sinful, some Christians nonetheless are all too willing to blaspheme their own religion to meet their own ends. I have no doubt that those who do so think themselves so ‘Elect of God’ that they can do no wrong, or that their God will forgive them for it.

This time however the website Scots Catholic has been caught out in an absolute whopper or a lie. And one which I am not at all convinced is altogether legal, given that it carries a faked report purporting to emnate from the UK Parliament.

I first found this story on the Facebook page of Secular Scotland, where one member posted the story, complete with link to Scots Catholic, claiming that a parliamentary enquiry into abortion on the grounds of disability had recommended radical changes, which would have made it all but impossible to gain an abortion on said grounds.

I was suspicious of this claim immediately, so I opened the link to Scots Catholic, and having read the usual spurious nonsense and anti-choice hyperbole, I saw it carried a pdf link to the supposed parliamentary report. From the moment I opened this document I was even more convinced that it was a fake, and an extremely poor one at that.

The English grammar of the report is poor in the extreme. The terms “fetus” and “fetal” are used throughout. Whilst it is acceptable nowadays in UK English to use these Americanised spellings in general terms, they are never used in technical or official documentation, where the UK English spelling “foetus” and “foetal” are used. This concerned me immediately. Given that the report carries the ‘portcullis’ symbol of the Westminster Parliament, I thought it suspicious that any document coming out of Westminster would ever carry the general terms for foetus and foetal.

Then I discovered a paragraph in the “Full List of Recommendations” which hit me straight between the eyes;

“Funding should be made available to ensure
that there are independent congenital anomaly
registers that cover the whole of England, as
well as Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland,
and all congenital abnormalities.”

Anyone with even the slightest knowledge of English grammar will recognise just how poorly constructed that sentence is. To end the sentence in that manner appears like the last four words have been added as an afterthought, which I fully suspect, and that the wording causes the sentence to suggest that parts of the UK are “congenital abnormalities”.

Language is extremely important in government. Bills have been known to fail or pass purely because of the wording. I am aware of one Bill which was once thrown out because “the preamble was unproved”. I therefore deduced that this ‘report’ was nothing more than a poorly constructed fake, purely on the usage of English language alone.

More than this however, whoever put this document together appears to be blissfully unaware that health is a devolved matter in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Under these auspices Westminster does not even have a remit to discuss health matters in the devolved parts of the UK, let alone recommend any measures connected to this or any other devolved powers. This also convinced me that this document was a forgery.

Still not satisfied however, I went into the UK government website and carried out several in-depth searches for the report, including using the name given on the pdf link and several variations of the title and names of politicians it purports to have been involved. The website threw up absolutely no such report, or anything even approaching it. That clinched it; it had to be a fake.

I thereby voiced my concerns on the Secular Scotland page, calling this entire story out as a fake. A little later another member posted a link to a blog from Ministry of Truth which completely exposes the report as indeed being a falsified document. They also show that the document appears in a different format. The wording however is identical, and the same politicians named on it. The Ministry of Truth expose goes deeper into the claims made in the ‘report’ in an excellent and informative manner, which I feel I need not repeat here but instead hereby supply the link;

My concern is truth, or in this case the lack of it. The Scots Catholic website have been caught out in pedalling a complete and utter lie. Moreover, they have pushed a document claiming to be genuine and which names several political figures. One wonders if these politicians are aware that their names are attached to such a scandalous document, and if they are happy for them to be there? I sincerely doubt it.

I am also not sure about the full legalities of producing a fake document which purports to be from the UK parliament, and if they prove to be illegal, then one can only hope those responsible will face the full penalty of law.

The abortion debate is always a contentious and emotional one. However, if the anti-abortion lobby wish to be taken seriously, then they would be well advised to stick to facts, the truth and rely upon reasoned and articulate debate. So long as they stoop to such underhand tactics as falsifying documents and claiming them to be genuine however, then they will have no-one but themselves to blame when the pro-choice lobby – and the undecideds – cannot and will not take them seriously.

As to those who find it convenient to tell lies while holding to the Christian religion, that is between them, their conscience and their faith. I however, an atheist, will continue to live by my own code of honour; “Speak truth always, even if it costs you your life.”

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