Nina Skinner

Answering the Feminist Case for Abortion

In a historic decision of the US Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade was overruled on Friday 24th June 2022 by the new precedent of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organisation. Dobbs was the Mississippi state health officer who was sued by the state’s only abortion clinic to challenge the constitutionality of a law which banned abortion after 15 weeks. Prior to Friday, the enforcement of this law had been halted by lower court injunctions which prevented states from banning abortion before foetal viability at around 24 weeks, based on the 14th Amendment granting the right to privacy. Roe v Wade never legalised abortion across the board, it only prevented states from enforcing laws which banned abortion prior to 24 weeks, and was thus interpreted as a constitutional right to abortion until that period. 

As was to be expected, delegating law-making around abortion back to the states was interpreted with the greatest hysteria and hyperbole imaginable. Despite the explicit constitutionality of delegating the greatest possible powers to the state level, it should be of no surprise that the same people who ascribe more power to feeling than to the first amendment had no consideration at all for the rights of states to form their own laws on sensitive issues. 

Instead of rejoicing at the approximately 300,000 female lives saved as a result of a so-called ban on abortion (which this is not), feminists were quick to scream that this violates their bodily autonomy and is the result of male overrepresentations in positions of power. This is despite the fact that the judge who made this possible was Amy Coney Barrett, a Catholic mother of seven and one of three women who are currently serving on the Supreme Court of the United States. 

They simultaneously claim that the decision to have an abortion is that of the woman concerned, and that no man (including the father) should have any say, while maintaining that parental responsibilities should be split evenly between both parents (and in many cases other parties such as nannies, nurseries, and the state through the education system). Furthermore, not only should parental responsibilities be split evenly, but the woman concerned has a permanent claim on the financial resources of the man. 

This claim begs the obvious question of how it is in any way feminist to allow men to abscond from their parental responsibilities by allowing abortion, in which both mother and child are gravely affected, but the father can walk away scot-free? Given that a study which interviewed women who considered abortion and decided against it found that in five out of six cases, they did not regret their choice, it seems likely that in many cases the women concerned face significant pressure to end the pregnancy. 

Looking in the abstract, this raises questions about who the culture of no-consequences sex really benefits. Despite increasingly reliable contraception, rates of abortion are increasing, which demonstrates that there will always be greater ‘risk’ of sex for women. Additionally, a culture which praises hedonistic sexual lifestyles inherently delegitimises the mature, committed lifestyle which most women want, leading to women adopting more and more masculine ways of being. Given how early feminists stressed the equal value of women, this delegitimisation of femininity seems a far cry from their initial intentions. 

However, despite the inevitable reaction of hysteria, there may yet be a positive outcome for those on the opposite side of the fence. The calls for a sex strike will not just reduce the hedonistic sexual behaviour of much of the population and all its negative consequences (including unwanted pregnancy), but in doing so may encourage them to develop a more nuanced outlook on sexual behaviour and morality than ‘put whatever you want into whatever you want as long as there is consent’. 

Spending less time on Tinder may also have economic benefits, as well as tanking the share price and punishing the individuals who have endorsed and profited from a company which aims to take all moral value out of sexual behaviour. In the longer term, the sex strike among liberal women may force on-the-fence men into the arms of more conservative women, thus leading to the creation of a far more conservative next generation. And yet it makes sense that those so committed to the principle that killing babies is acceptable would allow their entire ideology to die out just for the sake of proving said point. 

To sum up, there is no feminist case for abortion. In this way as with so many others, ‘equality’ has been a trojan horse with which to tarnish traditional, feminine, childbearing women in order to create more wage workers. This ultimately benefits those at the top of the capitalist system (men), while making the women concerned insecure and miserable. In encouraging women to deny their reproductive capacity, abortion not only kills children but also kills part of the women concerned. The way to be a good woman is not to bend to the will of a modern man. 

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The Effects of Fatherlessness on Society

Since the 1960’s, the number of children growing up with single mothers has increased exponentially. In the UK in 2020, almost 50% of children were born to an unmarried mother (Statista, 2022), and yet while there has been some political attention given to the topic (such as the creation of the Child Support Agency in 1993), there has been little social discourse about the effects on children, and on wider society. 

There has been increasing evidence that there are, as one can intuitively know, detrimental effects to growing up without a father. 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes, as are 90% of all homeless and runaway children. For boys, the lack of a positive male role model has been shown to lead to a propensity towards violence and even rape, and for girls, the lack of a father figure is linked to sexual promiscuity, substance abuse, and anxiety. 

While most in the mainstream would like to pretend that they do not know this, this has been public information (if not intuitively obvious) for 20 years. Lots of politicians (particularly in the US) have paid lip service to the importance of fathers, but none are willing to confront the two root causes of their absence: feminism and welfare. 

While believing in equality under the law, equal citizenship, and equal value are all good things, the nobel aims of early feminists have been grossly perverted by corporate feminists, who in tun have been cheered on by male capitalists. Given that women generally choose lower-paying jobs, work fewer hours, and are generally less economically productive than men; it only makes sense for those interested in extracting the greatest possible amount of labour from the populace lead women to believe that the way to have the highest value is to devote as much time as possible to work outside the home. 

Given that most high-status jobs have been dominated by men for most of Western history, it was no surprise when women started emulating male habits in other areas of life, such as dress, interests, and general demeanour. In a culture which says that the highest-value women are those who are the most like men, there is no place for fathers as the culture believes that the mothers ‘can have and do it all’. 

However, only very well-educated, highly-paid employees of either sex can support a family alone in the era of the dual-career family. This led the politicians of the mid-20th century to create the other demon which we must reckon with if we want to restore familial harmony in our homes.

Academic research from Griffiths (2017) has shown that the modern system of British welfare encourages mothers to live alone. Some embrace this path of singleness, while others defraud the system by not reporting to the DWP that they have a ‘partner’ resident. Either way, research has clearly shown that modern welfare places the ‘couple penalty’ on poor couples who want to work hard and raise their children with proper parental influences. The feminist reading of this is that by examining people as ‘households’ rather than individuals, women are disenfranchised. Another way of looking at it is to prevent needless overpayment to those out of work. By financially penalising marriage, the state has weakened family bonds to such an extent that, despite the stated desires of those involved, the daily wear of life will cause them to break under slight pressure. 

Most people would agree that those who become single mothers through widowhood, abandonment, or to escape abuse should be supported, but it does not follow that to do this we need a welfare system which incentivises bad behaviour among men. While there are a malevolent few, most men will not sit by at the thought of their children suffering poverty, whatever issues may exist between former couples. In light of this perspective, having a welfare system which is generous to single mothers incentivises father absence, as a man can move on in the knowledge that his ‘baby mama’ will be taken care of. 

Multigenerational father absence is most prominent among black people in the US, so it is only fitting that the long-term societal effects of fatherlessness can be best understood through examining this group. With single motherhood rates of 72%, here fatherlessness is very much the norm. Despite calls from prominent black figures such as Dr Natalie Carroll for her patients to ‘Marry Your Baby Daddy’, because so many in this community have no happily-married role models to compare themselves to, the damage of fatherlessness seems to go unnoticed. Low educational achievement means that (in general) black men do not make desirable husbands, and the better option for women is to marry the government: which provides a steady paycheck, a house, food, and healthcare. High imprisonment rates among black men means that separation from children is long-term and sometimes irreversible. Given that fatherless girls are more likely to be promiscuous, and fatherless boys are more likely to be violent, the cycle continues with no obvious way out other than a major cultural change that sees the value of the nuclear family. 

To sum up, the state-sponsored destruction of the family is a threat to us all. Mothers are extremely valuable in their role as carers, but fathers have an equally important role in providing not just funds, but structure and discipline to a household. Given other trends towards an unstructured lifestyle such as ‘flexible’ working, lax divorce laws, and portfolio careers over the stability of jobs for life, the youth of today are crying out for structure; which means that we are crying out for fathers.

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The government’s ‘compassionate’ approach to addiction has made the problem worse

Methadone has been used to treat heroin (diamorphine) addiction since the 1950’s, but its use has massively increased in the 1990’s. Methadone is a man-made opiate (opioid), which is similar to heroin, and therefore it can be used as a substitute which can be gradually withdrawn, easing the symptoms of heroin withdrawal and, theoretically, making the transition to a clean life easier. 

This is not, however, the reality. In order to be an effective substitute, methadone has to be very chemically similar to heroin, meaning that, in the short term, it has very similar effects. What’s more, as a prescribed drug from NHS clinics, methadone is free to the consumer, who, for 23 and a half hours a day, is free to roam the streets.

Given these two facts combined, I am sure you can guess what the outcome of this has been. Addicts turn themselves in to the drug services (for which they can face no criminal action), gain a high dose of methadone from the well-meaning staff at the drug service, and simply top it up with a reduced dose of heroin; thus saving themselves a few quid. This is not my cynical prediction, but was evident from research undertaken by Radcliffe et al, produced by interviewing 23 using mothers and relevant professionals about their experiences and observations with the drug services.

This demonstrates a major problem with the way that our addiction services are run. I accept the notion that addicts with a genuine desire to get clean, atone for their sins, and contribute to society should be supported in doing so, but this has to be subject to a more rigorous test than simply saying so. 

Given Radcliffe’s findings about the revolving-door nature of our drug services, it is also not unreasonable to suggest that there should be a limit to how many chances someone is given to turn their life around. The other problem with this system is that, while there are guidelines in place for drug services staff, there is no strong requirement that the period for which methadone is prescribed be limited, and that over this period the dose be reduced as is medically desirable. This leaves drug services staff, who often have come to know their patients well, to simply use their discretion on how much state-sanctioned heroin should be prescribed.

Whatever one’s ideological preferences on how this issue is handled, it is clear that this policy simply is not working. Drug-related deaths are increasing, our prisons are dirtier than ever, and more lives are being ruined by drug use; both individual lives and those of their families.

One option is simply to end the methadone programme altogether, and have those who declare a desire to get clean (which is then ratified by professionals) placed into a rehab facility similar to those for alcoholics, where they have no access to any drugs of any kind. 

Heroin, however, is an altogether different beast from alcohol. The effects of withdrawal are so extreme, and one’s tolerance diminishes so quickly, that people often relapse simply to ease the symptoms, and in doing so can fatally overdose, as even within 48 hours their tolerance has diminished. While the physical symptoms of withdrawal are usually over within 10 days, the psychological aspects last a lifetime.  When coming off heroin, people will realise what the effects of it have been on their lives. In many cases they will have burned their bridges with family, lost any productive friendship networks and had their lives dominated by fellow users, and will have few employment prospects. These are scars that last a lifetime, and there are doubts over whether peer support networks are actually as effective as advocates would like us to believe. 

This leaves serious questions about how relapse can be prevented without putting a serious strain on the public purse. While temporary institutionalisation during the period of physical relapse is viable, and probably a worthwhile investment (if only in reducing the demand for drugs), a lifetime of holistic support is not. This issue also opens bigger questions. 

While in theory all adults have the agency to make decisions about their lives and face the consequences of these, the notion of agency becomes very fuzzy when dealing with people who are physically incapacitated after 24 hours of heroin withdrawal. The current legal threshold for institutionalisation under the Mental Health Act is very high, with the need to demonstrate that the individual concerned is a threat to the public before they can be removed from the streets. This means that, legally, despite admitting to heroin use (with the accompanying loss in the ability to make sound judgements), the state still has to treat addicts as competent adults, despite this being clearly not the case. This leaves the state, and of course all of us as taxpayers, open to exploitation by a selfish few trying to exploit a programme meant to help people improve their lives to top up their daily fix.

What is obvious to me is that a sorting process is required. Rather than the drug services staff making arbitrary judgements about what doses are required in a manner akin to the Harry Potter sorting hat, they need to first be given guidance on how to determine who has the serious intention of getting clean, and who is simply trying to exploit the system. 

Allowing methadone out onto the streets means that the doses prescribed by drug centre staff are rendered meaningless as addicts will simply top up with extra bought from the streets, which means that those deemed to have the genuine desire and ability to get clean cannot be allowed to take methadone home with them. It must be taken under professional supervision. 

I am not an addiction specialist. But as someone who has seen half of my family ruined by a small number of using individuals, I know that something has to change. We need to be able to talk about these issues honestly, not blinded by the politically correct notion of ‘compassion’ at the expense of families and communities devastated by drug use. I call on the government to urgently review the procedures for prescribing methadone and consult with specialists on the best way to determine people’s true intentions. Only then can progress be made in freeing Britain from the plight of drugs which has plagued her for 50 years. 

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Tavistock: Not the Victory the Right Thinks It Is

Shutting down Tavistock gender clinic is not the victory the Right thinks it is.

When it was announced on Thursday that the NHS will be shutting down a children’s gender identity development service (not a noun I ever thought I would use), the Sophie Corcorans of the world jumped onto Twitter claiming this as a victory in keeping children away from trans ideology. However, what those so keen to jump on the celebratory bandwagon fail to recognise is that the reason that this clinic is being shut down is not because it was over-providing its services, but the fact that it was seen to be under-providing them. 

While there have been some concerns raised about the overdiagnosis of gender dysphoria, the main reason for the service being shut down has been due to concerns of under provision. The number of referrals to gender specialists across the country has increased from around 140 in 2010, to around 2,300 in 2020. Whereas in the past gender dysphoria mostly affected men who believed themselves to be women, the inverse is now true, and much of the additional referrals come from teenage girls; the same group who are targeted by all others who seek to create a groupthink craze. These stretch from the relatively harmless, like One Direction fans back in the day, to the magazines promoting anorexia in the 90’s – and in the true spirit of throwing the baby out with the bathwater – the same publications now using Tess Holloway to promote ‘health at any size’. 

Because of the immense increase in referrals, waiting times to be seen at Tavistock are now five years. According to Hillary Cass, who was tasked with reviewing the service and writing a report which was published this spring, the service was under ‘unsustainable pressure’, with the long wait times causing patients considerable ‘distress’ and ‘declining mental health’. While the right picked up the quote that the clinic was ‘not safe’ for children, they failed to see that the reason this was claimed is that their supposed needs were being ignored, as opposed to being sated. 

What this argument seems to ignore is that long wait times are good and necessary when dealing with children with no medically urgent needs. Given the number of young adults seeking to de-transition (aka reverse the alterations done to their bodies during their adolescence), forcing those seeking such services to have a long wait period to consider the permanence and impact of such a decision is an entirely sensible policy. In accordance with the government’s focus on levelling up, a new network of ‘regional hubs’ is being planned to replace Tavistock, despite the fact that for someone in Birmingham or Manchester seeking such a service, the need to make a trip to London may make them consider whether or not their reasons for doing so are legitimate. 

However, the long wait times that have been tacit government policy for decades (and quite successfully, given the negligible numbers of de-transitions until very recently) are now being undermined by private providers with even fewer scruples than the NHS. Given that upper middle-class children of guardian-reading intellectuals are most likely to want to transition in the first place, there has been an increase in private provision of cross sex hormones and surgery, as well as an increase in people going abroad for cheaper surgeries. In order to gain the Brownie points of ‘supporting their trans child’, the parents will do whatever is necessary to fast-track their child’s transition without giving them the chance to change their mind. 

In conclusion, shutting down Tavistock is not a victory for conservatives but a loss. The ideologically driven medicine that was once contained in London for those determined enough to make the journey will now be spread out across the country in order to reach more and more children. If the government keeps allowing supply to grow to keep up with the supposed demand, we will end up with a generation where fewer and fewer young people have healthy bodies, and even fewer with healthy minds. However, the worst offenders in creating this contagion among young girls is TikTok and an educational culture which defines its role as helping children ‘unlearn’ their biases, as opposed to learning the realities of the world: until this changes, nothing will. 

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