Jos Bell reports on Jeremy Hunt's anti-abortion comments - and how they sum up David Cameron's arrogant, out-of-touch, anti-women Tory government to a tee.
We seek him here we hunt him there – now Jeremy blunders into the open air…
Who else can claim to occupy a 100% of a NO pie chart?
Who else can be accurately be described as a tree hugging sloth?
If Jeremy Hunt was not enough of a joke before this week, then (despite stiff competition) he is surely set to find his place as one of the most derided ministers of all time.
Which makes his appointment as Secretary of State for Health 100% alarming.
As if to underline the fact, his first statement as Lansley’s legacee finds him emerging from the undergrowth to declare he believes (for non-religious reasons) abortion should be restricted to a 12-week limit (£).
Enter a tornado of reactions such as:
“GET OUT OF MY WOMB JEREMY HUNT #huntthec***”
…shouted into the Twittersphere by @lcocallaghan.
Predictably many women told him in no uncertain terms to keep his hands off their reproductive organs, along with men of good conscience stating their outrage and scorn at his words.
It seems Jeremy has absolutely no notion of or interest in the medical implications of his statement – which only goes to demonstrate David Cameron’s crass lack of ethics in appointing him to be health secretary.
“47,000: The number of women globally who die from unsafe abortions every year. ‘These deaths are almost entirely preventable.’”
Does Jeremy imagine all good reasons for abortion suddenly cease at 12 weeks?
Would the 12 week rule mean women would stop seeking abortions beyond this point?
Perhaps he wants to take out shares in back street abortion services?
Does he have any understanding it is only at the point of the 18-weeks scan most serious defects in the foetus can be identified – and the few emerging before this, such as those bravely disclosed by @CathyNewman in the Telegraph this week, can only be diagnosed after 12 weeks.
It is also true many women don’t know for certain they are pregnant until the 12-week point – and beyond. For these women the point of no return would lie in the Hunt hands – he who also promotes benefit cuts, housing cuts and the dismantling of the NHS.
His belief system is presumably one of ‘have the child and suffer afterwards’ rather than the typical pro-lifer stance which nonsensically portrays the life of the unborn having more importance than that of the mother; either way, it’s all about the control of women via reproduction constraints.
On the eve of their annual conference, Ipsos MORII say the Conservatives lag 30 points behind Labour on NHS – and Hunt’s tenure, which many are now quipping should be restricted to 12 weeks, is unlikely to turn that around.
However, as the Tory party faithful converge on Birmingham, is Hunt’s statement all that it appears?
“Is Jeremy Hunt creating a cunning stunt? Tories do not want conference to discuss economy, jobs, railways and the rest of their INEPTOCRACY”
Likewise Hunt’s remarks – quickly refuted by Mr Cameron – also shows the PM up in a better light as the voice of reason, protecting the 24-week status quo – enabling him to lay claim to be a defender of women’s rights.
“How depressing to have a health secretary whose main aim is to please the Tory Tea Party tendency. He’s in the wrong job”
…and in reply to a disappointed Catholic
“I feel increasingly at odds with today’s unforgiving Catholic Church. Life is not as black and white as they seem to see it.”
Jeremy now searches the horizon for a Burnham lookalike to set up as a jewel thief…
There are definitely several reasons why Hunt would have chosen these words at this point in time – or perhaps have them chosen for him; and let us not forget his health brief where he would also seek to deflect attention from serious failings:
• The revelation wards in 20% of our hospitals are set to close;
• The near-6,000 front line nursing posts which have been cut;
For a health secretary to issue a statement which will never become policy as his first act in the role, perhaps gives us a clue that post-Leveson, Jeremy simply continues in his role as Cameron’s patsy.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.