The BBC’s documentary ‘Abortion on Trial’, aired on BBC 2 on Monday evening was at best irritating and at worst a shameless propaganda tool used to further the cause for decriminalisation. The presenter of the show, Anne Robinson made no effort to hide her own strong belief in legalised abortion right at the beginning of the show and this set the precedent for the rest of the programme. The group that were invited to participate in the show was also grossly unbalanced, only two people were opposed to abortion and even one of those was confused as to what being pro-life really meant, the other 7 identified as being ‘pro-choice’.
During the course of the programme, certain individuals were invited to talk to the group, all of these outside guests were in favour of further liberalisation of abortion laws. Both Diane Mundey a veteran pro-abortion activist and Lord Steel who brought in the 1967 Act both favourably discussed decriminalisation. No pro-life campaigners were invited to talk to the group at all despite the makers of the programme having been put in touch with at least half a dozen pro-life activists in various areas. After these people were interviewed it seems they were deemed unsuitable for the shows agenda. One woman they spoke to prior to the programme being made had been raped and coerced into having an abortion which she deeply regretted. She was interviewed for a long time but her story never made it to the final show – why? Maybe because a story like that wouldn’t help the push for abortion on demand. In addition to this a video account of an agoraphobic woman was used in order to promote making the abortion pill available for women to take in their homes. Worryingly at no time were safety implications / risks discussed surrounding this at all.
The format of the show was extremely questionable, discussions seemed to be quite often lubricated with alcohol, which doesn’t really mix well with raw grief and heightened emotions and counselling for those in the group who appeared traumatised seemed to be lacking.
There were some very poignant comments that did emerge during the course of the show, with one woman admitting, “I am haunted by my abortion, you do pay a price, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about it.”
Rather than an informative documentary where abortion was objectively put on trial it seemed to be a kind of ‘big brother’ experiment where emotionally vulnerable women and one man who were all grieving their own past experiences were manipulated to fit the decriminalisation agenda with Anne Robinson as the main protagonist. Let’s hope that the women who were used to make this prime time piece of pro-abortion propaganda will find the help and support they will need to deal with the painful aftermath.
If you would like to complain to the BBC about this programme, you can phone on 03700 100 222* or 03700 100 212* (textphone) *24 hours, charged as 01/02 geographic numbers Or you can post to BBC Complaints, PO Box 1922, Darlington, DL3 0UR.