Ultimately, the other thing missing from the debate is that if all of us can agree that preventing abortions when possible is a laudable aim then good quality sex and relationships education as defined by the Sex Education Forum and access to contraceptive services that provide choice are absolutely vital.
I've started asking women I know if they consider themselves to be feminists. Whilst doing this I've discovered two things. Firstly, the question causes a little flicker of embarrassment in me. It's almost like asking, were you a virgin when you got married? Or something similar to that type of anachronistic nonsense. Secondly, most women I've asked seem similarly uncomfortable and are often pretty reluctant to identify themselves with Feminism.
Northern Ireland is known for its history of religious and state conflict; a recent scar that most of us living here would wish healed. So strange then that the group most disregarded during the Troubles, yet vital to its peace process, i.e. women, should be the subject of unity between the extremes of both Catholic and Protestant religious voices this week
I wrote this column, not because I wanted to have a row about abortion or "climbing on a bandwagon", but because I desperately wanted "my fellow lefties and liberals to try to understand and respect the views of those of us who are pro-life, rather than demonise us as right-wing reactionaries or medieval misogynists". Yesterday's Twitter responses show that I failed to persuade them to do so.
As a BPAS employee, Cath Sutton's first priority will inevitably be to deflect attention from what they're doing by, in my opinion, lying about what we do. The photos Abort67 uses, however, are accurate depictions of the results of what BPAS does to babies. Sutton and BPAS are frankly lying when they accuse us of shouting at or insulting women. We've never called anyone a murderer, we just let the photos speak for themselves. The photos are real, and raise the question: if what goes on in an abortion facility is so horrific that it has to be hidden at any cost, why do we tolerate it?
As someone who works for a pro-choice education project I've heard just about all the myths about abortion and contraception that are out there. Abortion is safe, legal and common - a third of women in the UK undergo the procedure in their lifetime.
This lack of trust in young people and their developing sexuality is perennial. The persistent attacks on abortion provision have always demonstrated a lack of faith in women's ability to make their own reproductive choices. And public trust in professionals is constantly undermined by insidious reporting on the sexual health and education of children and young people.