The only "appalling" thing about Maria Caulfield's appointment is the hysterical reaction to it
Posted by Alithea Williams on 9 January 2018
Maria Caulfield MP speaks against Diana Johnson's decriminsalisation bill.
Yesterday, in the Government's much anticipated reshuffle, Maria Caulfield, Conservative MP for Lewes, was appointed as the Conservative Party's Vice-Chair for women.
If, like me, you had never heard of there being such a role, you might have thought this wasn't a very big deal, especially as Ms Caulfield is a backbench MP who was only elected in 2015. However, within an hour, the media was full of articles condemning the appointment and denouncing Ms Caulfield's "appalling" comments.
Opposing the abortion agenda
So what had the member for Lewes done during her short tenure in Parliament to invoke such ire? In March, she spoke against Diana Johnson MP's ten minute rule bill on decriminalising abortion - an extreme bill that would have deprived unborn children of any remaining effective protection from abortion. As Ms Caulfield explained in her speech, the bill would have made it easier for abusive partners to force women into abortions, using pills easily obtained online.
You don't even have to be pro-life to make these kinds of points. But apparently opposing an extreme bill which has not in fact become law, is enough to make Ms Caulfield unsuitable for any role involving women, if the headlines are to be believed."Theresa May blasted after appointing anti-abortion MP Maria Caulfield as new vice-chair for women” , screamed the Sun, "Why Has Theresa May Appointed A Vice Chair Who Doesn’t Trust Women To Make Their Own Decisions On Abortion?" inquired the Huffington post, "Maria Caulfield: MP’s new women’s role sparks backlash" said the BBC, "The Conservatives’ New Vice Chair For Women Wants Abortion To Remain A Criminal Act" lamented Buzzfeed, and so on.
The furore started on twitter, with BPAS, Britain's largest abortion provider, beginning an increasingly hysterical chain of tweets with "We are incredibly disappointed to hear that Maria Caulfield MP, who supports the criminalisation of women who end their own pregnancies, is the new CCHQ Vice Chair for Women." Dawn Butler, the Shadow Women and Equalities Minister, was equally quick off the mark, with "Appalling decision by @Theresa_May to promote Maria Caulfield to Vice Chair for Women given her stance on abortion. Women deserve to have the strongest advocates at the top of politics, not people who seek to restrict their rights and freedoms."
Newsflash: Lobby group condemns someone who opposed their campaign
There's so much wrong with all this. We can't really be surprised that BPAS (and Diana Johnson) don't like Maria Caulfield's appointment. After all, she opposed their bill, and exposed the appalling record of the abortion industry, saying: "I am amazed that the Bill’s backers, including private abortion providers, have the gall to propose these changes, which would remove regulations at a time when the UK abortion industry is knee-deep in revelations of unethical, unsafe and unprofessional practices." We can only shake our heads in wonder when being a "voice for the unborn child" is seen as the ultimate crime, and a woman can be attacked for seeking to uphold "the dignity and rights of women" and unborn children.
What is appalling is the media uncritically repeating bpas' rhetoric that Maria Caulfield is some kind of woman-hating extremist for opposing a bill which hasn't become law and which the vast majority of the public do not support. It's appalling that the BBC's political correspondent described her appointment as a "glitch" and retweeted bpas' condemnation.
We mustn't let them control the narrative
Of course BPAS and their allies are going to promote abortion. But they don't get to decide on who the Conservatives appoint to run their party. People who don't agree with their extreme abortion agenda have a right to be involved in public life. The likes of BPAS and Dawn Butler don't get to speak for all women, and assume that we all support abortion on demand, and can't cope with someone who doesn't agree with it holding any public role involving women. This hounding and bullying by the abortion lobby has to stop.
If, like me, you welcome the fact that the Vice-Chair for Women is an MP who has spoken out against the mistreatment of women and babies by the abortion industry, make your views known! Show your support to Maria Caulfield on twitter (tagging 10 Downing Street to make sure they know). Call out the media for their bias in reporting this story. Write to Ms Caulfield encouraging her in her pro-life stance, especially if you happen to be her constituent. The vast majority of the public to not agree with the extreme discriminalisation agenda - we musn't allow this small majority of bullying activists to dominate the agenda and hound out anyone who disagrees with them.