Some Notes on Forsaken Book Promoted by Nadine Dorries MP

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about Forsaken, a charity offering abortion counselling in Taunton; the charity has published a book, also called Forsaken, which was referenced by Nadine Dorries in a recent Parliamentary debate:

…I shall finish by mentioning a book which is to be launched this month. It is published by the charity Forsaken, which is neither pro-life nor pro-choice: it is pro-women. For two years, the charity has put together the stories of women suffering from post-abortion syndrome. Reading the book is so heart-wrenching that we just want to reach out and take their pain away, but we cannot. There is no going back. We cannot make it better; abortion is a procedure to end life-it is final.

Having seen the book, there is no way that it can be described as “neither pro-life nor pro-choice” – it is blatantly anti-abortion, with two very obvious aims: (a) to make women contemplating abortion feel that they shouldn’t do it; and (b) to persuade women who have had abortions to convert to Christianity. The stories abound with sentences such as “As I prayed, I felt a weight lifted from me”… “I had a new calling in my life – God”… “My son is in the arms of God”… “God has forgiven me, that’s his promise to us all”… “Tears of joy rolled down my cheeks as I realised that they forgave me and so did Jesus”. Interspersed are poems, including one in which a fetus remarks on how the womb is “so wonderfully designed by my Creator”. There’s also a lengthy New Testament quote, from 1 Timothy 1:12-17:

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent (wo) man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The book ends with some short Appendices, outlining “Post Abortion Syndrome” and supposed risks to physical health, and giving the contact details for Alternatives, a counselling service linked to the same church as Forsaken (the Living Light Christian Church, a local moderate Charismatic church).

There are also a few names: the back cover has an old quote from Dr Alfred Bongiovanni (misspelt as “Alfred Bongionni”) on how human life begins at conception, sourced to a book by Randy Alcorn entitled Why Pro-Life?, which might have given Dorries a bit of a clue. Alcorn runs Eternal Perspective Ministries; he has been involved with protests at abortion clinics and is associated with Operation Rescue. There is also a preface by Margaret Cuthill of the Abortion Recovery and Care Helpline; this was formerly British Victims of Abortion, and it was inspired by the National Right to Life Committee’s American Victims of Abortion following visits to the UK’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) by the AVA’s Olivia Gans. According to an article by Ellie Lee, this was the conduit by which the idea of “Post Abortion Syndrome” came to the UK (1).

Tim Ireland has noted that the book was printed with the notice that Forsaken is a registered charity, but that the word “registered” has been Tippexed out. Dorries – who uses accusations of “harassment” to deflect any scrutiny – predictably threatened Tim with the police for “abusive behaviour ” after he contacted the organisation to enquire about its charitable status.

(1) See Ellie Lee (2001) “Reinventing Abortion as a Social Problem: ‘Postabortion Syndrome in the United States and Britain”, in Joel Best (ed.) How Claims Spread: Cross-National Diffusion of Social Problems (Walter De Gruyter: New York) pp. 39-67. On Google Books here.

16 Responses

    As a said before I became a Christian I might even
    have turned to abortion . However now I believe it is a crime against God . Why have women feeling guilty
    for the rest of lives – why not discourage abortion and
    careless sex without marriage. I know that women have strong parental instincts given by God why encourage them into what might turn out to be a lifetime of regret.

    I think that women that have been damaged by abortion should study the advice they have received
    an then go to their lawyers.

    There are plenty of people willing to adpot unawanted

    • Why can’t you respect women as human beings capable of being responsible for their own choices, even if you condemn those choices?

  2. –There are plenty of people willing to adpot unawanted cildren.

    If this is so, why are there orphanages?

    –why not discourage abortion and careless sex without marriage.

    But haven’t churches been doing this for centuries? Do you really think it makes any difference?

  3. Dave

    The churhes have been dong this throughout the centuries but no one has been listening.

    Social Services seem to be obfuscating and opposing adooption -this is nothing to do with the millions who want to adopt.

    I feel sorry for the women that have been ” talked into ”
    abortion by those who don’t care about human life.

    The sin condemns the abortioners more than those
    who have been persuaded to murder their unborn.

    As a former apostate who had no views on abortion – when I look at my children and think I could have murdered them – I am ashamed.

    It is a sin against God but all sins can be forgiven.

    He whom teaches one of these little ones to break my commandments ……………. Jesus


  4. The churhes have been dong this throughout the centuries but no one has been listening.

    Seriously? And your solution is to just go on saying the same thing. Have you thought that no one listens because they think your ideas are impractical?

    Social Services seem to be obfuscating and opposing adooption -this is nothing to do with the millions who want to adopt.

    Again, srsly? Would you say that Britain in Victorian times was more religious than Britain now? The orphanages were bursting. Dickens wasn’t making that stuff up. Likewise Ireland, mostly a Catholic country. And where do we hear of sexual abuse – in orphanages. The people you claim would adopt unwanted kids just don’t exist.

    I feel sorry for the women that have been ” talked into ”abortion by those who don’t care about human life.

    You have absolutely no idea what other people do or do not care about.

  5. Surely by any measurement God is the greatest abortionist of them all! That is, taken from the moment of conception to birth, the number of natural abortions far exceeds those caused by human intervention. Of course, God is apparently allowed to behave immorally as Christians would redefine the word “good” to mean whatever God wants to do.

  6. […] more than adequately established, Forsaken is not all that Dorries cracked it up to be. It’s an anti-abortion organisation with very close ties to an evangelical christian church with all the usual trappings that implies, […]

  7. […] produced by a group called Forsaken, which she described in the same terms. In fact, as I blogged here, the booklet is a religious tract that counsels against abortion and urges women who have had […]

  8. […] or seconded anti-abortion amendments in the last 5-6 years and Dorries’s new running buddies, Forsaken, which has an anti-abortion ‘crisis pregnancy centre’ all of its […]

  9. […] it as being “neither pro-life nor pro-choice”, when its only publication is a booklet explaining that human life begins at conception and that women who have had abortions can find peace and […]

  10. […] it’s well worth reviewing what others have said of the contents of the booklet, starting with Richard Bartholomew: Having seen the book, there is no way that it can be described as ”neither pro-life nor […]

  11. […] then contrast that with the assessment of the same book by Richard Bartholomew who, for my money, is near an unimpeachable source as you’ll find […]

  12. […] When advocating a change in public policy, one cannot simply assert that the potential for a conflict of interest exists and expect to be taken seriously. One must also demonstrate, with supporting evidence, that that conflict of interest is, or has been, acted upon and here Dorries has no evidence to present, save for a few anecdotes of markedly dubious provenance. […]

  13. […] in terms of sin – this is Forsaken, an organisation based in Taunton. Forsaken’s literature associates abortion with a sense of guilt which will be assuaged only by conversion to […]

  14. […] to Bercow, highlighting several instances where Dorries has misled either Parliament (e.g. the Forsaken organisation) or the general public (including false accusations of “stalking” against critics). By […]

  15. […] as being ‘neither pro life or pro-choice’ and which point I’ll call Richard Bartholomew as an expert witness: Having seen the book, there is no way that it can be described as ”neither pro-life nor […]

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