‘Call the Midwife’ . My full complaint to the BBC Executive Complaints Unit

Mar 3, 2019 by

by Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday:

[…]  As for the bias of the programme, it is beyond dispute, as the speeches I quoted in my original complaint show:

A married woman with two children, who had become unexpectedly pregnant, was shown seeking and being refused an abortion ( as was the law at the time – apparently 1964 as identified by the playing of the song ‘World Without Love’ on the radio). She was then shown obtaining a back street abortion and dying as a result. The woman herself was depicted as saying (using language and terms unlikely to be current in Poplar in 1964): ‘ ‘It isn’t what I wanted. Are women not allowed to want or not want things? I thought it was going to be different for us, that we were going to be able to choose.’

After she dies, the nurse ‘Trixie’ was shown saying to the police ‘ ‘We see this all the time. Young, young girls, exhausted older women, mothers who don’t know when their next penny or next beating is coming from, and others who want to take control of their bodies and their lives. And all we can do is pat them on the hand and say “you’ll manage, everybody does”. But not everybody does. Not everybody believes us. So sorry. I can’t help you. I’m even more sorry that I couldn’t help her.’

These were not just fervent statements of the pro-legalisation case. They were quite unbalanced by any contrary argument, though several persons portrayed in the drama (especially nuns) would certainly, in 1964, have been strongly and articulately opposed to wider legalization and could, without any unrealistic breaking of the conventions of drama, have been given the opportunity to express them as persuasively and passionately as the pro-abortion case was made. Given all the effort made to try to recreate 1964 with costumes, music, cars, props etc, it seems odd that no effort should be made to recreate its actual moral and political atmosphere. If it is not about 1964, which of course it is, then why go to such lengths to make it look as if it is? Absolutely no such attempt was made.

One explanation for the bias may lie in a letter from Diane Munday, the well-known pro-abortion campaigner (https://humanism.org.uk/about/our-people/patrons/diane-munday/) published in ‘The Guardian’of 20th February, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/19/bbc-action-line-abortion-hard-to-find-letters in which Ms Munday states that she was  ‘asked to help with the research for the excellent Call the Midwife programmes involving illegal abortions’

Two points arise here. Was any opponent of abortion extension in 1967 (or indeed any critic of abortion)  ‘asked to help’ with the research? I rather doubt it.  And Ms Munday endorses the programmes as ‘excellent’, as indeed they are from her point of view, since they embrace it. She would not be so keen on them if they were not biased towards her point of view

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