Rights and wrongs

I believe in freedom of choice, within certain limits to be sure, so long as no-one is adversely affected by the choices I make, I don’t see how it’s the business of anyone particularly the state and the powers that be just what the hell I do with my life. I guess it’s a case of “responsible” freedom of choice.

Abortion, one of the more controversial issues of our times, though carried out throughout the ages often enough for women by women, though lately enough these days by all sexes in abortion clinics. I’m not going to get into the supposed rights or wrongs of abortion though, it’s legal and a matter of freedom of conscience for those involved, what I do object to though is others taking more than a disapproving attitude towards it if they object to what is being done…


An activist claims to have hacked into the website of Britain’s largest abortion clinic.
He claims to have the ‘entire database and contact details’ of women who had contacted the British Pregnancy Advisory Service and warned that information would be released today.
BPAS has been quick to reassure women who have had treatment that he would have been unable to access any medical or personal information about them, saying there is no danger their names were about to be made public.
Yesterday the unnamed activist wrote a message on Twitter claiming he had ‘hacked’ into the website of BPAS, which sees 50,000 women a year. ‘Database dump will be released tomorrow [Friday]’ he added.
When another user of the website suggested his claims were untrue, he wrote: ‘Wrong. We have their entire database and customers’ contact details.’

Now if this “hacker” wanted to protest about abortion, that’s his right, what he (I’m assuming that anyone using a pseudonym of Pablo Escobar is male) is doing though is exposing the details of people whom he doesn’t know, whose circumstances he doesn’t know to the glare of publicity. There are many reasons why a woman will choose to have an abortion and they are not all to do with having been careless, there are often sound medical reasons for the procedure and although there are many reasons for objecting to the procedure too, what you don’t have is the right to expose a clinics clients to the glare of public exposure, under any circumstances as you don’t know if the woman involved actually had an abortion or was just merely enquiring.

Freedom to choose should not mean that you are absolved of the freedom to take the consequences (though don’t get me started on lenient judges) The hacker might be a hero to some in some circles, but in essence he’s a thief, he’s not even exposing criminal activity (in the laws eyes) to public scrutiny as an investigative journalist would be doing to uncover corruption. What he’s doing is causing more heartache and stress to a lot of women who may have felt they had nowhere else to go and deeply grieve what they did.

6 comments for “Rights and wrongs

  1. Single Acts of Tyranny
    March 9, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Whilst I agree with the thrust of the article, legally the hacker is not a thief, at least not according to the last government.

    do you recall the Lichtenstein disks that were stolen by some disgruntled ex-employee which contained details of people who may not have paid all their UK taxes? I wrote to my MP (a tory) asking why the government was dealing with criminals when they bought the disks (to obviously chase down taxpayers with foreign accounts)? She, clearly seeing a hot potato passed it straight to the treasury without comment.

    The treasury claimed that information was not property within the meaning of the theft act and as the information was not actual physical property, there was no theft (they ignored the fact the disks were actual property).

    So it seems to me that the governemnt might find itself on a sticky wicket here, if it gets involved, though to reiterate, I agree with the sentiments of your post.

    • March 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      Yet they can impose unlimited fines for IP theft?

      • Single Acts of Tyranny
        March 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm

        Yep, it’s almost like the law doesn’t apply equally…

        • Lord T
          March 10, 2012 at 6:48 pm

          What! Say it isn’t so.

  2. John
    March 9, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    I once had a girlfriend who underwent surgical sterilisation due to the risks from a medical condition she had.

    The procedure was carried out by BPAS. Not everyone goes there for an abortion.

  3. March 10, 2012 at 7:15 am

    It’s absolutely amazing how fast the police were onto this, isn’t it? Given their usual excruciatingly slow reaction to other technology-related crimes…

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