Three cheers for the cross-party, cross-community initiative to ban abortion outside the NHS in Northern Ireland in order to circumvent the nefarious activities of a franchise of the body bearing the name of a demented woman to whom the last Conservative Government gave the CBE. The State is in itself an agent of and for morality, if there is the will to make it so, and in reality even if there is not.
Anti-statism makes that impossible. It leaves us to the ravages of "the market", with its slavery and its child labour, its opium dens and its seven-day working weeks, its prostitution and its pornography, its drugs and its abortions. The ostensible refusal of the State to intervene in economic activity is in fact an intervention. But it is the wrong intervention. Not least, though not only, because it sets the wrong wider and deeper moral tone.
That is the reason why we had the NHS for an entire generation before we had abortion, and why those Western European countries where no section of the Political Class has ever adopted what in any case is now a rather passé American attitude to "socialised medicine" have never adopted American-style abortion laws. It is no coincidence that abortion was legalised up to birth by Margaret Thatcher, just as it was no coincidence that it had been legalised in California by Ronald Reagan.
The longstanding ban on federal funding of abortion was enacted by a Democratic Congress and signed into law by Jimmy Carter It has been written into ObamaCare, whereas RomneyCare permitted taxpayer funding of abortion, from which Mitt Romney himself continues to derive an income. The transition to a de facto federal government monopoly in healthcare provision, combined with Democratic measures such as the Pregnant Women Support Act of the totally pro-life and firmly Obama-allied Senator Bob Casey, will therefore lead inexorably to a Western European-style absence of much or any abortion in the United States.
Would that anyone would suggest such a thing in the 1980s theme park of Coalition Britain. But in one corner of the United Kingdom, they are doing a lot more than merely suggesting it.