UK abortion debate grows 40 years after first law allowing it

October 25, 2007

Over at another Reuters blog, Ask… , my London-based colleague Michael Holden has put the spotlight on a growing debate in Britain about the 40-year-old abortion law there. The law has come under increasing fire in recent years from anti-abortion activists, who say medical advances mean a foetus born before the 24-week limit can survive and the limit should therefore be reduced. At the same time, pro-abortion activists want to change the law to make it easier to obtain an abortion by dropping the requirement that two doctors agree to the procedure.

Michael’s post asks:

Abortion – time for a change?

October 24th, 2007, filed by Michael Holden

embryo1.jpgThe highly charged issue of abortion is once again becoming a hot political issue.

Ever since terminations were legalised in1967, there has been heated debate between those who argue that abortions are morally wrong and those who say it is a woman’s right to choose whether to have a baby.

Then there are the medical issues. Doctors support maintaining the 24-week upper limit for abortions, arguing that is the point at which a foetus is considered viable. However others say scientific advances mean this is no longer the case and this limit should be reduced.

Last year the number of abortions rose by 4 percent and Lord Steel, who brought forward the original Abortion Act as a young MP, has voiced his concern that there are too many terminations nowadays and some women are acting irresponsibly.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has also said he worries that people need to think harder about the consequences of their actions.

So should there be a change in the law? Or should people instead be given better advice and sex education to help them avoid unwanted pregnancies in the first place?

P.S. for FaithWorld — Two Catholic cardinals, Cormac Murphy-O’Connor of London and Keith O’Brien of Edinburgh, have also joined the debate. They issued a joint letter calling for a change in attitudes to help reduce the number of abortions. Here are the text (PDF) and a BBC story on it.

4 comments

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The irony is laughable. The British pro-life faction put Blair in Power, just like the so called Christian pro-life factor did in the U.S. with Bush.

Those two marched off to Iraq so self-righteously and proceeded to bring about the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Living Babies and children with hundreds of thousands more mutilated for life. Then the pro-lifers voted them back into power for another run.

Christ once told some very religious self righteous people something interesting, he said “Even the prostitutes are going into Heaven ahead of you”

I think he was wise enough to know what the prostitution profession was all about. He knew that their activity led to unwanted children and they practiced abortion in his time too.

If he let them alone and promised them that they were going into Heaven ahead of the self righteous church goers of those days, I think it would be wise for the so called Christian and other so called Devout people to mind their own business. What is between God and an individual will be decided without your help.

Meanwhile, the self righteous prigs who feel fine going around the world telling others how to live, even if their cities have to be destroyed in order to live the way the prigs want, should ponder this; Every time you, the male prigs have masturbated, you have destroyed life.

For the priggish females, how many times do you think your self-righteous boyfriend or husband masturbated in his life. Why are you still with him? Do you consider him a murderer?

You better put a leash on him because if I know men as well as I know I do, he doesn’t want to be spending all his time with your type.

Norman G.

Posted by Norman Grochowski | Report as abusive

Next time you meet a poor child from a poor neighbourhood, or a physically or mentally disabled person, or a person who has a cleft lip or club foot, or perhaps someone from an ethnic minority where males are more valued than females but were unfortunate to be born female instead of a wanted male….ask them as simple question, are you glad to be alive or do you wish your mother had excercised her right to choose; to abort you?

As a society we are only as good as we treat the weakest and most vulnerable amongst us, which on the evidence of the last 40 years makes us truly barbaric as a nation. Showing no regard for the welfare or the life of the unborn child. We have allowed the militant feminist and pro abortionist to perpetuate their myths about abortion and turned away from the truly horrific reality of this continuing destruction of healthy innocent human life. ( over 97% of abortions in the UK are carried ‘for social reasons’).

Today in the UK the mothers womb is probably one of the most dangerous places to be in the world, the chances of being killed are probably much higher than living in places like Baghdad…..we should take stock and ask ourselves, and ask what does this really say about our society?

“Next time you meet a poor child from a poor neighbourhood, or a physically or mentally disabled person, or a person who has a cleft lip or club foot, or perhaps someone from an ethnic minority where males are more valued than females but were unfortunate to be born female” –

Sure, you could ask them if they are glad to be alive, but where are these people?

The poor, the physically/mentally disabled, the disfigured…..the majority are marginalized in society, living on the edges, unwelcome in regular schools, unwanted in organizations, ignored, abused and ridiculed.

I can’t remember the last time I came across a blind receptionist or was served coffee by a waiter with Downs. I can’t remember the last time I saw an employee in a wheelchair in any organization anywhere……

I do know of the horrendously complex, lengthy and costly battle a Prof undertook to obtain access to the regular school system for his autistic son. He succeeded in defeating the segregation system due to his intellectual/critical thinking abilities and dogged persistence. However, the school system admitted his son – and only his son….. Any parent wanting the same opportunities for their mentally/physically challenged child must fight their own interminable, costly and complex battle.

So – castigate pro-choice folks if you must…..

But as long as the poorest in society are single mothers, and that the home caregivers of the young, the aged, the infirm and the challenged are mostly women who are unpaid, unrecognized, unvalued and unacknowledged and that those they care for remain largely invisible in general society…….. Then thousands of women will continue to view abortion as a responsible solution to unwanted pregnancies.

As simon posted above “( over 97% of abortions in the UK are carried ‘for social reasons’).
…….we should take stock and ask ourselves, and ask what does this really say about our society?”

best,

Siriata

Posted by siriata | Report as abusive