Press Release

Humanity, not politics should guide today’s abortion debate

5 June 2018         Issued by: Christian Concern

Stella Creasy MP has been granted an emergency debate in Parliament today at 12.30pm which, in effect, proposes the decriminalisation of abortion up to birth.

Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Concern said:

“How can we call ourselves a civilised society?

“What has happened to the collective conscience in our nation that would celebrate and relish the right of a mother to kill her unborn child?

“It is astounding to see abortion discussed as though it is a political issue, simply about rights. It was chilling to see the liberalisation of abortion in Ireland greeted with cheers and jubilation. Whatever the circumstances, abortion always means the ending of a human being. How can we glib and celebratory about that, wherever we stand on the abortion issues? We should be shocked out of our complacency. Greater scope to end human life should never be greeted with celebration or as a sign of progress.

“We need to reset the compass. This is not a political issue and it is not for political point scoring. It is a human issue. It is about human beings.

“Mothers everywhere will be able to testify to the power of a mother’s love. How come we have managed to chill that out of existence when it comes to keeping our children safe in our wombs?

“The safest place for any person should be in their mother’s womb, but now it has become the most dangerous places to be.

“If this is how we treat the most vulnerable and voiceless people in society what does that say about our values as a society?

“If babies up to birth are treated as less than human and disposable, which other vulnerable minorities will be next to be treated as less than human?

“No humane society can determine that it is right to be able to kill babies up to the day of their birth.

“This is an emergency for women and children in the UK. Anyone who cares about human life and human rights should want to oppose this proposal.

“I urge MPs to reject what is proposed in this emergency debate. It is a significant moment in our nation.”

Background to debate

Stella Creasy MP has been granted an emergency debate in Parliament today at 12.30pm which will propose the repeal of sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 (OAPA). This is the core statute governing abortion in England and Wales. It provides that abortion (procuring miscarriage) is a grave offence. The Abortion Act, 1967, sets out exceptions to these offences, which are interpreted very broadly.

Indeed, despite what some of campaigners suggest, England and Wales has one of the most liberal abortion laws in the world. The 24 week abortion limit is twice the EU average. Most other countries impose a 12 week limit. If the campaigners in parliament really want to remove abortion from the criminal law, they will also seek to repeal the Infant Life Preservation Act, 1929 (ILPA) which still stands on the statue book and criminalises ‘child destruction’.

Without the OAPA, the exceptions outlined in the Abortion Act, 1967 become redundant introducing one of the most radical abortion laws in the world to England and Wales.

24-week limit is twice the EU average, with most other countries imposing a 12-week limit – effectively abortion on demand right up to birth.

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