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Abortion challenged

July 2016

Pro-life groups have reacted with dismay at the latest batch of abortion statistics for England and Wales, and with outrage over a recent media interview given by Professor Cathy Warwick of the Royal College of Midwives.

The Department of Health statistics show that 185,824 abortions were carried out in England and Wales, during 2015, a 0.7 per cent increase from 2014. While the percentage of abortions for women under 30 has decreased, it has risen for women over 30.

Equally concerning has been the 3.7 per cent increase of babies aborted on the grounds of disability. Some were aborted for conditions such as spina bifida, and even cleft palate. Most notably, 689 babies were aborted on the grounds of a Down’s syndrome diagnosis, a 4 per cent rise from 2014.

The liberalising Abortion Act came into effect in Britain (but not Northern Ireland) in April 1968, and its parameters were further widened by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act of 1990.

But what has become frequent medical practice, under a cloak of legality, is a manifestly unbiblical and immoral assault on human life, since, from conception onwards, each individual human being is distinct and special in the sight of God (Psalm 51:5; 139:13-16).

Midwives

The new abortion figures came only days after it emerged that the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) had been — apparently unwittingly — drawn into a campaign to fully decriminalise abortion, spearheaded by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS).

In the furore that followed, an Early Day Motion was tabled in the House of Commons by Labour MP Rob Flello, calling for the immediate resignation of Cathy Warwick, RCM’s chief executive.

The motion stated that Prof. Warwick introduced the new policy without consulting RCM members or the RCM board, and highlighted her astonishing comment, in the Daily Telegraph on 20 May 2016, that ‘abortion is part of the role of a midwife’. Prof. Warwick is (also astonishingly) chair of the trustees of BPAS, an organisation whose website unashamedly advertises itself as the UK’s leading abortion care service.

Midwives, MPs, Christian Concern and other pro-life groups have called on Cathy Warwick to step down from her position as RCM head. At the time of writing, 36,000 people have signed a petition, ‘Not in our Name’. The signatories include around 750 midwives.

The latest abortion figures also add to concerns about the new pre-natal test for Down’s — ‘non-invasive prenatal testing’ (NIPT) — which is predicted to lead to even more abortions, and has provoked an outcry from Christian Concern, Don’t Screen Us Out, and other Christian and pro-life groups.

In a further development, a bill to outlaw abortion on the grounds of disability has been given its first reading in the House of Lords. Conservative peer Lord Shinkwin has introduced the Abortion (Disability Equality) Bill, which proposes to outlaw abortions on the basis of mental or physical disability.

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