Scotland’s most senior Roman Catholic, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, used the 40th anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act to challenge Catholic politicians who defend abortion. The cardinal warned that pro-abortion politicians should not expect to remain full church members and invited them to consider their stance on receiving Communion.
He said the abortion rate in Scotland was equivalent to ‘two Dunblane massacres a day’, a reference to the murder of 13 children and their teacher at their school in Dunblane, near Stirling, in March 1996. The cardinal’s opponents have accused him of using inflammatory language.
The number of abortions in Scotland continues to grow. An all-time high of 13,081 pregnancies were terminated in 2006, compared with 12,603 the previous year. The rate of abortions was highest among women aged between 16 and 19.
Speaking at St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh, the cardinal urged decision-makers to stop supporting what he labelled an ‘unspeakable crime’ and called on voters to reject candidates who defend a ‘social evil’.
Since the 1967 Abortion Act came into force, approximately seven million abortions have taken place in Britain.