The UK Catholic church has officially welcomed Michael Howard’s statement that he would support a reduction in the age beyond which abortion is allowed in the UK. BBC NEWS quotes Blair on the other hand as saying :
“‘However much I dislike the idea of abortion, you should not criminalise a woman who, in very difficult circumstances, makes that choice.
‘Obviously there is a time beyond which you can’t have an abortion, and we have no plans to change that although the debate will continue.’
I dislike this statement of Blair’s for all kinds of reasons but will mention my two main ones- firstly it perpetuates the myth that I can be personally opposed to something as grusome as abortion but happy for others to carry it out. Secondly it is a bald lie, as in the UK there IS now no time beyond which you cannot have an abortion in any circumstances AND the UK law has NEVER recognised an absolute right for abortion at ANY age. Secondly it implies that universal availability of abortion as a means of birth control has long been established in UK law as a right.
Abortion was only allowed for health grounds in England in the first place. The act stated the grounds for abortion were when continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the woman greater than if the pregnancy were terminated with the proviso that account may be taken of the pregnant woman’s actual or reasonably foreseeable environment.
Universal abortion is based on a misinterpretation of the law by doctors which states that “all pregnancies” are more harmful to the health of the mother than abortions. I have never understood why pro-life groups in the UK haven’t tried to close that loophole down in the law courts.
I also don’t understand why it is only the Catholics who have welcomed Michael Howards statement- where are the Evangelicals? Or for that matter the Muslims? We should make this an election issue and ask each candidate where they stand on it, publishing their voting records where relevant as in the USA- why not? I will try and get a reply for the EA on this one. I note that the UK Pro-life party have responded and pointed out that Blair voted for abortion up to the point of birth in 1990.