Wednesday, 29 August 2012
The Unconditional Right to Life
Few people in the North with even a passing interest in pro-life issues can have failed to notice the ferocity with which the advocates of abortion on demand have recently rounded on Jim Wells, the deputy chairman of the Northern Ireland Assembly health committee (pictured here at the SPUC Northern Ireland conference last March). From the vitriol directed at him anyone would think that Jim had said something controversial but in fact he merely articulated the right to life of an unborn child under the present law. Neither foetal abnormality nor rape are grounds for abortion here.
Believing that all children have an equal right to life does not mean we lack compassion for a woman expecting a child diagnosed with a disability or a woman who is pregnant through rape because abortion is never a compassionate response to a crisis pregnancy.
What really lies behind the fake sense of outrage manufactured by the BBC and the Belfast Telegraph is an attempt to silence politicians who are prepared to defend unborn children without equivocation or ambiguity.
In the past we have seen how effective the media can be in intimidating politicians who publicly fail to support the agenda of the homosexual rights lobby. Even the most moderate and measured language is characterised as religious bigotry and the incitement of hate crimes. This tactic has been very successful and now it is being directed against pro-life politicians.
So why is all this happening now? Well, it’s a direct result of the announcement that the department of health will soon introduce a new system for collecting data on abortions taking place within the Province. It is this news that has caused the weeping and grinding of teeth in the abortion lobby. Once doctors have to record the reasons they have for approving an abortion they can be held legally responsible for those decisions. The abortion lobby needs secrecy if unlawful abortions for foetal abnormality are to continue. The prospect of the law being applied here has led the ‘usual suspects’ to lash out.
Perhaps pro-life people of faith could remember Jim and his colleagues in Northern Ireland All-party Pro-life Group (APPLG) in their prayers. Since its establishment in 2007 the APPLG has proven to be incredibly successful and was bound to come under attack.
I would also recommend that people take the time to write a quick note to the Belfast Telegraph in support of Jim and the unconditional right of all children to be born. I’ve copied the paper’s postal and email address below together with a letter of mine which was published today.
124-144 Royal Avenue
Attacks on Jim Wells MLA for defending unborn children ignore the reality of abortion.
Our law permits abortion only to save a woman's life. The mother's condition, not the child's, is decisive. The law protects children regardless of disability or circumstances of conception.
Rape is traumatic, but to argue that aborting a child conceived through rape undoes that trauma ignores that abortion, too, is an act of violence. Of 200,000 babies aborted in Britain annually, less than one percent are conceived through rape. Yet such cases are often used to legalise abortion. In 1939, Dr Aleck Bourne, an abortion advocate, challenged the authorities to prosecute him after he performed an abortion on a 14-year-old girl, pregnant through rape.
Although guilty, the judge re-interpreted the law to ensure Bourne's acquittal, claiming that he saved the girl's life by preventing her from becoming a mental wreck. His acquittal ultimately led to the passage of the 1967 Abortion Act.
The 1967 Act, however, did not specify rape as grounds for abortion, because it was not supposed to provide abortion on demand.
Forty-five years later, abortion is known to be deeply damaging to a woman's mental health. One UK study found that women who had undergone abortion had a significantly increased risk of suicide compared with women whose pregnancies ended in birth. By 1967, Aleck Bourne realised that he did not help the 14-year-old girl, but he had opened the floodgates. As a founding member of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), he campaigned against abortion until his death. Today, the SPUC is proud to work with Jim Wells and other politicians who believe a child's right to exist does not depend on the circumstances of his, or her, conception.