Most national commemorations mark the triumphant end of some aggressive action by man against man, the day when peace was at last established, or a dictatorship overthrown, or apartheid repudiated, or slavery abolished.
This year we will be commemorating in the United Kingdom a truly unworthy aspect of our past but which, unlike the tragedies above, is still with us today. On October 27th, it will be four decades since the passing of the Abortion Act 1967, which formally legitimised the destruction of the most helpless of all human life, the child in the womb. Over 6.7 million unborn babies have been aborted since then, 6.7 million unknown, unnamed innocents.
Far from things changing for the better, the annual abortion figures in the UK are escalating. Multiple abortions are on the increase, younger and younger girls are ending up in the clinics, morning-after-pills are distributed by school nurses. Most pregnancies are terminated with minimum if any deference at all to the law. Eugenic abortion is available up to birth.
There can be no joy whatsoever in our hearts as we prepare for the 40th commemoration of the Abortion Act, only an overwhelming sense of sadness and immeasurable loss. The damaging impact of abortion on the medical and psychological health of the women and families involved, on the medical profession, and on the integrity of society itself is incalculable. And it would be impossible to quantify the value in human terms of the millions who have been denied the chance to live.
For some in this country there will never be such a thing as too many abortions. They continue to argue that there are not enough, either in this country or in the developing world. Like Marie Stopes International, who are holding a conference to ‘celebrate’ the Abortion Act, with the participation of Amnesty International, Catholics for a Free Choice, The Guttmacher Research Institute, International Planned Parenthood. On the platform will be the inevitable UK pro-abortion notables agitating for ever more liberal provision of abortion. David Steel, described grandly as the Architect of the Abortion Act, has a prime position on the day, and very disappointingly Journalist and Broadcaster, Sue MacGregor will chair one of the meetings.
Now is absolutely the right time to turn back the tide of abortion. In the heart of the nation, there is an understanding that abortion was never meant to be an unrestrained right and never should be. Even those who consider the practice a sad necessity are worried that the law is being abused in a way which should not be tolerated. And nobody but the absolute fanatic would ever suggest that the experience of abortion is something a woman easily forgets.
For the first time since 1990 there is a real possibility that abortion will be on the political agenda, possibly as part of the Human Tissue and Embryos Bill. The Commons’ Science & Technology Select Committee is completing an inquiry into abortion.
Many of us want to see abortion confined to history forever. Nobody but an absolute extremist can see abortion as a good thing and we must solve the problems that lead women to contemplate such a tragic end to a pregnancy, find real solutions long before they reach the abortion clinic. This way the abortion numbers will at last begin to fall. We believe that women, their unborn babies, their families, and society itself deserve much better than abortion.