Wednesday, 21 June 2006

The Cardinal on Abortion

The Cardinal* has had a meeting with the Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, in the hope of re-opening discussion of the outdated UK abortion laws (going back to 1967) and as a start lowering the 24-week abortion limit. He said: 'Whilst I would welcome any move to reduce the number of abortions in Britain, the Church will continue to state that abortion is the wrongful taking of human life.' This follows the signing of a Commons motion by 31 MPs calling for a review of the legislation.

According to the BBC, 'Patricia Hewitt has already said this year she is not in favour of lowering the limit despite the likes of France, Germany and Italy setting the limit at between 12 and 13 weeks. And Downing Street said the Prime Minister believes the abortion laws are a matter for individual MPs rather than the government. But the church leader believes recent opinion polls have shown public opinion is changing. A survey by the Observer newspaper earlier this year showed that half of women wanted tougher laws. Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor said there was "substantial and growing disquiet in Britain at the numbers of abortions."'

* this phrase may confuse American readers - in England and Wales we only have one Cardinal, Cormac Murphy-O'Connor of Westminster, and so we call him 'the Cardinal.'


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