On 40th anniversary of abortion, UK cardinals insist it is "always a choice between life and death"
Cardinals Cormac Murphy-O'Connor and Keith O'Brien
Cardinals Cormac Murphy-O'Connor and Keith O'Brien
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The presidents of the Catholic Bishops' Conferences of Scotland and England and Wales have issued a letter considering the forty years of legalized abortion in Britain. Their message emphasizes that "abortion is always a choice between life and death" and that political action must be taken to protect the unborn. 

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Scotland, and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, called for social change and gradual political action to effect achievable pro-life reforms.  "It is both licit and important for those in public life who oppose abortion on principle to work and vote for achievable incremental improvement to what is an unjust law," they wrote.

The United Kingdom has one of the most unrestrictive abortion laws in Europe, allowing abortion up to 24 weeks into gestation.  In cases of fetal disability and other exceptional circumstances, abortions are permitted even until birth.

The cardinals also endorsed policies and habits that would lower the abortion rate even without outlawing abortion.  "The law affects attitudes, but it does not itself compel anyone to have an abortion. Even without a change in the law the abortion rate could fall dramatically if enough minds and hearts were changed."

Examining the pro-choice rhetoric which says that having an abortion is about ‘the woman’s right to choose’, the cardinals pointed out that ironically, women who have had abortions have often said they did not have a genuine choice. "Abortion is a moment of choice. Abortion is always a choice between life and death, but we recognize that it is made in complex personal and domestic situations," they wrote.

The UK cardinals proposed improving these situations by encouraging fathers to take responsibility for their child, increasing counseling and health facilities for women in unexpected pregnancies, and dismantling the social "conveyor belt" that encourages women to abort without exploring alternatives.  They stressed the importance of parents and families who would support their daughters and sons in making pro-life decisions.  Further, they called for educational programs that both emphasize placing sexual relations in the context of marital fidelity and help people "understand realistically the joys and sacred responsibility of parenthood."

The two leaders of the Church in the UK closed their letter by holding up the dignity of human life created in the image of God and expressing hope that the next forty years would look much different than the past forty years of legal abortion in Britain. 

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 26, 2015

Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30