WESTMINSTER, 9 May 2005 - The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children warned in the wake of Friday's general election results that a review of the abortion law under the new Parliament would lead to more abortions than ever. Such a review would not lead to revoking "up till birth" provision for aborting disabled babies and others.
Commenting on the election result, Paul Tully, SPUC general secretary said: "Britain's anti-life Labour government - perhaps the most anti-life we have ever had - has been returned to power with a reduced but still workable majority. The new strongly pro-abortion Health Secretary is another ominous sign.
"The strength of this government may have been sapped, but its sting has not been drawn. For the past eight years, they have worked to promote abortion at home and abroad, to promote embryo research, including human cloning, and most recently have legislated for euthanasia-by-omission in the Mental Capacity Act.
"The election result means that a review of the law on abortion is certainly not in the interests of unborn children. For many months both sympathetic and antagonistic journals have engaged in misleading talk about reducing the 24-week time limit that applies to some abortions. The policy makers are happy to encourage this because it diverts attention from their real agenda of enshrining a "human right to abortion" in law in the first three months of pregnancy.
"Such de-regulation of abortion law and practice will greatly increase abortions, outweighing any reduction on later abortions. The vast majority of abortions continue to be performed before 13 weeks.
"We were shocked to learn of the appointment of pro-abortion MP Patricia Hewitt as Secretary of State for Health. Ms Hewitt has previously expressed support for the Abortion Act and for extending abortion on demand. This may indicate the government's intention to press ahead in the very near future with de-regulation of abortion.
"Marie Stopes, one of Britain's leading abortion providers with influence and connections in government, has insisted that any restriction on late abortions is only acceptable if accompanied with a liberalisation of abortion law in early pregnancy, when the vast majority of abortion are performed. It is also no coincidence that the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), another major abortion provider, is also backing a review of the abortion law.
"Local SPUC campaigns in many parts of the country helped to alert voters to the commitment of their candidates on abortion, euthanasia and embryo research.
"We are enormously grateful to supporters who quizzed their candidates and helped circulate information locally. Information was also made available via our website.
"The reduction in the Government's majority means greater opportunities for pro-life MPs to challenge anti-life proposals and hold ministers to account. But the Labour majority is still a substantial one and pro-lifers face a tough challenge in holding the line."