40 years since the Abortion Act
25 April 2008
Britain's Abortion Act came into force 40 years ago on Sunday (27 April). The Abortion Rights group has praised the law as an advance for women. [Reuters, 25 April] Women who have had abortions will be among the speakers in Parliament Square, London, tomorrow as part of the Silent No More campaign. As well as saying why they regret their abortions, they will talk about the opportunities for post-abortion healing. [Woman Alive, 25 April] The British government has no plans to change abortion law, according to the prime minister's office. [Downing Street Says, 24 April] The past four decades has seen a fall in the number of adoptions of babies in Scotland. While nearly 1,300 babies were adopted in 1967, just 16 were in 2006. Mr Jackson Carlaw MSP, Conservative health spokesman, wants a debate on the possible link between abortion and adoption. [Scotsman, 25 April] John Smeaton of SPUC said "Sadly, there's a substantial pro-abortion majority in Parliament. We sincerely hope that when the Government's states that it has no plans to change the abortion law, it will seek to promote a consensus that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill is not used to open up the Abortion Act on the floor of Parliament."
Legalisation of abortion in Mexico City just over a year ago has increased the number of terminations according to the city's health secretary. The law is being challenged in the country's high court. There have been around 7,800 legal abortions in the city. [LifeSiteNews, 24 April]
India is to increase penalties for doctors who perform abortion for reasons of gender. Our source suggests the policy has so far failed, with an estimated 10 million girls aborted over 20 years. New penalties would include permanent exclusion from medical practice and up to three years in prison. [Guardian, 24 April]
Bishops in the Australian state of Victoria want abortion to stay a crime. The practice is permitted because of a 1969 court decision and is effectively available on demand. The state parliament wants to remove any existing legal impediment. A pastoral letter cites British findings that abortion causes psychological problems and it calls for help with problem pregnancy. [Zenit, 24 April]
The governor of Alaska, who recently gave birth to a child with Down's syndrome, has pledged her support for pro-life measures. Ms Sarah Palin agrees with laws to ban partial-birth abortion and to require parental consent for abortion on under-17s. Of her child, she said: "We have faith that every baby is created for good purpose and has potential to make this world a better place. We are truly blessed." [LifeSiteNews, 24 April]