London, Apr. 12 ( – Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor has given his personal support to the first screening of an abortion on British television later this month.  The cardinal said he hopes the Channel 4 documentary, “My Fetus,” will have a “devastating” effect on viewers, and will bring home the message that abortion involves the “deliberate destruction of human life.”  Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor said: “The searching questions which we all, at some time or another, ask about ultimate truth and the meaning of human life continue to reveal the limits of scientific knowledge. Issues, such as abortion, which some believed to have been irrevocably decided, are challenged anew because we find that we cannot live a lie, or defy the power of moral truth.”  He continued, “Just as [the Mel Gibson film] ‘The Passion of The Christ’ has proved an extraordinary draw and a provocative challenge to many, so I believe Channel 4’s documentary showing an abortion in progress will have a devastating effect on all who see it. Many, perhaps for the first time, will realize that abortion involves the deliberate destruction of human life.”  Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor’s views have angered some Catholic pro-life groups. Josephine Quintavalle, the director of the ProLife Alliance, described the comments as “topsy turvy.” She said, “It is uncomfortable that the hierarchy of the Catholic Church is coming out in support of a film by a pro-abortionist. I don’t think that anybody should be endorsing this film without a disclaimer because we don’t know how it is going to be presented.”  She continued, “The cardinal should certainly not just say it’s great. He should be saying that the idea is fine in principle, but that, until we’ve seen the film, we don’t know what the message will be. The ProLife Alliance reserves judgment in a very big way until we’ve seen the footage.”  However. Paul Danon, a spokesman for the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child (SPUC), said: “We’re at one with the cardinal on this and think that the film will be profoundly significant in getting people to realize that an abortion is more than just a rather messy operation—that it is the taking of a human life.  “These images have a purpose if used discreetly and delicately in a proper context. We earnestly hope that it will see a turning of the tide against the cheapening of human life.”  The Channel 4 documentary will be screened on April 20 and will show a London doctor using the “vacuum pump” method on a woman who is four weeks’ pregnant. Viewers will then see the aborted child being placed on a surgical dish.  The documentary will also display pictures of unborn children terminated at 10, 11, and 21 weeks—when limbs and a face are clearly visible—as well as inspecting the aborted body of a seven-week pregnancy.


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