Monday April 12, 2010

David Cameron Pro-Life? Don’t Believe it, British Pro-Lifers Warn

By Hilary White

LONDON, April 12, 2010 ( – Britain’s leading pro-life political lobby has warned voters not to heed Conservative leader David Cameron’s promises on abortion.

Cameron, who is widely expected to become Britain’s next prime minister, told the Catholic Herald last week that he supports moves to lower the gestational age limit for legal abortion from 24 to 22 or 20 weeks. But pro-life groups say that this limit would do little to stem the rising tide of abortion in Britain, and would not stop eugenic abortion.

“My own view is that we do need to review the abortion limit,” Cameron said. “I think that the way medical science and technology have developed in the past few decades does mean that an upper limit of 20 or 22 weeks would be sensible.”

Cameron said he supported two amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill that would have lowered the age limit, but stressed that MPs should be given a free vote on the issue. “This is an issue of conscience, so it would be wrong to put pressure on Parliamentary colleagues when it comes to voting on this,” he said.

John Smeaton, head of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), warned that Cameron’s pro-life sentiments are carefully hedged and that any reduction in the age limit for abortion would be strictly limited to abortions for “social reasons.”

Both Cameron and Andrew Lansley, the Conservative party health spokesman have “made it clear” that abortion restrictions should generally be lifted, said Smeaton.

“If there is a free vote by MPs, as promised by Mr. Cameron, it will provide the pro-abortion lobby with an opportunity to increase the numbers of abortions, as happened under the Conservative administration under Margaret Thatcher,” he wrote.

In August 2008 Cameron held a series of meetings with voters in which he said that he would support the current status of the abortion laws that places no limits whatever on aborting disabled children. He was asked, “If in power would you favour measures to reverse this discrimination by giving unborn children who are disabled the same protection under the law as currently enjoyed by all other children?”

Cameron replied, “My personal view about that is no,” and added that his MPs would be given a free vote on the issue. He then referred to his own situation with his son Ivan, who suffered from severe cognitive disabilities and died later that year, saying he could not tell parents they could not abort a severely disabled child.

Cameron said, “Personally Ivan, he’s brought incredible things to my life but it is an enormous challenge and I don’t think it’s right to sort of tell other parents if you hear that you’ve got a very disabled child on the way, that actually doing something about it isn’t an option. That’s my view.”

In 1990 the British abortion law was amended to allow abortion on request for disabled children up to the point of full gestation. This provision was added into the law as a concession by those campaigning to lower the gestational age limit for abortion from 28 weeks to 24.

Pro-life campaigners have been adamant that another campaign to lower the limit to 20 weeks would do little or nothing to reduce late-term abortions, and would result in further weakening of Britain’s last remaining legal restrictions on abortion.

Smeaton wrote, “Mr. Cameron is only endorsing a reduction of two to four weeks (and for social abortions only). This ignores the vast majority (87% or more) of abortions which are performed before 12 weeks. Only one to two per cent of abortions are performed after 20 weeks.

“There is a serious danger of MPs who back a cosmetic lowering of the upper time-limit for social abortions of voting in favour of wider access to social abortions earlier in pregnancy.”

Smeaton added that there is “no reason to believe” that a Tory-led parliament will be “significantly less pro-abortion than the old one.” A Conservative government under David Cameron, he said, would mean an “influx” of the so-called “Notting Hill Set,” a group of socially liberal Tory MPs whose claim to conservatism lies in their libertarian fiscal policies.

This group has been denounced by socially conservative elements in the Conservative party, leading some long-time Tories to renounce the “New Conservatives” entirely.

Conservative insiders have also said that the party would consider legislation creating “gay marriage” as a matter of “equality rights” and the party has openly courted the homosexualist lobby in the lead up to May’s election.

Gerald Warner, an author and columnist, party historian and long-time Conservative insider, told last month that a defeat in the upcoming election, and the ousting of David Cameron, is the “only hope” for the party and for a return in Britain to traditional moral and social values.

A Cameron government, Warner said, would do nothing more than “replace a tired, weak government that has implemented the cultural Marxist agenda of the Frankfurt School with a younger, more energetic one following the same programme.”

Read related LSN coverage:

Life and Family Activists Hold out Little Hope for Cameron-Led Conservative Government