LONDON,  December 20, 2010 ( – Legal abortion is “the single most grievous moral deficit in contemporary life” and its proliferation will exact an as-yet unknown social price for the countries that have adopted it, said Lord Nicholas Windsor, the son of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, this month.

“The granting to ourselves of the right wantonly to kill, each year, millions of our offspring at the beginning of their lives: This is the question of questions for Europe,” he said.

“The practice of abortion is a mortal wound in Europe’s heart, in the center of Hellenic and Judeo-Christian culture.”

With legal abortion all but ubiquitous, Lord Windsor wrote in the U.S. religious journal First Things, mothers have the power of the emperor’s over the lives of their children: “Caesar’s thumb is up, or Caesar’s thumb is down. And when it comes to exporting this idea, we do it with zeal and determination through such institutions as the United Nations and the European Union.”

He asks what the ultimate cost to a society that has “placed this fearful act at its center – consciously approving, even celebrating, its own most egregious moral failing” will be.

The great irony, he said, is that Europe’s highly “rights” conscious political and social atmosphere, “is in favor of one of the gravest and most egregious abuses of human rights that human society has ever tolerated.”

“Didn’t Europeans think they could never and must never kill again on an industrial scale?”

Lord Windsor points to the reduction of poverty in the 1st world, the growth of women’s and minority rights, the end of colonialism and the relatively peaceful end to the Cold War, but says the threat of abortion has “taken us unawares” and overshadowed these accomplishments. Even the threat of Islamist terrorism does not qualify as so deep an “existential” threat as abortion.

“All else that we concern ourselves with in the lives of human beings derives from the inescapable fact that first we must have human lives with which to concern ourselves.” In disregarding the right of the unborn to be born, he said, “humanity’s deepest instincts are trampled and shattered.”

Windsor compared abortion to slavery as a great moral and social evil that calls for a “new abolitionism for Europe” before it is too late. Britain’s birth rate is higher than most European countries, but remains below replacement level at 1.9 children born per woman. Recent statistics have shown, however, that the country has one of the highest rates of abortion in the EU, especially among younger women.

“This is a historically unprecedented cascade of destruction wrought on individuals: on sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, future spouses and friends, mothers and fathers – destroyed in the form of those to whom we owe, quite simply and certainly, the greatest solidarity and duty of care because they are the weakest and most dependent of our fellow humans.”

Windsor is the cousin of Queen Elizabeth and had been 27th in line of succession for the British throne. He made headlines in 2001 when he was received into the Catholic Church. British law still prohibits a Catholic from becoming king or queen. He studied theology at Oxford University and is patron of the Right to Life Charitable Trust.

A century ago, he said, nearly global legal abortion was no more than an “implausible glimmer” in the eye of the most progressive of social activists. Now, abortion is so “deeply embedded” in the political and social life of Western nations, it is almost invisible as a political issue in Europe.

“Even mentioning it has become the first taboo of the culture,” he said.

For most people in Europe, abortion “impinges little” on the public mind. This “hardening of consciences” was the result of a deliberate campaign of propaganda that has gradually enforced “a conformism that fears to question what is said to be a settled issue.”

Legal abortion has been chosen and maintained, he said, for the “benefits” that it has created: “So much else can be chosen in a given life if the option to dispose of unwanted children is dependably available. So many intoxicating freedoms are newly established, if only abortion is never again denied to women and to men.”