Hilary White


Lower age of consent to 13 to protect old men from ‘persecution’: top pro-abortion lawyer

Hilary White

LONDON, May 8, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A proposal by a leading pro-abortion lawyer to lower the age of sexual consent from 16 to 13 to protect “old men” who molest young people from legal “persecution,” is being met with outrage in the UK. 

“I do not support the persecution of old men,” Barbara Hewson wrote recently in Spiked online magazine. “England has a long history of do-gooders seeking to stamp out their version of sexual misconduct by force of the criminal law.” 

Hewson, who made her name leading an international campaign to overturn the pro-life provision in Ireland’s Constitution, was writing in response the Jimmy Savile scandal that has been prominent in the British media since the entertainer’s death in October 2011. Savile was a popular DJ and BBC television presenter against whom hundreds of charges of child sex abuse and rape were brought after his death.

“The manipulation of the rule of law by the Savile Inquisition … and its attendant zealots poses a far graver threat to society than anything Jimmy Savile ever did,” Hewson continued. 

Scotland Yard is investigating over 400 allegations based on the testimony of 300 possible victims via fourteen local polices forces over six decades. The police have described Savile as a “predatory sex offender.” 

Hewson also wrote of the arrest of BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall, who admitted 14 charges of indecently assaulting girls, including one aged nine, between 1967 and 1985.

In her article she decried the “present mania for policing all aspects of personal life under the mantra of ‘child protection’" and "the post-Savile witch-hunting of ageing celebs” that, she says, “echoes the Soviet Union.” 

Hewson’s comments have caused a stir in the legal profession, with the Hardwicke chambers in London for which she works saying they are “shocked” at her suggestion that the crimes committed by the likes of Savile and Hall are merely “low-level misdemeanours.” 

“We did not see or approve the article pre-publication and we completely dissociate ourselves from its content and any related views she may have expressed via social media or any other media outlets,” the firm said in a statement. 

Hewson was described by the Daily Mail as a “human rights” lawyer specializing in “reproductive rights”. But an Irish pro-life advocate was more forthright in describing her career. “This is a lawyer who took Ireland to the European Court to foist abortion on the Irish people; a woman who called our pro-life laws ‘cruel and unusual’," said Niamh Ui Bhriain, head of the Life Institute. 

“Yet now she wants the age of consent lowered - as a reaction to the Savile and Hall crimes. What kind of defence of young women's rights is that?” 

Ui Bhriain said that abortion campaigners set themselves up as defenders of women, “but often when we scratch the surface we see a completely different side to things.”

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