Shock call of UK election spurs drive to elect pro-life candidates
LONDON, United Kingdom, April 26, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-lifers in Britain have launched a campaign in response to Prime Minister Theresa May’s surprise election call. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) is asking supporters to quiz candidates on two key issues: the decriminalization of abortion and support for assisted suicide. They should then contact SPUC or SPUC Scotland to add their findings to SPUC’s databases.
“We have some MPs who are solidly pro-life,” said SPUC campaign director Antonia Tully. “But they are not very numerous and there are MPs virulently opposed to us. And there is the mushy middle. But, yes, there are a few who will honour their consciences and vote for the pro-life lobby.”
Current pro-life MPs include Fiona Bruce (Congleton), Mark Prichard (The Wrekin), John Pugh (Southport), Robert Flello (Stoke-on-Trent), Mary Glindon (North Tyneside), Jim Shannon (Strangford), Sir Edward Leigh (Gainsburgh) and Maria Caulfield (Lewes).
In March Caulfield boldly opposed the pro-abortion Johnson Bill, telling Parliament she was “amazed that the Bill’s backers, including private abortion providers, have the gall to propose these changes [to the existing law], which would remove regulations at a time when the UK abortion industry is knee-deep in revelations of unethical, unsafe and unprofessional practices.” The Bill passed narrowly, with 174 MPs for and 142 MPs against it.
Although life issues are never major factors in UK elections, SPUC’s supporters remind would-be Ministers of Parliament that constituents care about them.
“This is a grassroots campaign,” said Tully. “We know that’s what works best: people leafleting their own neighbourhoods, raising awareness of the life issues and encouraging people to vote for candidates who, if elected, will protect unborn children and vulnerable people in danger of assisted suicide.”
In 50 years, the Abortion Act (1967) has claimed the lives of over 8.7 million unborn British children. Currently abortion is legal in the UK (except Northern Ireland) up to the 24th week of pregnancy if performed by a doctor with the permission of two doctors and meeting certain, broadly interpreted, criteria. Changes to the Act in 1990 made provisions to kill disabled children at any stage until birth.
The pro-abortion lobby, including the British Medical Association and the Royal Society of Midwives, hopes the next government will further decriminalize abortion. According to SPUC’s Fiorella Nash, “There’s been a huge amount of pressure in the past few years to get rid of the two doctors requirement, to take abortion out of a clinical setting, and to get nurses to do them. We’re constantly seeing attempts to normalize abortion. In my personal opinion, [pro-abortion lobbyists] are doing this because there’s a shortage of doctors who want to do them. [These lobbyists] really do not want any regulation at all. But in the end it is a surgical procedure, and it shouldn’t be treated as a lifestyle choice. No other procedure is treated like that.”
In her address to Parliament, MP Maria Caulfield said, “Too often today, debates about abortion—about the risks involved and the rights of the unborn child—are shut down; but I, and many colleagues who share my views, will not be silenced as we seek to be a voice for the voiceless, and as we argue for more modern and humane abortion law that upholds not only the dignity and rights of women but the dignity and rights of the unborn child.”
The UK’s General Election will take place on Thursday, June 8.