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UK Cardinal Fights for Abortion Law Change: Parliament Considers Lower Gestational Limit for Abortio

LifeSiteNews.com

By Hilary White
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Cormac Cardinal Murphy-O'ConnorLONDON, June 21, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – England’s Catholic primate, Cormac Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, has called upon the British Parliament to re-examine the 1967 act that made abortion legal in nearly all cases. The BBC reports that he is supporting a Commons motion by 31 MPs who are calling for a review of the law and specifically a reduction in the time limit for gestational age for legal abortion.
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  In a meeting with the health minister, Murphy-O’Connor said today, “This is not primarily a religious issue. It is a human issue.”

The Cardinal agreed with the 31 MP’s that the gestational age limit should be lowered from its current 24 weeks, but said that abortion is always “the wrong answer to fear and insecurity.”
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  He pointed to advances in medical technology such as the new 3-D ultrasound, that proved the previous laws are out of date. Murphy-O’Connor said, “I welcome what appears to be a moral awakening, especially among women, to the reality that abortion is the deliberate ending of a human life.”
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  MP Geraldine Smith launched the motion last week telling the media, “What I find is that even women with a very strong pro-choice view do recognise that the time limits should be reviewed.” The leader of the Tory opposition, David Cameron, has supported calls for a reduction in the gestational age limit.
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“I think people’s opinions are beginning to change on this issue as technology means babies born earlier can now be kept alive. What we really need is a public debate and a debate led by Parliament,” Smith said.
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  According to the Office for National Statistics, abortions over 20 weeks account for 1.6 percent of abortions in the UK. 87.7 per cent are committed on children from mere weeks after conception to 12 weeks gestational age. Approximately 185,000 abortions were committed in 2004. It is impossible to collect statistics on the number of persons killed at the embryonic stage by hormonal “contraceptives” either before or after implantation in the uterus.
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  The pro-life lobby, Life, responded to the proposed motion saying, “It’s time the law moved in line with the general public of Great Britain.”

The government announced it has no plans to lower the age limit, however. The Health Secretary said she was against using the model of France, Germany and Italy who have set the limit at between 12 and 13 weeks.
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  Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor said there was “substantial and growing disquiet in Britain at the numbers of abortions. Millions of people, especially women, would like to see a review of the current law.”
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  The public attitude towards abortion is changing according to a number of polls. Independent Catholic News reports that women overwhelmingly want Government money spent on charities offering alternatives to abortion. The poll, conducted by Communicate Research and commissioned by the group Choose Life, found that 85 per cent want to see more help given to women who want to keep their babies.
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  78 per cent of women want a compulsory cooling-off period between diagnosis of pregnancy and any abortion. 96 per cent of women want a right to be fully informed of the medical risks associated with abortion.
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  Reducing the time limit was supported by 47 per cent of women and another 10 per cent were opposed to abortion under any circumstances

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