By Hilary White
LONDON, October 22, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Parliamentary committee examining Britain’s 1967 Abortion Act has come under heavy criticism by some of its own members. A member of the House of Lords warned that it has been “stacked” with pro-abortion members, as well as heavily favouring the pro-abortion view in its selection of witnesses.
The Catholic Herald quotes Lord Alton of Liverpool who said, “If you only call people who have your point of view, it is obvious what conclusions you are going to come up with.”
“I think that the distorting of public policy by loading of committees of people who hold a particular view is disgraceful. We are getting perilously close to a totalitarian approach to making public policy where hearing all sides of the argument has been replaced by shrill voices trying to drown out any alternative view,” Lord Alton said.
At the end of October, Britain will face the 40th anniversary of the passage of the 1967 Abortion Act that legalised abortion up to 24 weeks for healthy children and without restriction for those children deemed by a doctor to be potentially “seriously handicapped”. Since its passage, the Act has resulted in the deaths of over six million British children.
The Committee was initially to have called 18 witnesses to give oral evidence; of these the Catholic Herald reports, 17 have “liberal” views on abortion. Protests by MP’s led to the number of pro-abortion witnesses to be reduced to 13, with a total of five who are opposed to the practice.
Dr. Bob Spink, the Conservative MP for Castle Point, Essex, who criticized the Commons Committee membership, said that it is “very much to be regretted” that it is heavily slanted to the pro-abortion side, the position heavily favoured by the governing Labour Party.
Dr. Spink also criticised the bias of most of the witnesses: “I believe that it is either by design – because somebody has fixed the committee to be pro-choice – or alternatively it could be error because people just haven’t fully appreciated the position of some of the people who have been invited to give evidence.”
Spink named Jane Fisher, the director of Ante-Natal Results and Choices, who gave evidence on Monday: “Her organisation is a signatory member of Voice for Choice, an aggressive pro-choice campaigning organisation.”
The Committee is also being hampered by its decision to restrict its consideration to science and medical subjects and avoid the ethical questions of abortion. Madeleine Davies, writing in the strongly pro-abortion Guardian newspaper called the refusal to consider ethical questions a “disingenuous” and “futile” decision that has led to chaos in the Committee chamber.
“Bringing ethics into the equation may be messy,” she wrote, “but a meaningful inquiry into abortion law cannot be conducted without it”.
“To ask whether we need a definition of ‘serious abnormality’ with regard to abortions after 24 weeks, then request that the answer steer clear of morality or ethics, strikes me as futile at best. Ask what percentage of babies is able to survive at 24 weeks and you’ll hear about the percentage that survive but with severe disabilities. What do we do with this information? How can we make use of it unless within an ethical framework?”
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