LONDON, July 14, 2016 (SPUC) — After a whirlwind three weeks in British politics, the country has a new prime minister in Theresa May, formerly the Home Secretary.
May became the United Kingdom's second female prime minister after David Cameron resigned.
Naturally, many people will now be wondering whether May's new government can be expected to take a different direction on pro-life issues such as abortion, euthanasia and sex education.
In her first statement as prime minister, given outside 10 Downing Street, May focused on the theme of unionism. In particular, she talked about her vision of unionism as a union between all people across the all parts of the UK.
This is similar to the way May has described herself in the past as a “One-Nation Conservative.”
Paul Tully, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children’s general secretary, noted this theme and called for intellectual consistency, commenting:
“Theresa May describes herself as a One-Nation Conservative. We therefore call upon her to be a prime minister for all members of the nation, including for the unborn threatened by abortion, for the vulnerable at risk from euthanasia, and for families.”
Tully added: “We are glad to note that Mrs. May has voted with the pro-life lobby on a number of occasions, most notably during 2008's Human Fertilization and Embryology bill and last year's Assisted Dying bill.
“Her voting record implies a sensitivity to pro-life concerns. We call upon Mrs. May to review urgently the Conservative government's approach to abortion and population control.”
How has the new PM voted?
In 2001, May voted against regulations to extend human embryo research, including the production of human clones.
In 2008, during the passage of the Human Fertilization and Embryology Bill, May voted against the bill as a whole, for a ban on human-animal hybrid embryos, for a ban on creating “savior siblings,” to prevent the creation of genetically-modified babies, for a requirement that IVF doctors consider a child's need for a father and a mother, and to lower the upper time limit for social abortions from 24 weeks to 20 weeks
In February 2015, May voted for a bill seeking to ban sex-selective abortion and also voted against Rob Marris' bill, which sought to legalize assisted suicide, later that year.
Some commentators have been disturbed by a claim from former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan earlier this year that Theresa May is in favor of making sex education compulsory in primary schools.
According to Cathy Newman, both Theresa May and Justine Greening — the new Education Secretary— spoke out in favor of Mrs. Morgan's plan for mandatory sex education, but all three were overruled by David Cameron.
Pro-lifers will continue to watch as the new government continues to take shape and ministerial appointments are announced.
Analyzing developments thus far, Tully set out some of the priorities for pro-life campaigners.
“On abortion, we call upon May to distance the Department of Health from the abortion industry and the sexual rights lobby. There needs to be a government policy which aims at ensuring that every pregnancy can have a happy ending.
“On population control, we call upon the new government to stop giving public funds to global abortion promoters, and support truly pro-woman healthcare.”
Tully concluded: “We hope that Mrs. May will uphold the Cameron government's decision not to impose compulsory sex education.”
Reprinted with permission from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.